What’s on Your Plate?
Evil starts outside of us … right?
ASIA — Sitting around a conference table, Crossworld worker Charlie and his vendor-friend Sahil continued talking even after their meeting was over. Then suddenly their conversation changed.
“Please don’t take offense,” said Sahil, a vegetarian, “but do you realize part of the problem with the world is because of meateaters? People who eat meat have no mercy. They kill animals for food, and there is no remorse. This is why we have wars — because people don’t have mercy on living things.”
Though somewhat surprised by the comment, Charlie smiled at the leap forward their friendship had just taken with this conversation.
“Sahil, I will truly think about this,” Charlie said. “I respect your opinion, and it could be that what you say is true.” He paused a moment, gauging his friend’s interest. “May I also give you an alternate possibility?”
Charlie got out his smart phone and pulled up Matthew 15. “Jesus has a special teaching about this. He says that what we eat goes into our body and leaves. But the things that come from inside us — thoughts of evil, murder and theft — it’s these that defile us. So is food the real problem, or could it be man’s heart?”
Sahil furrowed his brow, puzzled.
“Sahil, did you have to teach your child to disobey?” Charlie asked.
“No,” Sahil replied.
“Then where did he learn to do bad things?”
Sahil sat still, unable to answer.
“I think the problem is more complex than our diet,” Charlie said quietly.
When Charlie got home that evening, he wrote an email to Sahil. I hope that we can talk again about our conversation today. I also want to share with you Jesus’ own words. “Jesus called the people to Him and said….” With each word he typed, Charlie prayed that his friend would believe these seeds of truth.
Italicized names were changed to protect identities.
Talking about Jesus doesn’t have to be awkward — it can happen naturally in conversations about food, work and hobbies if we’re just willing to speak up.
“I’m convinced that Charlie’s reply to his friend was actually inspired by God.” Read more of President Dale Losch’s response in the Better Way blog.
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