Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2 NIV)
I was talking to someone the other day who has made some life changes, especially around their diet. They’ve done away with a lot of processed foods, lot’s of raw vegetables fruits. that sort of thing. And there is no denying that this person, and they looked better. Not only had they lost weight, but their eyes were brighter, their skin was glowing. They just looked healthier.
The husband shared with me that he was a bit dubious when his wife suggested they try this, but that he had to admit he really did feel better. Of course that health came with a price as he had to change a lot of his eating habits and learn to discipline himself. But the benefits made it worth it.
Of course that comes as no shock to us. We know that eating better is good for us. We all know that when we choose to eat healthy we feel better. It’s really not a knowledge issue is it? The truth of the matter is while the spinach and kale chips are available for a snack we are going to reach for the Cheetos. We know while it’s possible to make a vegetable smoothie our meal the call of the double bacon cheeseburger with a donut as a bun sings to us.
Personally I’m all for moderation. It is good to eat healthy, and I should eat healthier than I do. But an indulgence every now and then really isn’t all that bad for us. The problem is that we don’t do well with moderation. One Cheeto becomes a whole bag. Although to be honest, I’m highly suspicious of anyone who eats one Cheeto. It’s probably never a good idea to eat a bacon cheeseburger won a glazed donut bun, but if you eat healthier the rest of the time you can probably get away with it. Living on them is another issue all together.
Indulge yourself too much and you’re going to pay for it at some point. You need healthy food in order to have a healthy body. bad food, eaten long enough is going to hurt you. It’s a principle that holds true for our spiritual health as well. we simply cannot cultivate a healthy spirit if we malnourished it or fed it junk. The more junk we feed our spirits the sicker our souls get.
If we feed ourselves on anger and judgment our souls eventually will begin to reflect that. It’s one of the issues I have with social media. while it can be a great tool, it also fosters the opportunity to fill our hearts with junk. Anger gossip, innuendo, finger pointing etc. This is especially true in an election year where we are all to happy to point fingers at the”other side” as being evil, stupid or dangerous. If all you ever do is fill your mind with anger don’t be surprised when anger begins to seep out into your own life. There is an old saying, “you are what you eat.” It’s also true that “You are what you feed your mind and soul.”
So let me suggest we begin to get healthier spiritually and we become more mindful about what it is that we are feeding on. Here are a few suggestions can lead us to greater spiritual health if we are willing to do them.
- Daily feeding on the word of God. The Bible remains one of the bestselling and last read books of all time. Take time daily to read the Bible. Find a translation that you like to read and simply read it. Nourish yourself on His word.
- Pray. Not just give God his chore list for the day. But learn to spend time in God’s presence. Learn to listen in prayer more than you talk. Make prayer a regular part of your life.
- Find a ministry. It’s just common sense. One of the reasons we fill our souls with empty calories is we have nothing else to occupy our hearts. Spending time in ministry affords God time to fill your souls.
- Stop mindless snacking on what’s not good for you. It’s fine to have a debate with someone or to express your opinions. But when you begin to see it affect your soul, step away. It’s not your job to argue everyone into the kingdom of God. If you know something or someone is going to put your spirit in a negative place, don’t go there.
5.Become more disciplined. Most people don’t automatically become healthier eaters. They have to discipline themselves. read labels not bring junk into the home. So it is with our souls. You have to discipline yourself and work at it. Make yourself go to church even when you may not feel like it. Take that Bible Study or Sunday School class even if it’s inconvenient for you. Take control of your spiritual health. 6. It’s easier to walk with someone than go it alone. We all need people in our lives who are willing to hold us accountable and keep us from straying from our spiritual diet. Knowing there are peopl who will not only pray with you and feed you but call you to the carpet when you “cheat’ and fill your heart with negative things is also crucial.
Feeling a little spiritually malnourished lately? Finding yourself living with a low baseline of anger, sin or frustration? talk some time and ask yourself, “What am I feeding my soul?” It may not be easy. But try it. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel.
Rev. Dr. Brian Jones <><