I was preaching at a meeting once, when afterward this lady came up to me and said, "Brother Jesse, I'm going to cook you the best gumbo you'll ever eat in your life."

Now, I very seldom ever go to people's homes and eat. It's not that I'm unfriendly; I'm a very friendly man. But if I did that, then I'd have to go eat everywhere. You understand? And I'd weigh five thousand pounds. So I hardly ever go to people's homes to eat dinner.

But this woman said she was going to make me the best gumbo I'd ever eaten, and I thought, "Honey, you've got a long way to go!" I thought that because this woman wasn't even from Louisiana. Now, to make good gumbo, you've got to be from Louisiana, especially Southern Louisiana, where people know how to make gumbo.

You know, some people think a gumbo is just a chicken diving into a pot and then jumping right back out. Well, that's nothing more than plain old boiled chicken. That's not gumbo.

Well, I went over to this woman's home, met her husband and kids, and sat down with the family for dinner. Now, this woman's husband wasn't saved, so he just kind of sat there, checking me out. He knew I was a preacher and probably thought I wanted an offering or something. The kids really liked me, though. They kept saying, "Brother Jesse, we're so glad you came over to our house."

Finally, after all the cooking was done, the woman brought the gumbo in and put it on the table in front of me. She brought it right to me. Now, I looked at that gumbo, and I could tell right away that it was "El Trasho." I could tell just by looking at it. I knew it was bad - I just knew it! So I thought, "Well, I'm going to eat this stuff because Mamma always said, 'Eat whatever is set before you.' And if this woman asks me how it is, I'm going to lie like a dog. That's what I'm going to do." I said to myself, "I'm going to tell a little white lie."

But the Lord heard that and said, "No lies are white, Jesse. You be honest about the gumbo." I told the Lord, "That's easy for You to say. I'm the one down here at this table. I've got to eat this trash, You understand. You're up in heaven saying, 'Suffer.' I don't want to eat this stuff!"

Anyway, she brought the gumbo right over to me, and then everybody just sat there looking at me to see what I was going to do. So with everybody watching, I picked up the spoon - one of those big spoons, you see. It was a gumbo spoon, so it was bigger than a normal spoon. And I noticed that the husband was looking at me funny. He wasn't tasting the gumbo. I mean, he wasn't just looking - he was staring!

Now, the two kids weren't eating anything either. They were just sitting there looking at me, too. I'm not exaggerating a bit. That whole family was just staring at me, and I was thinking, God, what am I supposed to do? I guess they thought that, because I am a Cajun, I was going to test this gumbo properly.

What else could I do? I took this big spoonful of gumbo and put it in my mouth. Arhguhhhhhhh. Awwwwwwwwwghhhh. Son, I mean, it was bad! Whoooooo, it was trash. I mean, bad. Bad. Major bad! You could've killed plants with it! So I sat there going, "Ohhhh." And the woman asked, "Well, how do you like it, Brother Jesse?"

My mind told me, "Lie, lie, lie." And the Lord said, "Don't you lie. You tell her the truth." So I started praying, "Rapture! Get me out of here. Get me out of here. Rapture! Now!"

I didn't want to say anything. I mean, I'm not a rude man. If I told her the gumbo was bad, to me it would be rude. So I was just sitting there with my spoon in my hand, and her husband was looking at me with his spoon in his hand. He hadn't even touched it yet! Neither had the kids!

They were all still just looking at me. So the lady asked again, "Well, how do you like it, Brother Jesse?" I said, "Well, Ma'am...." "God," I thought, "I've got to be honest."

"Ma'am, this is trash."

I had to tell her the truth. And as soon as I did, her husband threw down his spoon and said, "Now I know you're a man of God. I know you are!"

It shocked me.

And the kids dropped their spoons too. The man said, "Honey, this is trash! We've been eating it for years. Please, don't ever make this again. Ever. Never. Never. It's trash!" And the kids started up, "Mamma, we didn't want to hurt your feelings, but please never cook it again."

I looked over in the corner, and I could see the dog going, "Thank You, Jesus. I ain't got to eat this junk again either." That man told me he had had preachers come over, eat that junk, and lie like a dog. He said, "We knew it was no good. You're the first man who ever told us the truth. That's why I believe you're a man of God." That man got saved two weeks later because of that dumb old, trashy gumbo. But I had to be honest about it. I had to call it what it was - junk.

That's why you have to know the voice of the Holy Spirit. You can be in situations in which you think you should say the polite thing, but it's not always the right thing. You've got to say the right thing even if it's not the polite thing. Knowing the difference is a matter of trusting the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

You may find yourself in situations in which He asks you to say or do something that seems ludicrous! But if you listen to His voice and trust Him, you'll find out that He's right every time. You may have to take risks sometimes in order to obey Him and say a particular thing, but if the Holy Spirit is in it, then it's the right thing to say. Take it from me - the one who called a woman's prized gumbo trash!

Source: Jambalaya for the Soul by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers