Chappy’s corner “Hard to swallow?”
A young cowboy came into the local café and saw an older fellow sitting by the counter. The older cowboy had his elbows on the counter and his head resting in his hands. In front of the old cowboy was a warm bowl of chili. The young cowboy was hungry but didn’t have much cash. He sat there and finally asked the other man, “Hey, if you’re not going to eat that chili can I have it?” The old guy slide the chili over to the young guy and said, “Yeah, sure” The young guy starts devouring the chili and commenting “this is the best chili I ever ate” but then he finds a dead mouse at the bottom of the bowl and immediately he spits up everything he ate. At that point the old guy says, “Yep, that’s exactly what I did when I was eating that bowl of chili!”
While some of you are still chuckling over this story, I suspect others are thinking it is disgusting. I guess it depends on your point of view. But, if I told you that story was true, would your reaction be different? Most of us would assume that story is purely fiction, but it could have happened. Every day we are bombarded by stories that seem hard for us to swallow. Maybe they are true and maybe not.
How does one know the truth? One way is to check the source. On the internet we have snopes.com that tries to determine if a story is fact or fiction. But, when someone is saying something about another person at work, or school or at church… I doubt snopes.com will help. In such situations the best advice is to ask, “How do you know this is true?” If they can’t back it up with firsthand knowledge, then it may be best to encourage them not to keep telling the story. There is no need to ruin another person’s reputation. If they can back it up then we can still say, that spreading such news is not going to help that person and the best course is to stay silent. Sadly in this sinful world that is not so easy people to do. We often repeat “gossip” about others, but instead of gossip may we strive to spread what is “good” about others.
The scriptures talk about speaking the truth in love to others. The purpose is to help people. That is what Jesus did. He told people they were sinners but he also told them how they could be saved from their sin. Many believed Jesus; others didn’t. Those who opposed him used lies and false witnesses to put Jesus to death. Mysteriously God used Jesus death to bring life to us. For by His death Jesus paid for our sin and by His resurrection He brings eternal life to all who trust in Him. I know some may find Jesus story hard to swallow, but for many including myself it is the sweetest story ever told.
That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota!
Chaplain (LTC) David Gunderson
196th MEB SDARNG