There are few things that elicit as rapid a response as chugging a mouth full of spoiled milk. Some people can smell the putrification without opening the container. Some do not have the ability to detect the condition by smell. One thing is for certain, spoiled milk usually still looks like unspoiled milk.
The long term impact of misjudging milk, while unpleasant, isn’t serious for most. The long term impact of other misjudgments are often more dire. Are the car tires safe? Are the propane tank fittings properly secured? Is my mentor really looking out for my best interests?
While the questions above are centered on other things and other people, the same questions really should be directed inwardly. Am I really God’s person? Am I God’s person no matter the cost, inconvenience, or immediate consequence?
Posturing and pretending to be God’s impacts eternity, both mine and those gullible to the point of following my lead. Hence the warning: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1).
There is a certain power and prestige that comes with having others think of you as a wise teacher. Jesus encountered some who reveled in the notariety, but did not trouble themselves by becoming: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27)
Being deceitful is worse than being blatantly defiant. Jesus likened it to a mouth full of spoiled milk, or in this case a tepid drink: “…because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). It takes professional help to misunderstand that!
Better to be “ALL IN” than to be spit out.