How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tried it?

How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tried it?

I used to hate this question! I imagine that I was not alone in my experience of hearing this refrain around my dinner table. I was a picky eater and, worse than that, I was stubborn too. I remember one night when my mother had made flounder for dinner.

I hated flounder.

The first time she made it, I had refused to eat it, but she said, “How do you know you don’t like it unless you have tried it?” Reluctantly I tried it and confirmed for myself, and my mother, that I did not like it.  So, when she served the same dish again, I knew I would not be eating it. My mother had different plans. She told me that this was dinner and that I needed to learn to eat foods I do not like because someday I would be a guest in someone’s home and they would serve a dish I did not care for and I would need to eat it to be polite. To be fair, my mother was right. Many times in my life I have been a guest in someone’s home and eaten food I did not like very much to be polite.

For the past several years, I have intentionally been re-trying food that I did not like when I was younger. Strawberries, fish, certain veggies, and so on, because our sense of taste changes as we grow older. I am very glad I have re-tried more foods; because there were so many delicious foods I have been missing out on.

Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people Israel’… So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
— Ezekiel 2:9-3:3


There was a time when the prophet Ezekiel was told by God to eat a scroll. Now this sounds strange enough, but to top it off, the scroll was covered front and back with lamentations too.

I am sure Ezekiel did not want to eat that scroll. Eating a scroll covered in your people’s lament and woe, what could be worse? But he ate the scroll and it was sweet.



God’s Word does not always look appetizing. There are stories that we would like to eat around. There are passages we want to hide in our napkins. There are verses we have tried and we have no desire to try again (like my mother’s flounder).  But when we embrace the Word of God entirely, the creation of our beautiful world and the fall of humanity, the hymns of praise alongside the cries of lamentation, the beautiful birth of our Savior to the violent death on a cross, it will taste as sweet as honey.