Written by Chase Trimmier
I am a creature of habit and tend to get into routines pretty easily. I find what I like and usually never stray far from it. Except on the occasion when I am faced with a bad experience of a good thing. I don’t know about you, but when a good thing gets ruined it’s as if all of the good becomes overshadowed by what has spoiled it and I’d rather give up on the good thing altogether.
My wife and I have a strong sweet tooth that typically starts aching late in the evening. So the other night around 9 o’clock we decided to order one of our favorite dessert’s, Tres Leches cake. Some of you might not be familiar with this dessert, but it is a tasty Mexican classic that really just comes straight from heaven. We placed our order To-Go and excitedly drove home eager to devour our cakes. We got home, opened them up and grabbed the forks.
I have had this dessert too many times that I have lost count! I know the exact taste, the smell, the presentation of it… everything! As I sunk my teeth into the first bite I knew something was wrong. The presentation was perfect, the smell was spot on, but once I tasted what was on the inside I couldn’t spit it out quick enough!
What was supposed to taste sweet ended up tasting just like an enchilada… seriously. We found out that the cake had been stored in the same refrigerator with the enchilada sauce and had taken on some of the flavor. Needless to say, the restaurant gave us free slices later that were great, but every time we order that dessert, I am always a little hesitant before that first bite. What if it has that terrible taste again? What if it ruins my appetite for it? If it is bad, I may never order it again!
Have you ever experienced something like this in your life? Perhaps your experience is not necessarily with a ruined dessert, but maybe with something a little more personal. What happens when you’re following Jesus and everything is going great, but then you experience hurt? A pastor does something that completely shatters the trust of his congregation. A parent who took you to church every Sunday growing up would turn around and come home and
abuse you. It leaves a bad taste in our mouth and makes us hesitant to connect with those people or the church ever again.
If you are reading this and have ever been hurt by the Church or someone who claims to love Jesus let me first say that I am very sorry and secondly you are not alone. In fact, the Bible shows us multiple times where the Church had to be corrected. We find a format when we see people corrected in the Bible consisting of two parts: truth and reconciliation.
Part 1 is Truth.
Truth exposes where there is a wrong, and reveals how it can be fixed. In Matthew 16, Peter had this amazing moment with Jesus. Out of all the disciples, Peter was the one to correctly identify Jesus as being the Christ, the son of the living God. Just a moment later, Jesus tells His disciples that he will be crucified and Peter tells Him “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” Jesus then rebukes him and tells Peter “Get behind me because you don’t have the things of God as priority in your mind but instead only your own interests.” Jesus shows Peter, here is where you were wrong and this is what you should have been thinking instead.
Part 2 is Reconciliation.
The very next chapter, Jesus grabs Peter and a few other disciples to head up a mountain to experience one of the craziest things they would ever see. Don’t skip passed that too quickly… Jesus did not give up or disassociate himself from Peter when he needed correction. Instead, the Bible reveals that not much time had passed between Jesus’ correction and his reconciliation with Peter. Jesus did not harbor anger, nor did he engage in gossip with the other disciples when Peter wasn’t around. He simply reconciled with him because ultimately their friendship was more important than Peter’s faults.
These same principles need to apply to our relationships or experiences that have left us with a bad taste in our mouth. Peter was a great guy, a disciple, one of the founders of the local church, but even he made mistakes and said things that offended Jesus.
Unfortunately in this world, we are not exempt from future bad experiences, but are able to overcome the crippling hurt through Jesus’ example of truth and reconciliation.
For Serena and I, the restaurant had created a new plan to keep the Tres Leches cake materials completely separate from all of the other food items. This would ensure there would not be another bad slice of cake. The restaurant came out with the truth and it was my turn to be reconciled and to trust that the problem was fixed.
Maybe you or someone you’re close to may find yourself in this same situation. The truth is none of us are perfect and we will all make mistakes. Here at Cross Timbers we strive to be a community of people pursuing Jesus together. If you have never given Church another opportunity to be reconciled to you then let me be the first to extend an invitation for you to join us. Our mission is to create environments where broken people experience life change through Jesus Christ. I encourage you to take that step to come experience what it means to be Welcomed Home!
Pastor Chase Trimmier