Spice Up Your Life

Various events, people, tasks, or hobbies spice up our lives, motivates our lives, fill our lives with zest, passion, and with zing? Just as adding spices to cooking can make a dish magnificent, the spices in our lives will add zip, zing, and passion to our lives.

Some of the spices in our personal spice rack will be our interests – running, antiquing, fishing, reading, NFL football, college basketball, and so on. Some of the spices will be family oriented – playing with the kids, gardening, being with our spouse, helping relatives and so on. For Christians some of the spices in our rack will be kingdom focused – church, Bible class, teaching Sunday School, church leadership, and others.

As we become aware of what spices up our lives, we may realize that some spices need to be exchanged for another spice. In some cases we will want to increase the use of a spice or limit the use of another spice. We may also find that some spices need to be removed completely from our spice rack.

For Christians, the LORD is central in the spices of our life.

In Ecclesiastes Solomon realized that all tasks and endeavors of life (unless already sinful) become useless and unimpressive (vanity) when done without the LORD. He also realized that all tasks (unless against God’s Will), even those which are mundane, when done with the LORD are important. Comparably– all spices in our life, over time, will lose their spiciness without the LORD involved. When the LORD is central in our life, then the spices in our life will retain their zest.

 

Family Zing

A very excellent spice to pursue is a strong marriage and family. The love betwFamily Spiceeen a man and a woman who are fully dedicated to each other is a spice that gives a superb flavor to life like no other. The love of our spouse can make a bad day seem insignificant. The love of our spouse can provide the foundation to life when challenges arise. If we examine our spice rack and find many spices that take us away from our family, remove or limit those spices. Increase use of those spices that strengthen the zing in our marriage and family.

 

The love between a man and a woman is a spice with excellent flavor.

For some working late is a spice because they are fulfilled by their work, or they like the added income that comes from working hard. Yet if the spice of late work gets in the way of how much time we spend with spouse or children, we want to re-evaluate the application of that spice to our life.

Being heavily involved with all kinds of recreations – electronic gaming, sports, and hobbies are spices in many of our lives. Yet, too much may take time away from our families.

Also become aware of when a spice for our life is not a spice for our spouse. If golf and the clubs that go along with the game are our spice and we have the income to purchase any number of new golf clubs so that golf clubs are throughout our garage and basement, do not be surprised that our spouse does not hold the same enthusiasm for golf as we. He or she will strongly encourage we to limit this spiciness, and rightly so. For some family pictures are a spice in life. Yet, if our spouse does not rejoice that family pictures are everywhere in the house, we may wish to limit that spice. Spice is good, but in love we still want to be aware of our spouse and our family. Apply all spices with love and discernment.

Any of our life spices that minimize time with family should be applied more sparingly even though they are an important spice in our lives. Spices that encourage a strong relationship with our spouse and family are worth increasing.

 

Sinful ZestSinful Spice

Sadly, some of the spices in our rack might be sinful or negative. Negative or sinful spices include: drunkenness; alcohol abuse; drugs; porn; greed; stealing; killing; cheating on our spouse; unmarried sexual encounters, hatred, and rage to mention a few.

When we perceive sinful spices in our rack, we need to repent of those and get rid of them. We may “feel” that we are okay. We may mentally explain why we are okay. Yet, we need to stop using the sinful and negative spices.

Our sinful nature will try to convince us that sinful zest is the best spice.

Of course our sinful nature will try to convince us that sinful zest is the best spice. But, over time sinful spices strangle our ability to have a zest-filled life. The sinful nature will encourage us to become more and more involved with sinful and negative spices. Sinful spices will attempt to make all other spices seem irrelevant and make us captive to the sinful zest.

Alcohol abuse is one sinful spice. It might have begun as an opportunity to be with friends or maybe an opportunity to relax after a hard day. Social drinking is not ungodly, but Satan will not waste an opportunity to turn something that is okay into something sinful. Satan will encourage abuse of alcohol. He will encourage that a person needs more and more to obtain the same feelings or to cover the sad emotions. Finally, whatever joy might have been present is totally replaced by the stressed out feelings and the addiction to alcohol.

Get rid of negative and sinful spices, the dead-spices. Don’t wait for someone else to point them out or get on our case about them. Take steps to change those strangulating-spices. Don’t wait until someone tries to “nag” us out of the dead-spice, their nagging may only encourage us to hold on to a killing-spice that we know is wrong. Don’t wait to hit rock bottom with a negative or sinful dead-spice, for by the time we are on the bottom, getting a dead-end-spice out of our life has become harder (by the grace of God, not impossible).

All sinful and negative spices destroy.

Repent of the use of sinful spices and realize that in Jesus there is forgiveness. Then we will take all the steps we can to replace that sinful spice with a good spice. Realize, that as a redeemed son or daughter of the LORD, we are not meant to be enslaved to the sinful spices.

Satan will try to corrupt the good spices in our lives.

Satan will also try to corrupt every good spice and turn it into an opportunity for sin. Every time a young man and woman becomes quickly involved in sex, the devil is working to corrupt a healthy interest in the opposite sex into a sinful spice by getting them sexually involved before they are ready to be fully committed to each other in marriage. Satan will attempt to turn a husband’s good sex drive away from his wife, and try to get him involved with porn or other women. A woman’s or man’s healthy desire to develop her/his carrier, may be used by Satan to divide them from their family. A man’s love of golf or a woman’s love of running, may be used by the devil to separate them from their family.

As with completely sinful spices, corrupted spices that are used for sin, will enchain and will suck the joy from everything a person pursues.

We need to examine our spice rack and give thought to how Satan might try to warp and ruin the people or events that give passion to our life.

If we perceive that a good spice is being turned bad, then turn that spice back

If we perceive that a good spice is being turned bad, then turn that spice back. When we have some of those negative, dead-spices in our life, identify where we would truly like to be. If we perceive that our love of being a HAM radio operator is keeping us from church so that we can talk and listen to others on the other side of the world, use that spice properly. If we perceive that our love of fishing has caused us to spend too much money or has taken time from our family, cut back to a proper use of that spice.

Repent, for using a sinful spice as our zest, or allowing a good spice to become sinful will bring awful flavors to our life. Remember that in Jesus we are forgiven, and replace the negative spices with positive.

 

Spiritual PassionSpiritual spice

Some of the events that spice up our life should be Spiritual. Our relationship with the LORD and our spiritual growth are very important. Every Christian needs to consider and realize which spices might encourage or discourage our relationship with the LORD.

 

 

Which spices encourage or discourage our relationship with the LORD.

Spiritual growth spices can include – home and church founded Bible study; teaching a class; helping with church leadership; doing service projects that have a strong center in the gospel message and outreach; service projects at church; reading that encourages our relationship with Christ; music; prayer; and so on.

Liberally use spices that encourage our Christian spirit

If we realize that none of the spices in our rack help with spiritual growth, we will want to add some spices. If all of our spices are recreational, or all work oriented, we will want to add something to our spice rack that encourages spiritual growth.

Two of my spices are bicycling and reading. Keeping fit is important but bicycling is not a spice for spiritual growth. If I added listening to a book or Bible passages while peddling, then it would fill some for spiritual growth. If like me, reading is a way to increase the muscle of your relationship with the LORD and with growth, that is good.

If Christian music increases your spiritual growth, use that spice. If small group Bible studies, if service projects, if sharing the Word through teaching, if reading books that focus on the Christian faith – use that spice or spices generously.

 

The Shrinking Spice Rack

Our spice rack will change and may even shrink. Those things which were major spices when we were in our twenties, may not be as spicy for us in our 30s.

Our spice rack will change and may even shrink.

We might find that we are focusing on fewer spices. This might be good or bad.   If we have lost some spices or changed some spices, please ask, “Is this spice change a good thing?” Ask, “Have I fallen into such a rut that what used to be a passion is no longer a passion? Or am I focusing on certain spices with greater joy and even though fewer they are deeply enriching my life?”

Sadly, some spices will become impossible for us to use. Because of injuries an avid runner for whom the wind in his/her face, the beating of the heart, and the burning in the legs may have been a major and daily spice, may have to replace that spice because they can no longer run.

Without spices that give us zest,

our life can become like eating bland, tasteless food.

We need to be aware of losing many of the spices that give our life zing. Without spices that give us zest, our life can become like eating bland, tasteless food. Always try to develop the spices that give our life zest and if we need to lose a spice, add another to replace it. If we were active, but lately have fallen into the rut of being lethargic, find a spice that encourages activity. If we had been an avid college football fan, but got away from it, we want to try to re-energize that spice in our life.

 

Have a Spicy Life

The LORD has redeemed us and made each of us special. He has given us various spices for our lives and works into our nature that various events and people give us zing. For our life to be full, we want to be aware of what gives our life passion, get rid of bad spices, and develop the good spices in our life

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