Packing Peanuts

When you have been eating the Word- the Living Word- can you easily move on to eating styrofoam packing peanuts and not notice? Of course not! You spit that bite right out. Lame. Weird. Useless. The world is trying to imitate the Christian feast on the word of God with their packing peanut eating festivals. They love to pass them around and encourage each other to try more and more- always looking for a bite that might actually fill the awful hunger. Have you tried the pale pastel packing peanut yet?!?! Christian, if you are at the World’s table trying to be fed you are in defiance of your God. There is a feast on His table. There is a place with your name on it. There is food (real life giving food) abundant. There is mercy, and joy, and laughter, and glory at this table, and there is actual satisfaction from that hunger. Some people think I am too abrupt or harsh on this point. Don’t I know that people eating at the styrofoam table are hungry? Don’t I know that their hearts are hurting? Don’t I know that they feel sad? YES. I know! But I also know what this lame table of worldly wisdom is keeping them from. Real healing. Real food. Real companionship and community. Real life. Real hope. Real joy. Drop the packing peanuts and grab hold of the table of the Lord. 

Rachel Jankovich

A friend and I were casually chatting this past weekend about what it looks like when Christians go out into the world and are the ‘real deal’. Meaning, when believers walk their talk. When they don’t compartmentalize their lives into different areas, but just live out of the Biblical lens from which everything else flows. Christians who don’t change their behavior according to who they are around. I like folks like that, and they aren’t terribly easy to come across. These aren’t perfect people, mind you… not by a long shot. They are just people who have come to Jesus’ table and found the real food.

There’s a vast amount of finger-wagging over this subject in some circles, and not surprisingly, it’s all coming from the folks who are still over eating styrofoam peanuts. The “make room at the table!” analogy has been twisted to put the burden of ‘room-making’ on us mere mortals. I can neither force not prevent someone from taking their proper place here. This is God’s table. Can I invite others? Absolutely. Can I try and describe the deliciousness of the food here? Yes. It’s so fulfilling because it was bought at a great price. There is a place for all, but not all are willing to take their place. Some are more comfortable eating the packing peanuts because less is required of them over there.

The solution isn’t to leave God’s table because it seems too exclusive. Perhaps we should understand the beauty in the narrowness. God loves and invites us all, no exceptions. Feeding folks styrofoam because it’s easier isn’t what the Christian is called to do. The world needs the real-deal believers, the ones who aren’t ashamed to be feasting at Jesus’ table and who can say to those hurting, “Come, pull up a chair!”

The foam peanut crowd is always going to be dry-mouthed and thirsty. Wanting and needing more. More approval for their sin, more attention to their cause, more distraction to keep them busy. The folks at Jesus’ table are the real deal not because they are super-Christians who have their lives perfectly in order… they are simply receiving and partaking of the Living Water offered to us all. When you get it, you are able to give it away.

Drop the peanuts and get a hold of some real food. Be the real deal Christian that the world needs more of. When you are feeding on the right kinds of things, the superficial and burdensome things start to fall away.

“Eat it. Value it, cherish it, scoop it up and put it in your pocket. It is free. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Fall in love with it. That is the way you have the treasure. Eat. “Everyone who thirsts. Come to the waters. You who have no money come buy and eat. Come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your labor for that which is not bread?” (Isaiah 55:1). It is free. 

John Piper

3 thoughts on “Packing Peanuts

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  1. It’s a hard balance of attending to emergent societal issues, and keeping the main thing the main thing. Do you sometimes get the sense that the former is a sneak attack against the latter? A massive distraction campaign? I get that sense.

    1. This is a very true observation Brandon! Keeping the main thing at the center while trying to fend off all the garbage that seemingly comes out of nowhere. I think our whole culture is a massive distraction sometimes!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, too many people eating at the wrong table, and too many of them are those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. We need a revival.

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