Spiritual Condiments

by Phil Baker

Several years ago I realized I had stopped eating ketchup with french fries. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I think I just liked the salty side just as it was, especially McDonald’s fries. Mmmm mmm. Plus I think ketchup has become so sweet and sugary it barely qualifies as a vegetable fruit anymore. Now, give me a hotdog and I’ll load that sucker up with ketchup, mustard, relish and chili. Most of this will end up on my shirt.

Foodies will tell you condiments are meant to enhance the flavor of food, not hide or replace it. They should give it a little kick or zest. But some food has flavor enough, no condiments required. Recently my wife made burgers that had tortilla chips, green peppers and salsa cooked right in the patties, sort of a southwestern slant on them. They. Were. Delicious. After my first one, I realized I didn’t need to stack it with all my usual hamburger toppings. There was plenty of fiesta flavor just by itself!

Is it possible we do the same thing with God? We augment our relationship with Him with Christian music, books by our favorite Christian authors, or even with church involvement. All these things aren’t bad. But we must be very careful not to make them a substitute for that relationship. They should enhance it, add flavor to it, maybe give you a little variety. But every once in a while the plain-Jane, no-frills, bare-bones, open-your-Bible-and-just-talk-to-Him experience should be enough.

So take Lewis the Lifeguard’s advice. Don’t drown your food!

Matthew 4:4

John 6:35


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