«Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good» (l Thessalonians 5:21)
WOMEN WHO COOK know that the best foods are found in markets where products come directly from the countryside. I have had several adventures in some of these markets which are so typical of Latin American countries. Their extraordinary blend of colors, flavors, and textures cause me to return time and again to repeat the experience. Those sellers who, with their outstretched hands, ask you to try their products are the ones who can help you the most to decide what to take home.
Without tasting you are less likely to buy.
Thinking about this made me ponder the apostle Paul’s counsel: «Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good» (1 Thessalonians 5:21). If we test the physical food we bring to the table before we buy it, shouldn’t we do the same with spiritual and intellectual food? Taking time to test everything that enters our homes and our minds, sometimes imperceptibly, will help to free us from guilt, corrupting habits, and philosophies that may distort or dim our vision of eternity.
Just as you do with food, test what enters your home through electronic devices, music, and those seemingly «innovative» ideas that captivate the senses by turning them away from the serene connection with God. These are times to be alert.
Life is sometimes like a marketplace: it sells ideas, philosophies, concepts, and styles of conduct that can corrupt the «temple» of the Holy Spirit, which we are. The Lord’s admonition is: «Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?» (2 Corinthians 13:5).
If after reading this reflection you are ready to go out to the supermarket to look for food for your family, enjoy the colors, aromas, and flavors, and praise God for His generosity in allowing us to experience the delight of eating. When you go out into the «marketplace» of life, apply the same formula: examine, test, and choose, so that you will make the right choices. Not everything that looks good is good. Test what you hear, what you see, what you read, and what you touch! Your well-being depends on it, as does the well-being of the people who are in your circle of action. In this task you are not alone; God is with you.