Taste and See!
Psalm 34:8 reads: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (NIV)
Unfortunately, I think many of us Christians get it the other way around when it comes to sharing our faith. We are told once we become believers that we are to share, evangelize and witness to others so they too can become believers, which of course makes sense because why wouldn’t we want others to have the same life changing, soul saving faith that we have discovered.
However, something happens along the way when sharing with others, which is what I believe also, makes us so nervous about sharing our faith. Somehow we ended up with the wrong idea about sharing. We tend to think that the result of our sharing is that the other person is to end up seeing things the way we do. That somehow what we know and therefore what we share like facts, figures and yes even scripture quotes should do the job in convincing them that they should understand and see it the same way we do.
Oh – how foolish we can be! The goal of witnessing our faith is not to convince someone to see it exactly how we do because that would be the philosophy of see and taste. In other words, if you see it the same way, you will taste it the same way. We would all end up exactly the same and, believe it or not, there is much more creativity to God than to make us all the same, so much so, that scientists have shown via super close up pictures that not even two snowflakes are alike out of the quadrillion that fall each winter. That’s amazing!
So I can easily say God does not expect us to all see him the same way. That’s why I can say that I believe Psalm 34:8 gives us the clue to properly sharing our faith. The goal in sharing is that others would be intrigued to wanting to experience God for themselves. Sharing therefore shouldn’t be about only facts, figures and scripture quotes, rather it should be about what all that has done in enhancing our relationship with God – what God has done in our lives – in other words our own experience of God.
This is the taste and see approach. You encourage others who may have never seen, much less tasted, an apple to take a bite and find out for themselves what the apple is like. But to get them to want to take a bite in the first place requires proper teaching. For example if you take someone skydiving who has never been before and never heard that people do such things, you wouldn’t take them up in a plane and throw them out. You would explain the process and the safe guards in place so they could make an educated decision to take the next step. I use this analogy because like anything else in life there are always risks involved. Risks that we may not convey enough information, or cover the topic from the right angle or even communicate in a way that is clear and understandable.
But that is why we are told to witness to others. This idea is not just about telling it’s about showing. Backing up our words with proper action in our own lives that gives our words punch to show others that what we have tasted is really worthwhile for others to want to take a bite of their own.
When we do it right others will want to experience God for themselves even when they don’t see it the same way we do. In fact they will most likely experience God in a different way than we do and as they then share their experience it will cause us to want to find out more ourselves. And this is the true essence of living for God.
Constant and never ending growth in the Lord involves first tasting and seeing or realizing that God is indeed good, which then spurs us on to share and invite others to taste as well and when they do we are inspired all that much more to continue a deep relationship with God, thereby fulfilling the second half of Psalm 34:8 “…blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Refuge in this scripture can mean to put trust in, confide in or hope in. So in other words, once we taste, we see, and we then hope in God all that much more.
So please stop sharing with the intent to convince others to see and rather share with the intent to inspire others to taste.
God Bless - Rick