When I was a kid, I did not like jelly beans. They had very waxy outer surfaces, and they did not have a very good flavor. Yet, as I have grown up, I have started liking them. I still don’t like the waxy old-fashioned jelly beans. I like the new ones with intense flavors, thin outer layers, and no licorice flavored beans in the mix. Snacking on the beans in my basket, led me to thinking about the changes that God would like to see in our lives.
First, I think we need less of a protective layer than we usually have. We seem to install protective barriers around ourselves that are larger than necessary. Yes, we cannot make ourselves completely vulnerable, but we can make our defenses a little more penetrable. We spend so much time creating barriers, that no one ever sees and experiences the real person behind the barriers. All that is knowable is the waxy exterior. God wants us to have authentic relationships with other people. To do that, we need to have less barriers.
Second, God wants our flavor to be bursting forth. We are each uniquely and wonderfully made. Yet, we spend time dulling our flavor to be as plain as possible. Plain is not who we really are. We are many flavors, and God declares our flavor to be very good. Let’s stop trying to disguise our flavor or blend in with the dominant flavor in the crowd. Let us boldly be the person we were created to be, for we are made in God’s image. Jelly beans have changed since my childhood, and we are called to change as well.