Monday, November 19, 2012

National Gumdrop Day

I bet you didn’t know that there was such a thing! Well guess what? There is! It is always on February 15 and can you imagine the flavors and the colors that go along with that day? Personally, I don’t like gumdrops. I don’t care for the flavors. Which is a story in itself.
Over the past year, I’ve tried to lose weight…so I’ve changed how I comment on certain foods. In the past I’ve said, “I don’t like fruits and vegetables.” Now I say, “Fruits and vegetables are good.” I’m learning. But gumdrops are fake fruit. I still don’t like fake fruit, like Kool Aid, popsicles, etc. Now I can get back to gumdrops.

So on February 15, the colorful little drops of sugar should be prevalent wherever you are. I do love the colors of these confections. Bright and cheery. Bold and screaming, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a gumdrop!”

The flavors are vibrant as well. When you bite into one, that fake fruit flavor is there. I know most people love that flavor.

And of course, the texture is probably the most memorable thing. It is crunchy on the outside because of the sugar and the inside is firm jell. You know you are eating a gumdrop when you eat a gumdrop.

There’s even a song about gumdrops. “Goody, goody gumdrops. My heart is doing flip flops. See what love can do. I’m gonna shout it from the roof tops. Goody, goody gumdrops. With a girl like you.”[i] I’ll be singing that song for a while!

Regardless of whether you like gumdrops or not, they are fun. They can be used in crafts, cooking, and for snacking. They can be spiced or non-spiced. For some, they may get stuck in your teeth, for others, you might lose a tooth by eating a gumdrop.

I suspect you’re wondering what God has to teach us about gumdrops. Well here it is.

As a Christian, we may be bright and cheery and seek attention. We may be tough on the outside, but gooey on the inside. We may be spicy or plain. But regardless of what we are, we cannot be fake. We must be genuine.

So let’s look at Romans 12 to see how we are to live a genuine, Christ-like life.

Live sacrificially – Romans 12:1
Live humbly – Romans 12:3, 16
Live in unity – Romans 12:4-5
Live as gifted - Romans 12:6-8
Live lovingly – Romans 12:9-10
Live zealously – Romans 12:11
Live joyfully in hope – Romans 12:12
Live patiently in affliction – Romans 12:12
Live faithfully in prayer – Romans 12:12
Live generously – Romans 12:13
Live hospitably – Romans 12:13
Live harmoniously – Romans 12:16
Live fairly – Romans 12:17
Live peaceably – Romans 12:18
Live well – Romans 12:23

Now that is quite a list! As we fill our hearts with these words, we’re able to see how to live lives that are not fake. But we also know that without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, living this way would be improbable. No, impossible.

As we allow God’s Spirit to produce good fruit in our lives, the guidelines in Romans 12 become doable. Our desire to live in such a way grows within us. It becomes imperative that our lives are no longer considered fake, but genuine.

There is another verse in this chapter that will help us as well. Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what god’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

You see, if we live as the world lives and think as the world thinks, we will be fake. Satan, the great deceiver, is the ruler of this world. There can be nothing genuine where he reigns.

But when we are transformed into what God wants us to be, we are able to be genuine. We are genuine because our God is genuine. Then when we are transformed, our minds will be renewed. Renewed for genuineness.

The next time you pick up a gumdrop, think of how God wants you to live. Not as a fake, or phony “Christian,” but as a genuine, living-life-to-the-full, Christ follower.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


[i] Goody, Goody Gumdrops, 1910 Fruitgum Company, 1968

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