Lettuce…Peter…What kind of a connection is that?
Quite a stretch it may seem to connect expired lettuce
to the expressions of Peter, but while we may aspire to lofty things we live among the ordinary. Romaine, especially if bought in bulk, goes the way of the earth getting soggy and brown on its way back to dust. Lettuce is no more immune to decay than grass that withers or flowers that fall1. In the fourteenth verse of first Peter chapter 1 we see an admonition:
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance…” (I Peter 1:14; ESV)
Peter said here that the pre-Christian life knew unhealthy intentions and evil tendencies. By labeling them passions he tied to them energy and desire. He said that the things done in that mode were done ignorantly, by default if you will. Having entered into a relationship with God through the atonement of Jesus Christ that ignorance has gone. New knowledge had arrived, but the passion and interest in them was not necessarily erased. It was still possible to conform to those things were were desired evils. Their new knowledge required a response, a choice, an obedient decision to move away from the soggy brown lettuce of an old and rotten lifestyle.
Do not be conformed to the style of life before Christ
Sometimes I pick certain of my kids up from ball practice and bring them home. Often they will ask, “what’s for dinner.” Sometimes I know and sometimes I don’t. Eventually we get back to the house and upon entering the kitchen see a warm and shiny pot with its lid on. The aroma doesn’t always give full disclosure, but the kids in hungry hope may walk around to the stove and lift the lid. Before they look they do not know what to expect. They are ignorant of what the pot holds. Once they lift that lid and have knowledge of what is in the pot they have to respond (and usually take it upon themselves to express their opinion rather decidedly…either mom is the best or something else).
Coming back to this letter of Peter he reports that the pot of the unsanctified, pre-Christ way of life cooked, but the meals were terrible. They did not always taste that way at the beginning, but meals eaten, meals digested do not always have a happy outcome. After a person accepts the offer of God and lifts the lid on that pot of the prior life one can see the bubbling of the ignorant choices. The steam and smell of that pot rises rather rapidly into the face. “Not good!” After accepting the gift of God one must take the new knowledge found in God’s word and cook with those vegetables, cook with that meat, use that lettuce. Peter says we are not to conform to the old ways. We are not to wrap our lives around the evil in the pot which we now can see is evil. We are to be transformed. Just as we would not cook with rotten meat or make salad with the soggy brown lettuce we must not live our lives in the sins and style of our former ignorance.