Remember the 1980’s Wendy’s commercial? 81 year old Clara Peller inspects the burger from the fictitious fast food chain “Home of the Big Bun.” While the other ladies marveled over how big and fluffy the bun was, Clara clearly was not impressed and croaked the iconic words “where’s the beef?”
It was a reminder that a good burger should include a hefty portion of beef. The campaign was a complete hit! There were even T-shirt’s, bumper stickers, frisbees and even a board game centered around the humorous slogan. People loved it.
In many ways, like Clara, people are looking at Christians and they aren’t impressed, saying “where’s the love?” If Christians are supposed to be like Christ, then there should be proof. They should have a good portion of love in them – and people are looking for it.
It begs the questions, are we just an oversized fluffy bun, looking like the real deal on the outside but with the bare minimum in the inside? Or, is our love popping out of us, like a big juicy burger patty that’s bigger than the bun holding it?
Oswald Chambers reminds us that what God pours in us shouldn’t be contained saying,
“it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts.”
Notice he said “through” us.. We live in an age where we desire to be filled up. Many of us are looking for personal development. We desire to improve, learn, grow and mature, but Oswald reminds us that this is not God’s end goal. God’s goal is for us to be overflowing – everything that God pours in us should literally be spilling over like a big juicy burger with all the toppings. You shouldn’t be able to contain it.
He goes on to compare us to fruit, as Scripture often refers to the fruits of the spirit; that we should bear fruit (noticeable proof) of the spirit of God in our lives. Just as an orange tree is of no benefit if it doesn’t actually bear oranges (or a hamburger isn’t a burger without the beef), we are not a benefit to others if we do not bear the fruits, or evidence, of Christ in our life.
Chambers goes on to say,
“God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.”
I love this reminder that it’s not about me. While I can’t give what I don’t have and will need to continue to pursue God’s love, it’s of no real value if it’s not flowing out of me and on to others.
The ingredients for the typical hamburger are typically a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and a bun. God gives us an ingredient list for a spirit filled life and “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
Those all sound so pretty and almost poetic until you really think about it and look at each word closely. Love and joy sounds fun until you realize you have to love the unlovable and have joy in all circumstances. Patience is also not easy and let’s not even get started on longsuffering (defined as patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship).
While we have the right to skip some of the hamburger toppings and “have it your way”, we can’t pick and choose what fruits of the spirit we like and skip the ones we don’t like. They should all be noticeable traits developing in us daily if we want to have it His way.
He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow… —John 7:38