Conversation overheard in a coffee shop -
“Ooh, Mavis, that’s a big piece of cheesecake you’ve got there. You sure your diet won’t go bust today?”
“No it’s alright, Mildred, no need to worry. I bought a skinny cappuccino to go with it.”
Question: Does a skinny cap cancel out cheesecake on the health scale? Or to put it another way, does a little bit of good cancel out a little bit of bad?
It’s easy to kid ourselves into believing so, if we have an appetite for things that are not good for us. Yet it doesn’t matter what we believe about this, our physical bodies cannot be healthy if all we put into them is junk food, loaded with calories but without the nutrients that our bodies need to function properly.
In the same way we may be feeding our spiritual hunger with all sorts of spiritual junk food but we kid ourselves if we expect to live godly and holy lives as a result. That will never happen. What we put in is what will come out, spiritually as well as physically.
No one forces us to eat unhealthy food – it is generally a choice we make based on our appetite. Those of us who have an appetite for junk food may find it very hard to make the right choice for our overall health, but make it we must or we may eventually get very sick. If we neglect a healthy diet for too long, it may become a matter of life and death for our physical bodies. This is even more serious for our spirits – if we neglect a healthy spiritual diet, it will be a matter of eternal life or death.
We are as much in charge of our spiritual appetites as we are of our physical – consider what gives you joy, what brings you pleasure, what lifts your spirit. What is the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning and the last thing on your mind at the end of the day? These things reveal your spiritual appetite.
Our bodies are so well created that they can generally cope with a little junk food now and then without upsetting the health balance too much. The same is not so for our spirits.
Think about this command for a moment - “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Jesus says this not because He wants to spoil our fun but because He wants every part of us to be spiritually healthy. How can we who are made in His image be satisfied with anything less than being full of Him? If He is the love of our life, how should we behave? Do you remember being in love and how the object of that love kept intruding into your thoughts all day long, yet it wasn’t annoying because you were in love? God expects to be that love in your life.
Anything that captures our attention and drives it away from the Lord is spiritual junk food. Your spirit can be fed through your eyes (what you see) your ears (what you hear) your mind (what you dwell on or think about) and your heart (what moves, motivates and satisfies you). What are you allowing through to feed your spirit?
Jesus had a healthy spiritual diet. He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4) This is good spiritual food – the word of God. Jesus also said, “I have food to eat of which you do not know … My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34) That is, healthy spiritual food is not only meditating on His word but also obeying it.
The New Testament is full of prescriptions for living a godly and holy life, here and now. We can meditate on these things and let them feed life to our spirits or we can feed on spiritual junk food which will corrupt and lead us to destruction. A little bit of good won’t be enough to cancel out the bad in the end.
All it takes is a choice. And the choice is yours.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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