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Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS -

IS IT OK to like dark choco­late?

I like dark choco­late; I know most peo­ple pre­fer milk choco­late and oth­ers are lovers of white choco­late. I am no choco­late ex­pert and I do not like the bit­ter taste of the 70% or richer dark choco­late. Do you mind that I like dark choco­late? What has this to do with a re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus?

I am con­cerned that we are los­ing or not even valu­ing the di­ver­sity we en­joy in choco­late and more im­por­tant ar­eas of our lives.

When it comes to churches and styles of wor­ship­ing God, I see ben­e­fit in di­ver­sity. A for­mal style of wor­ship­ing God may help some peo­ple con­nect with God in a mean­ing­ful way, though it may not be help­ful for some­one else. Oth­ers may re­ally flour­ish in their re­la­tion­ship with God with a much more in­for­mal and con­stantly chang­ing style of wor­ship. There are also many dif­fer­ing ways of un­der­stand­ing and ex­press­ing im­por­tant parts of re­li­gious faith.

I would love for peo­ple to be able to con­nect with the love of God, ex­pressed through Je­sus and ex­pe­ri­enced through the Holy Spirit. If dif­fer­ent styles of wor­ship help that to hap­pen then that is to be em­braced and en­cour­aged.

In­di­vid­u­als may take some time to find a wor­ship style that works for them. Can I en­cour­age you to work at it? It is very im­por­tant in our re­la­tion­ship with God, to wor­ship God in re­la­tion­ship with other peo­ple; this is what church is about. Find a good church and be com­mit­ted to it, and them to you.

As with any­thing, be­ing with oth­ers means we will not al­ways get our own way. While this is dis­ap­point­ing and frus­trat­ing it is also good for us. We sub­mit our lives to our lov­ing Heav­enly Fa­ther who knows us and what is best for us, just like a lov­ing par­ent guides their young chil­dren.

In 1 Corinthi­ans Chap­ter 9 verse 16 on­ward Paul dis­cusses the ben­e­fit of putting aside our own pref­er­ences, likes and wants for the sake of oth­ers. Paul is so ea­ger for oth­ers to ex­pe­ri­ence God’s love through Je­sus, that he will­ingly puts aside his pref­er­ences if it will help oth­ers grow in their re­la­tion­ship with God. Paul is still care­ful that his own re­la­tion­ship with God is strong and pleas­ing to God, in all he does.

Our wider so­ci­ety seems to be chang­ing from en­joy­ing rich di­ver­sity, to min­i­miz­ing many be­liefs to only those that do not cause of­fence. A richer ap­pre­ci­a­tion of dif­fer­ence, even if we don’t agree, can be a good thing.

I, like Paul in the bi­ble, do hope you can come to ex­pe­ri­ence a rich re­la­tion­ship with God through Je­sus. En­joy your choco­late what­ever your pref­er­ence. God loves you and val­ues you in­di­vid­u­ally. Rev’d David Will­sher, Kyabram Angli­can Church

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