How Well Done is Your Loaf?

by mjongsma on June 20, 2012

“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” Psalm 105:19

Every year I spend 3 weeks in Denver teaching at the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy. In my Senior Life Skills course (grades 11-12), one of our focal areas is the subject of “integrity”. When asked the meaning of this word, the students offered the following definitions:

  • Doing the right thing when no one is watching.
  • Doing the right thing regardless of consequences.
  • Doing what you are supposed to do.

I pointed out to them that while these are accurate definitions, the word has an even deeper meaning – “the same throughout”. This applies to your life on 2 levels: inside to outside and beginning to end. Integrity is more than honesty. Integrity is understanding who you are, who you have been created to be – your purpose, your identity – and then staying true to that,  pursuing it with consistency and perseverance.

Consider the picture to your right. When you look at it, I’m fairly certain that you immediately identify it as a loaf of bread. In doing so, you also make the assumption that if you slice off the left end, the right end or down the middle, it will be bread. You also assume that if you were to core down into the loaf, what you find on the inside will match what you see on the outside. So it should be with your life.

From beginning to end, you should be pursuing that unique purpose for which you have been created and then giving everything you have to turning your potential into reality. What you say you believe, should be reflected in how you live, how you allocate your resources. That is to say, your crust should match your core. You should be the same throughout.

God understands that it takes time to move from the initial mixing of the ingredients, to the curing of the dough, to the finished, well-baked product. This is not a process that can be rushed or have corners cut. As with Joseph, while God may plant in our hearts a vision of His plans for us, He must also subject us to the slow, painstaking procedure of growing, testing and refining in us a character that can withstand any challenges we will face.

How well done is your loaf (life)? Do you pass the “same throughout” test of integrity? Are you passionately pursuing your purpose? No one, especially God, wants a half-baked loaf of bread.

Pastor Jason

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie Jongsma June 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

Nice illustration, Pastor Jason. It reminds me that I might not like how hot it is in the oven of God’s trials, but I have to endure them if I want to be transformed from a sticky mess into something substantial that can feed others. :)

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Pastor Jason June 25, 2012 at 7:21 am

Amen. Nobody wants to be a hot mess!

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Evelyn Webb June 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Your loaf of bread illustration has reminded me of how many times my Lord and saviour has taken my “1/2-baked” sticky life of broken relationships and poor health and turned it to a time of strength for me to be of help to someone. The “baking ” is sometimes too hot or even painful, but there is always a lesson to help me change myself. Thank you for reminding me of this.

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Pastor Jason June 25, 2012 at 7:27 am

What is so important for us to remember is that we will never be done until we get to heaven. You judge the quality of the bread while it’s still cooking in the oven.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT).
Have patience because God is not through with us yet! Praise Him.

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