Losing The Weight… Feasting On Junk

“How sweet are Your words to my taste!” ~ Psalm 119:103

Let’s be honest. Even Superman has his kryptonite. Mine? In a word… it’s chocolate. I’m serious. I love the stuff. Chocolate milk. Chocolate cereal. Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate cake. Chocolate bars. Hot chocolate. It’s all good. To this day some of my absolute favorite memories are the chocolate shops that littered the streets of San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. ( http://argentinastravel.com/106/home-made-chocolates-in-bariloches-chocolaterias/). Yes, we were there as missionaries but I felt a particularly strong “leading” to focus my evangelistic efforts in those needy areas of the city 🙂 Unfortunately, the main problem for me is that my overly sweet tooth does not mesh well with my aging metabolism. As the years have passed I have noticed that my chocolate obsession often leads to rapid weight gain.

Most of us are well aware of the connection between good health and eating. We are not garbage compactors. You can’t just continue to pour anything and everything into your body without any regard for the long-term consequences. Poor eating habits lead to poor health. Parents caution their children from eating junk. Doctors reprimand their patients for eating junk. Even the current mainstream media has taken up the mantra. Junk food is just that… it’s junk. The sweets and delicacies that we so love to eat generally lack the nutritional qualities that lead to good health.

The same can be said with regard to our ongoing quest for spiritual health. I’m not sure who was responsible for first popularizing the phrase but we have all probably heard it, “Garbage in… garbage out.” So many times we feast on the junk of this world, the things that lack any real spiritual value. I mean, let’s be honest. We spend countless hours watching TV, DVDs, and movies that have no redemptive value. (No, I’m not saying entertainment is evil. That’s a different topic for a different day.) My point today has to do with the imbalance that so dominates the current church. So many have no concern for the things they digest through their eyes and ears. We fill our minds with images and messages that are so contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture and then we have the audacity to marvel at the “weight” gain in our lives (see the previous note for more on that… http://justathoughtdevotionals.com/2012/05/19/losing-the-weight-and-keeping-it-off/). The Bible explains it this way, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” A steady diet of spiritual junk will always lead to poor spiritual health.

The result is that our character, conduct, conversation, and countenance slowly but surely begin to reflect our diet. We become what we watch. We speak what we hear. The best antidote is to change our diet. Instead of feasting on the things of this world we need to begin filling our hearts and minds with the word of God. His Word is spiritual health. His Word is spiritual vitality. His Word is life. My experience during the past 24 years has been one of sublime and supreme satisfaction. Yes, I love chocolate. But it can’t begin to compare to the feeling that comes when I have spent time in His Word. His Word brings me joy in my time of despair. His Word brings me peace in my time of confusion. His Word strengthens me, guides me, directs me, and protects me. His Word has proven to be all that I will or could ever need for this life.

Unfortunately, like most children, my struggle has been the same battle that most of us face. Many are the times when my wants and my needs are not congruent. I know that I need to eat my vegetables. But it’s so hard for me to say “no” to that candy bar. The same is true with regard to His Word. Hey, I’m not pointing fingers today at anybody because I am no different. For years I have fought that same battle. I can neglect His Word like the best of them. Days. Weeks. I’ll be honest. One of the main reasons I blog is to make certain I’m reading something at the very least. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have chosen the world over His Word. Just today I invested almost 3 hours in a basketball game and maybe 15 minutes in the Bible. So, believe me, when I say I understand the struggle.

But just because I fail that doesn’t mean I am going to quit or give up. You can’t live off of chocolate. You can’t survive on nothing but junk food. In recent months I have noticed the struggle in my life that has arisen primarily from my neglect of His Word. And so, I am making the choice to refocus once again. Less junk and more Word. I have a lot of “weight” that I want to lose and it’s not going to happen until I first stop feasting on junk. Good spiritual health begins with a healthy diet. And that means it’s time to feast on His Word!

Looking for some tips on practical Bible study? Here are a few links that might help.

1. “One Bite At A Time” http://justathoughtdevotionals.com/2011/03/23/one-bite-at-a-time/

2. “Consider The Cow” http://justathoughtdevotionals.com/2011/03/25/consider-the-cow/