Stewed Tomatoes and Tennis Shoes


The Christian experience is subjective. But it is based on an objective reality.

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

If you want to prove that the resurrection of Jesus Christ two thousand years ago really happened, here’s another piece of evidence: the transformation of millions of people when they become related by faith to the person of Jesus. Even though these people come from every walk of life and from all nations of the world, they experience change in remarkably similar ways.

Some say that the changed life of a Christian is just the result of wishful thinking. Or they excuse it by saying it doesn't prove a thing. The subjective experience of a Christian, however, comes from an objective, real cause. This objective reality is the person of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.

For example, suppose a student comes into the room and says, “Hey, I have a stewed tomato in my right tennis shoe. This tomato has changed my life. It has given me peace and love and joy that I never experienced before.” It’s hard to argue with a student like that if his life backs up what he says. A personal testimony is often the subjective argument for the reality of something. So don’t dismiss a subjective experience as being irrelevant.

For one person’s subjective experience to apply to other people, however, it has to pass two tests. First, what is the objective cause of the subjective experience? Second, how many people have had the same subjective experience from being related to the objective reality?

If you apply these two tests to the stewed tomato in the tennis shoe, what happens? To the first question, the guy would reply, “A stewed tomato.” The second question would be put this way: How many people in this classroom, in this school, in this country, on this continent, and so on, have experienced the same love, peace, and joy as a result of stewed tomatoes in their right tennis shoes? The answer would be no one! So this subjective experience is bogus.

But apply those same two tests to the Christian experience. First, the objective reality behind our subjective experience is the person of Christ and his resurrection. Second, millions of others-from all backgrounds and nationalities-have experienced new levels of peace, joy, and victory by turning their lives over to Christ.

The Christian experience is subjective. But it is based on an objective reality. And it has been dramatically duplicated countless times in all kinds of people.

REFLECT: Your changed life is a testimony to the power of the living Christ. Are you allowing him to continue to transform you into his image?

PRAY: God, change me so my friends can see your power at work. Make my life a convincing display of the power that raised Christ from the dead.

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