My mother-in-law taught me how to make chocolate covered peanuts. It isn’t very difficult, but she had a trick that made all the difference. She bought small redskin peanuts to cover. Before coating them, we cleaned as many of the skins off as possible. We did this by rubbing the peanuts together in a bowl to loosen the skins. Then we took them outside and poured them from one bowl into another with the bowls about a foot apart. The wind caught the skins and blew them away as the peanuts passed through the open space between bowls, leaving them clean and ready for coating with chocolate. This is my favorite Christmas treat!

The skins on the peanuts are much like the hulls on wheat. When wheat kernels are rubbed together, the hulls are loosened and easily blow away as chaff. Chaff has no substance, no strength, no enduring qualities. It is rubbish.

The psalmist characterizes those who draw me away from upright living as chaff.

4Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

Psalm 1:4

I know how convincing cynical, corrupt people appear. I know how easy it is to pause and listen, to take note of the theories they espouse, to sit down and adopt these ways as my own. I forget that they are chaff – the tough exterior that falls away leaving no substance or enduring qualities.

Step away and take a hard look at who influences your thinking. Are they worthy of your time and effort? Do they have substance behind their tough exterior? Can they be trusted?

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