Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Losing Your Sense of Taste

By Joe Chesser
    I am so happy that God created in us the sense of taste. What a blessing it is to taste the sweetness of ice cream or the slurpy goodness of spaghetti or butter on a hot roll. And what about bacon or corn on the cob or biscuits and gravy?! Yes, I am also thankful for the taste of salads and broccoli and green beans. The sense of taste enriches life’s experiences.
    Among the symptoms of COVID-19 is the temporary loss of taste and smell (the two senses are closely connected). How disappointing it is to open a jar of peanut butter and smell nothing or bite into Big Mac and wonder why you bothered! By their very nature, diseases rob us of the good things God has created. Though the temporary loss of the sense of taste and smell is very minor compared to some other symptoms of COVID-19, it does remind me of a biblical principle: sin robs us of the joy of tasting the goodness of the Lord!
    Often the Bible uses the sense of physical taste to describe our spiritual relationship with God. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119.105), “they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb” (Psalm 19.10). “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34.8).  “Like new born babies, crave the spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2.2-3). To taste that the Lord is good is a way of expressing utmost devotion to and love for God. Tasting God and His words bring sweetness and nourishment to our spirit; it brings assurance and peace and joy; it brings growth and maturity. For this to happen, we need to let the sweetness of God’s words strengthen our hearts and enable us to live for Him, to fight off Satan and the spiritual disease of sin.
    Just as coronavirus can rob us of the sense of taste we had enjoyed for so long, so also can spiritual diseases rob us of the taste we had of the goodness of the Lord. The writer of Hebrews warned his Christian audience of the danger of falling away from the Lord due to inactivity and immaturity. This was true even though they had “tasted the heavenly gift” and “tasted the goodness of the word of God” (Hebrews 6.4-6). But instead of growing to maturity, they were slow to learn, still needing the milk of God’s word. Because they were not using God’s word they were not being trained by it to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5.11-14). Plus, their continuing problem with sin (a spiritual disease) was contributing to their losing their taste of the goodness of the Lord (Hebrews 10.26-31). Sin will do that. It will dull our senses of the goodness of God and encourage us to give up.
    The good news is that when we are aware of losing our sense of taste for the Lord, we can do something about it. In a series of “let us” statements (Hebrews 10.22-25), the Hebrews writer encouraged these struggling Christians to renew their taste by drawing near to Him, holding on to their hope in Him and encouraging each other to do the same.
    So, keep your taste for the goodness of God alive and active. Don’t ever lose it.
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com

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