I watched a friend slice open a beautiful mango. It was just the right firmness with a striking blend of red, orange, yellow and green. It was a beauty. It was the inside that was impressive – impressively bad. Black. What a disappointment. Where was the lush yellow meat that makes it worth spending so much? Now I could launch into a discussion of the old “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but that is too easy. We have all met handsome and beautiful people that weren’t nice to be around. That is mixing too many metaphors, something my English teacher hated.
What it did remind me of was the mango trees on our campus in Uganda. We never could get a good mango because our students ate them green. There was no opportunity to pick one that was ripe. These were already gone lest someone else get them. Our students claimed they liked them green. I don’t know about that.
Now I do have something to talk about. When someone is born again often there is an expectation for them to be a mature Christian and we pounce on them or criticize them behind their backs when they stumble. They are still green but somehow we erroneously expect them to be better than we, who have been Christians for decades. Not only is that not fair, it is unrealistic. Good things take time to be. Just as grace and forgiveness were given prior to their Christian walk so grace and forgiveness must become daily fare. Someone might ask, “What about perfection?” Jesus isn’t our righteousness only when we are born again. He continues to be our righteousness. Maturation is a life-long process.
Written by Roger Bothwell on May 27, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574