Rice, Love, and Good

Sower

When you visit the Philippines you should understand that rice is the staple food of the Filipinos. Call it fattening or whatever you want, but every Filipino would never even think of resisting a restaurant with unlimited rice. Everyone has their brag stories about how many cups they have eaten over a single chicken breast or leg.

20150713065547.jpgMy best record is 6 ½ cups and I did during our Bible Study group’s Christmas dinner a few years back. I was beaten by our group leader by half a cup. I ran out of chicken so I just had to stop. Our leader was a girl by the way. My brother holds the most number of cups among the people I know. He ate 10 cups and until now, I am still wondering how he stretched the chicken to reach that. That is how we love rice.

We love it so much that we do not just call it rice. Depending on the island, the majority of Tagalog speakers call uncooked rice as “bigas.” The ones that are newly harvested are called “palay.” Once you have steamed it, it is called “kanin.” The cold left over is called “bahaw.” The burned and crunchy part under the pot is called “tutong.” When fried, it is called “sinangag.” The small bits of rice that fall from your plate to the table are called “mumu” (not the ghost or the sound of the cow). There are other terms in other dialects or languages all referring to our beloved rice. Just so you know.

I guess this is how language evolves. There are terms that we create to refer to a single entity. However, there are also times that we commit the grave error of thinking that several unrelated terms would mean the same.

For Christians, one grave error we often mistake is that the word “love” is equal to “good.”

You have wearied the Lord with your words; Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the Lord, And He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?” – Malachi 2:17

An elder once told us how true this verse is. He mentioned that in the sin sick world we live in today, most people keep on saying that it does not matter if you are doing evil, God loves you anyway. He totally disagreed with that and pointed to the verse. That God does not call evil as good. While he Is right. He might have mixed up love to mean good.

You see the only constant thing in this world aside from change is God’s love. His love is all encompassing. His actions and intentions towards us is all testament of His love for us. Yes, He brings all good for us.

Yet we keep forgetting that He still detests evil. He may love us with the love that overwhelms us but He still does not like some of the things that we do. We still do things that block out our relationship with Him and He does not like that. Evil is still evil in the sight of God but that does not mean that He withdraws His love from you if you did evil. In fact, God pushes His love more because evil’s nature is to block out His love. We have to remember that God does not like the evil things we do. He never called it good. Yet His love for us remains constant.

When we realize these evil deeds, principles or mindsets and fully surrender them at the foot of the cross of Jesus. We will be given forgiveness. If that is not love, I don’t know what is.

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