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Selling My Soul for Squid

Every good Adventist knows that squid and most other sea creatures are off-limits when it comes to eating. My parents taught me from a young age which animals the Bible says I should stay away from, and for the most part I followed these guidelines, well, religiously. Some of the strongest tests of willpower I endured were in middle school when my peers would offer me Pizza Rolls or Bagel Bites with pepperoni and I would have to sadly decline. Nothing, however, surpasses the temptation I experienced when I was just a mere two and a half years old. Mind you, even I only know this story from it being relayed to me over the years by my parents, but I thought I would share it with you.

I was living in Korea, just starting to explore the marvelous world around me, and I tottered off during my mother’s tennis lesson. Luckily for me, another woman followed to make sure I did not slip and hit my still-fragile head on anything sharp. Unluckily for me, the woman was unaware of my dietary restrictions. She offered me a piece of dried squid, a common snack in Southeast Asia, and I had a momentary dilemma. On the one hand, I knew the Bible says not to eat squid, and my toddler brain made the connection that therefore, eating squid meant not going to heaven. On the other hand, I was hungry. And maybe a little bit bored. I knew I had to make the right decision so I eventually made up my mind, stood tall, and confidently declared, “I don’t want to go to heaven!” Then I ate the squid.

Thankfully God is not the type to hold a grudge against toddlers, but this story demonstrates the point I want to make. Every action, large or small, has repercussions. We like to think that when it comes to important life choices, we will be able to follow God, but we do not consider Him for the countless little decisions we make in our daily life. Luke 16:10 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” When we spend all our time and effort trying to satisfy selfish desires, we run the risk of making self more important than God. Take a moment to consider if there are any self-indulgent habits in your life, taking up space that could be put to greater use. I know I certainly do. I hope and pray that little by little, with every action of every day, we will be able to shift our focus away from self and towards bringing God glory and spreading the gospel message.

Jamie Kim is currently a 4th year dental student at Loma Linda University

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