Honey or Vinegar

D L Henderson
4 min readDec 8, 2023

December 8, 2023

Here’s another essay I wrote and posted in the local newspaper some 50 years ago. Any major edits are bracketed { }.

Many people today scoff at the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They correctly say, “Christians have been looking for Jesus’ return ever since He left.”

So, where is He?

{Yet, the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you all, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” — 2 Peter 3:9}

Well, if things haven’t changed for you, and if it’s the same old same old, you probably haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity that is yours in the advent of Jesus Christ.

Many act independently from any moral code, as if there were no ethical absolutes. It is our nature to like the easy ways. So, at best, we prefer “situational ethics.” Nobody seems to understand that personal disciplines bring a certain freedom. {Physical exercise, for example, brings about freedom for competently participating in sports. This holds true in all segments of our lives, including moral discipline in adhering to the laws and precepts of God.}

{“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.” — James 1:25}

While we think we can get around God’s laws of morality and social ethics by ignoring them — as if there were no consequences or judgments or justice — we have conveniently forgotten that every action has a reaction, {a consequence that might even snowball through time and social spaces}.

Each person is responsible for what they say and do. There may be pleasure in sin for a season, but it is short-lived. (Hebrews 11:25) The more a person sins, the less they are satisfied.

The prowling wolves, Satan and his ilk, know that one can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. They know it too well. The devil will suck you in, and you will end up in his belly of misery and despair. You will get tangled up in all kinds of bad habits. Then, you will be abandoned and convinced that it was all your idea in the first place. {“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 2:1–2).}

Satan and his ilk will waste your time with all sorts of high-minded ideas, but he will turn it around and will oppress you with guilt if you follow them. {You don’t think that Satan is real? No mysterious poser floating about? Haven’t you ever had a random thought just suddenly pop into your head that bothered you, because you did not recognize it as your own?}

Jesus came to set us free from such mischievous devices. He will bring harmony into your life {from the noisy cacophony playing within your head}.

When you seek Jesus, He will find you. (He is truly looking for us.) If you can only admit that you have made somewhat of a mess of your life, or that you have become bound by bad habits, or that you have fallen into the deceitfulness of sin, or that you have been sucked into a life of misery and despair by outside voices, surely you can admit such things to the merciful Saviour, Jesus!

{Maybe “the devil did make you do it,” but it was in a tangential way, and you were actually the one who did choose to do it. You’re the one stuck with its consequences.}

Begin to talk to the Lord right now. Be honest. Be open. Use your own words. You can say something like this, “Jesus, I’ve screwed up, What I’ve been doing is wrong, and I’m responsible. Please forgive all my sins. Come into my life. Lead me in your ways. I’m learning that you want the best for me. Thank you for caring, taking the blame for my mistakes, dying for me at Calvary. Thank you Jesus…” {Those words are just a kind of format to help you get started. Remember that using your own words is most important. Just reciting somebody else’s words without sincerity is worthless. God wants to hear words from your heart!}

--

--

D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between