“The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” (Prov. 27:7)
My lovely wife and I attempted to make a pizza tonight, and it turned out terrible. Needless to say, we did not finish it, and, after promising to ourselves to do better next time, I took what was left of it outside for whatever stray may come by in the late of the night.
It is not that our opening verse here means that if we were hungry enough, we would have finished that meal, nor does it mean there is any bitterness in the Word of God. “Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:12) All of the Scriptures are for our edification and knowledge of the will of God for our lives.
Those bitters herbs speak of reproving, rebuking and correcting, always in love those brothers and sisters in Christ that have erred, that have either misinterpreted by their own fault, or been led astray by another, the words of God. Most of these you meet will belong to some religious organization or some denomination where traditions tend to override sound Biblical doctrinal truths and it can be quite difficult to discern at times whether or not you are speaking with a born-again believer or one who only believes themselves to be saved.
Here is one of the clues that I can offer you that will help you to discern between the two in this area, when those bitter herbs are offered, when the truth is expounded to them and known as such, if they respond in a way that informs you that they will search out the matter further just in case you may be right, or rather your statements and interpretation of the Scriptures are correct, then you know they are indeed saved and willing to be corrected and grow for the glory of God.
But many I fear fall into the second part of Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Many people that you meet would rather be right, even when the truth is shown to them, than admit that they are wrong. Pride does this.
We will all be changed one day, but the transforming, the renewing of our mind takes a lifetime. “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12)
Here is the problem, those who will walk away from you do so because they believe you are attacking them personally, berating them and not attempting in love to show them truth, these are the ones you will encounter the most often, and it will be very difficult to determine whether they are truly saved or simply deceiving themselves and are no more than clouds without rain.
But that is not to be our first priority, saved or not if this person does not know the truth, then what they believe they will pass on to others, and that my friends is why there are so many dead churches out there, why there is so much confusion about the will and Word of the Almighty.
David prayed earnestly and often to be shown truth, truth that can only come from the Lord. The Holy Spirit is willing to show you all truth, if you are willing to swallow some bitter herbs.