Published November 2, 2010

Shelia Shares....
"I'm A Pepper, You're A Pepper..."

This year I had my first garden. It was right by our front door. On one side of the stoop were three potato plants. On the other side of the stoop were two pepper plants. The peppers produced and the potato plants grew above ground but produced no potatoes.

I planted two types of peppers (Lady Bell and Big Bertha), not knowing what type of peppers they would be. I didn't know if they were green peppers or red peppers. Until someone from our congregation told me, I didn't know that red peppers are green peppers that remained on the stalk and mature. The red peppers taste sweeter than the younger green peppers.

I noticed that peppers on one stalk can be all different sizes and shapes. My peppers were wide and thin, short and long, big and little. They did not all look like each other. But, all were peppers.

There is a spiritual lesson here. People in the church are like these peppers. Some have accepted Jesus as Savior, but there is little growth. There might be little growth because the journey just started, little growth because they haven't had proper nourishment or little growth because they only made that first step. Being little is not a sin. One just doesn't want to stay in that place and miss the blessings of growing.

Some Christians are big green peppers. They are active in the church. They have grown but not matured. There are days when the plants droop and sag and days when the plants stand tall. Christians are the same. Some days we all need a stick to prop us up so we can continue to grow.

Some Christians are the red peppers. They are the Christians we especially like to be around. They read the Bible, have an active prayer life and living for Christ is a priority in their lives. They have a concern for people who don't know Jesus and lead others to Christ. They mentor younger Christians with love and exhibit faith in God. They aren't perfect, but they have matured and their lives have a sweet fragrance.

Although different, all these "peppers" in the church are growing on the same stalk. They are rooted in Christ Jesus. Their source of strength comes from Him and because of Him, they can all work together to grow the body of Christ.

Where are you on this "pepper" journey? Are you tiny? Is it because you just started or because you haven't fed yourself? Are you green and growing, absorbing every bit of nourishment you can or have you reached that bright red color of maturity? God didn't make us all the same, just as my peppers weren't all the same. The potential is there. Keep growing.

- Shelia

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