By Zoe Elmore
Acts 17:1, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (NIV)
Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that plague our society today; they are serious and occur when we refuse to nourish ourselves properly. I’ve experienced the consequences of theses diseases in the past and know first-hand what malnutrition can do to the physical body. I was constantly weak and unable to participate in life to the fullest. I was unable to focus my mind, and literally stumbled my way through each day.
Did you know that there are spiritual eating disorders? When I refuse to nourish my spirit with God’s holy word I suffer the ill effects of spiritual malnutrition. When I do not have a consistent healthy spiritual diet, it’s difficult to understand spiritual things and to behave in a manner worthy of my calling.
Refusing to consume “spiritual food,” my attitude quickly turns negative, I lose my focus and usually end up saying and doing things that cause embarrassment to me or harm to others. The statement, “You are what you eat,” undoubtedly extends to our spiritual bodies.
The scriptures have been referred to as “the Bread of Life.” Just as we consume physical food each day, we need to consume spiritual food as well. The Bereans in Acts 17 are proof of a mature and healthy spirit as they feasted on the scriptures daily. Just think about the scriptures that were available to them and how it would have taken a substantial effort to search and study them. Yet, they did this every day.
Today Bibles are available almost anywhere, yet many of us have become complacent in our study of the word. We attend bible studies and listen to pastors and bible teachers as a way to feed our spirits, but that alone is not enough for radiant spiritual health. Although these things are a good way to enhance our spiritual diet, they should not be considered a replacement for our own daily study of God’s word. Choosing to rely solely on others to feed us spiritually is choosing to remain as a baby bird, swallowing food that has been pre-chewed.
The Christian pollster George Barna has some startling statistics that demonstrate the consequences of our spiritual malnutrition.
1. Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels.
2. Sixty percent of Christians can’t name five of the Ten Commandments.
3. Eighty two percent of respondents believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.
As we strive for a strong and healthy spiritual life, let’s model the Bereans healthy “eating habits.” Don’t allow a “spiritual eating disorder” to rob you of the energy and enthusiasm necessary to know the abundant life.
Dear Lord, I thank you for providing nourishment necessary for a healthy spiritual life. I desire to partake of your spiritual food every day in order to demonstrate the mature spiritual life you have created me for and called me to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Running on Empty by Aaron Chambers
When You’re Running on Empty by Cindi McMenamin
Follow these easy steps to ensure your daily portion of God’s MEAT:
Meet with God every morning
Apply the lessons you are learning
Tell others of God’s goodness
How well are my spiritual eating habits nourishing my spirit?
Am I consuming God’s word on a regular basis, or relying on others to nourish my spiritual body?
Is my spiritual body strong and energetic, or is it weak and wobbly?
Hosea 4:1,6, “Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: ‘There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.’” (NIV)
Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (NIV)
Psalm 119:111, “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” (NIV)
Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Originally published Tuesday, 13 February 2007.