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October 28, 1994

Pass the Vegetables, Please

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Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. PROVERBS 15:17
There’s nothing wrong with good food—and the wealth that allows us to indulge in our favorite culinary luxury once in a while, whether it’s prime rib or Haagen-Dazs. The Book of Proverbs makes it clear that wealth is desirable and honorable when attained and used in a righteous way.
But this verse reminds us that there’s a negative side to wealth, a danger to watch for. Too often fortune becomes the most important thing to a family. Its members dine on the best fare (and wear the best clothes and live in the most beautiful home) but are bereft of the most valuable spiritual treasure—love. And the absence of love is the perfect environment for hatred to flourish.
In the hierarchy of God’s economy, spiritual wealth is far more important than material wealth. It’s so important, in feet, that it’s better to have spiritual wealth and nothing else. Daniel and his friends recognized this truth when they refused to eat meat sacrificed to their captors’ gods and instead ate only vegetables and water. In fact, when we sacrifice material rewards in order to preserve our spiritual health and that of our families, God often responds by providing our material needs as well, as He did for Daniel.
We’re faced with decisions every day. We filter those choices through our value systems, come to a decision, and act accordingly. What is the result? If we decide to pursue a course of action that enhances our bank accounts but hurts our family lives or our relationships with God, how much damage are we really doing? Maybe not much this time, but we’ve reinforced a pattern that in the long term could lead to destruction. We may one day find ourselves sitting down to sumptuous meals with no appetite because we realize that love has left our houses.
Are you cultivating an environment of love in your home, no matter what your income level?

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