Luke 18:9-14 (NIV): “To those who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But a tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other went home justified before God. Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Things I have to ask myself: Am I the Pharisee or tax collector?

It may be worth a moment of personal reflection.

It may be surprising to find out that even though we see ourselves as the tax collector others may see us as the Pharisee.

Don’t we all want to be right, doing things the right way?

How can our approach be so different from each other and yet still be right?

1 Corinthians 16:14: “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Hahaha…Have you an appreciation for cooking with an iron skillet? Did you know some folks are very particular about their iron skillets? You might even call them traditionalists. That tradition starts with the purchase, then the process of seasoning the skillet.

Seasoning is not grease. A seasoned skillet is not greasy. It’s not left-over grease in a pan you don’t wash.

The idea of last week’s bacon grease somehow making your skillet seasoned and tasting better later is not seasoning your skillet.

It’s also not adding flavor by cooking meats and vegetables and somehow passing those flavors on through a well-used fry pan. 

It’s a process of heating, oiling, rubbing, and repeating multiple times. When done, it’s not greasy at all.

I recently bought two cast iron skillets, a ten-inch and a twelve-inch, mostly because I had a hankering for my mom’s fried chicken, so I thought I’d try and pull that off. It’s probably been more than 20 years since I had that privilege of sitting at her table.

There’s some basics I remember from those youthful days of instruction. 

“Good fried chicken starts with a seasoned iron skillet.”

“Wash and dry the skillet by hand. Never use the dishwasher and never let them sit dirty or wet.”

Now I’ve got some age on me, so I’ve had the privilege to try a large variety of fried chicken by many different cooks.

From my mother I learned what I had thought was a simple straightforward cooking formula. To my surprise every cook has their own way of seasoning their pan if they even do!

My mother cooked what I know as “Golden Fried.” My sister said, “If it’s not Southern fried, it’s not fried chicken.”

The number of styles and names are abundant, much like which oil that’s used — Crisco, canola, peanut, vegetable, and corn. Some folks make cooking fried chicken an art form. Others, heat, grease, chicken, done!

Forgive me but it kind of reminds me of all the different dominations within the Christian Church.

Centered on Christ is the main objective. How we go about it from the moment we confess our need and belief to our worship, praise and service. 

There are so many styles and forms of baptism, communion, music, weddings, and funerals. And, yet, we’re all followers of Christ.

Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death.”

I guess this leads us back to the question: Are we the Pharisee or the tax collector?

The important part of that is: How does God see us? As we’re being seasoned in our Christian walk, let us remember there’s our way, their way and in doing so may we endeavor to do it God’s way.

 

 

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