The Day My Taste Buds Died

“As a person ages, their taste buds lose some of their acuity,” my daughter’s school book said. We were studying the five senses, and this was the chapter on the sense of taste. “That explains it!” she proclaimed with a shout. “Now I know why you like BRUSSELS SPROUTS! 

We’ve often laughed about her opinion that the only way someone could like such a detestable food was if their taste buds were dead. This funny story, though, reminds me that our tastes change as we grow older, and I’m not just talking about food. 

When I was a young believer, I couldn’t get enough of God’s Word. I was hungry to read it, apply it, and hear God speak through it. The concept that the God of the universe could talk to me through the Bible was awe-inspiring and more than a little humbling. Like a baby with her first taste of ice cream, I approached it with hesitancy, somewhat startled by how different it was than anything else I’d ever experienced. After fully savoring it, however, I eagerly opened my mouth wide—more please! 

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103). 

 I didn’t understand a lot of it, so I read slowly, taking small bites of Scripture and savoring them. I’d mull over a verse throughout the day, pondering what it meant and how it might apply to my life. I memorized some of the most helpful verses. 

But somewhere along the way, my taste changed. Sometimes I preferred reading books about the Bible instead of the Bible itself. Or Christian novels. Or the newspaper. Sometimes I’d reach the end of my day without having opened my Bible at all. But like weeks on an all-potato chip diet would harm my physical health, going days without reading my Bible caused my spiritual health to suffer. And no wonder—I was starving to death. 

“Turn my eyes away from worthless things,” (Psalm 119:37) I prayed. “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.” The promise of Jeremiah 29:13 showed my wayward taste buds the way back: “And you shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.” 

So when our taste buds dull for the Word of God and start craving potato chips instead of a 3-course meal, what are we to do? 

1.  Read a different translation. A few of my favorites are The New Living Translation and the Holman Christian Study Bible. Occasionally, if you’re reading for reflection and not study, a paraphrase like The Message can bring new insight and energy to your devotional time. 

2.  Select a short passage of scripture and read it aloud, emphasizing a different word every time. Rick Warren, in his book 40 Days in the Word, recommends this approach. Here’s an example of what this looks like:  

TASTE and see that the Lord is good.

Taste and SEE that the Lord is good. 

Taste and see that the LORD is good. 

Taste and see that the Lord is GOOD. 

Each point we emphasize opens up a new dimension of meaning and deepens our understanding and application. 

3.  Make a commitment not to read (or watch or click on) anything else until you’ve spent time in God’s Word. For me, this meant committing not to read a “pleasure book,” before I read the Book that could bring me the greatest pleasure

photo credit
Sometimes I approach my devotional time with eagerness and excitement, and sometimes I enter in out of obedience and discipline. Regardless of how I begin, however, I’m always thankful and enriched when I’m finished. Spending time in God’s Word is one of the best ways to position myself in the path of God’s grace and truth. 

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled,” (Matthew 5:6). 

How do you keep your devotional life tasty and fresh? I’d love to hear your ideas. Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you’re reading by email, click here to comment. 

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  10. For the record, I don't like brussel sprouts either (don't even know how to spell them, lol!)

    Love how you pointed out that sometimes we have to let discipline lead us to His word. We can't always expect that we're going to "feel" like sitting down and reading it.

    Isn't it amazing how so often we can find time to watch that t.v. show or read that book but we just can't "find" the time to read His Word? Yes He always blesses us with it!

    Also, "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party is live and waiting for your posts! :)

  11. Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing" linky party today! :)

  12. Wow! Sometimes as Christians our tastes do change and we don't even realize it. We need to focus on getting the true word of God into our systems or we will die.

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