Everybody is talking about diets these days, especially since we are in the middle of swimsuit season.
And every day, millions of people make commitments to change their eating habits and increase their exercise routines in the hopes of being physically healthier and stronger.
Unfortunately, the reality is that also every day, millions of people succumb to the pressures of a society that thrives on junk food. Junk food has almost become its own food group, consisting of things like hamburgers, french fries, potato chips, cookies, soft drinks, pasta Alfredo and ice cream, just to name a few. And despite knowing the dangers of eating junk food, and the fact that eating junk derails our appetite for healthy foods, we all continue to consume it.
There is another type of junk food that is rarely talked about, but has its own set of dangers and negative consequences – spiritual junk food. Junk, that fills our spirits up with junk.
There is an infinite amount of spiritual junk at our fingertips everyday through television, movies, the internet, smart phones, books, radio, and so on. Even though these mediums do offer positive ‘food’ as well, if we don’t use spiritual discernment to selectively choose what we are ingesting, it can affect our spiritual health, and possibly derail our appetite for Christ.
You see, spiritual junk food has the potential to curb our appetite for true spiritual nutrition.
For example, if we fill our minds by reading less-than-Godly romance books, we will have unrealistic expectations of our husbands. If we watch movies filled with sex, crime, filth and bad language, no desire to spend time reading God’s Word. If we fill our thoughts with criticism and anger, we will have no desire to
Christians must keep in mind that spiritual junk food always curbs our appetite for Christ and His word, filling Spiritually, how good is your diet? How strong is your spiritual immune system? Can it withstand spiritual health threats like worldliness, lust, prideful selfishness, false teaching, and persecution?
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:2-3
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
The world produces a vast amount of spiritual junk food and because of books, computers, radios and television it is within easy reach of many minds, anywhere, anytime, no matter where a person may live. Therefore, believers must develop the spiritual discernment to be able to choose the best diet to incorporate into the development of their moral and spiritual character.
With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You! Psalm 119:10-11
If believers are not careful the world’s spiritual junk food gradually becomes the primary source of spiritual nourishment. Consequently, attitude and behavior progressively weaken even though outwardly we appeared to be in good spiritual health. However, a secular cancer is eroding our spiritual health. A spiritually healthy diet involves the selection and eating of nutritious food. Furthermore, we must summarily reject foods that contain damaging substances!
How much time did you spend this week watching TV?
How much time watching sports or entertainment, or reading the paper, magazines, etc.?
How much time did you spend on some hobby or outside interest, that may not be immoral but is not necessary?
How many hours did you spend studying your Bible?
How many services of the church did you attend? How many did you miss that you could have attended?
Which do you nourish the best: your spirit or your body? Are you feeding your mind on God’s word or pleasures?
Christians need regular nourishment from God’s word to grow.
Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus: Paul told Timothy a specific way to be strong – that is, to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. This strength in grace is essential for a strong Christian life.
i. “Grace here has its simplest theological meaning, as the divine help, the unmerited gift of assistance that comes from God.” (White) Resting in the grace – the unmerited favor of God towards us that is in Christ Jesus – gives a confidence and boldness we could never have when thinking we are on probation or thinking God hasn’t made up His mind about us yet.
ii. There is nothing that can makes us as strong as saying, “I am a child of God in Jesus Christ” and “I have the love and favor of God even though I don’t deserve it.” That is the strength that comes by grace.
iii. Paul knew what it was like to receive the strength of God’s grace, as he explained in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. He could encourage Timothy like this from his own life experience.