Buttermilk in the Fridge

October 29, 2023

It’s quite common to show up for a group ride or workout and see someone who has not been present for a while and when you inquire about their absence they reply, “life gets in the way.” Interpreted: “When it comes to the priorities of life, my wife, my children, or my job have a priority over my workouts.”  That’s not only understandable but commendable. We all need to make those choices ahead of time about priorities so when it comes to decisions about the use of our 168 hours a week, we make good decisions.

On the other hand, there are times we miss out on things like working out or church activities, or in giving our best at things in life, and the only thing we can say is, “there is buttermilk in the fridge.” Explanation: There was an old preacher who paid a call on a deacon in the church who was not only negligent of deacon duties but was careless about attendance. When the preacher arrived at the deacon’s house and inquired about the matters the deacon replied, “well, there is buttermilk in the fridge.”  To which the preacher looked totally dumbfounded so the deacon said, “one excuse is as lame as another.”

The real point of the matter is our schedule is filled with exactly what we want to do. If in our prioritizing system we have said that God or church is important, then we’ll find a way to be there. If there seems to be a lot of buttermilk in the fridge, maybe we need to do some heart inspection. Jesus was pretty clear about this.

Matthew 12:33–35 (ESV) — 33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

There will always be those things that call for our time which is why we are told to redeem the time or make the most use of our time.

Ephesians 5:15–17 (ESV) — 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.

So, to keep the buttermilk out of the fridge means you set priorities in life and live by them. You become a person of your word and your commitments, and you live by those commitments. Oh, there are times when life gets in the way – when children get sick or accidents happen – and in those times you communicate with others and even seek the help of others. It’s part of being a person of integrity.

Proverbs 11:3 (ESV) — 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

After all, what are we teaching our children?  Make commitments then neglect those commitments whenever there is buttermilk in the fridge… or make commitments based upon your priorities and live by those commitments.

Proverbs 20:7 (ESV) — 7 The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!

Proverbs 25:19 (ESV) — 19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.

Obviously, we make commitments, but things happen which is why we must realize with every commitment we need to seek the will of the Lord and seek His help to carry out every commitment of life. If we don’t, and then neglect what we know we should do and make lame excuses – we sin.

James 4:13–17 (ESV) — 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

It’s best to keep the buttermilk out of the fridge and be a person of your word. It will not only make your life smoother and more satisfying, but will be a blessing to others.


Bob Brubaker, Pastor