It is pretty common knowledge that too much processed food is unhealthy. If one only eats donuts, chicken nuggets, and coke– one would probably be fat, or at least very unhealthy– Good nutrition is hard to find in food that is over-processed. Now, a nugget or fish stick may be useful for some things. . . it fills your stomach, gives you a boost of energy, gets you through lunch. But really, in the long run, a diet full of the over-processed stuff leads to weakness and disease.
I think it might be the same for over-processed spiritual food. While a good devotional book, or Bible study book might be useful for some things. . . a quick boost of energy, or to get you through a day when you are rushed for time. But In the end, I suspect it might lead to spiritual weakness and just plain unhealthiness.
For instance, I have a coffee cup that sits on my desk that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We use this verse as a mantra to get through a rough day, win a relay race, or be the best _________ we can be (you fill in the blank– runner, doctor, student.) We decide to run a marathon and quote to ourselves, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
But in reality, in context, that verse has NOT MUCH to do with running or racing, or doing our best. It’s about a guy who has been broke and hungry, and his friends finally take notice and help him. Paul’s like, “thanks for remembering me, but. . .
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:10-13
You see what I mean? We have a whole generation of people who have taken this verse out of a devotional or off of a coffee cup, and missed the full meaning. So much of the nutritional value has been taken out– the best part processed away– just like a chicken nugget.
I want to challenge you as a believer to eat healthier spiritually. Pick up your Bible, not just a devotional. It’s not too hard to understand as you might believe. That’s like saying a real carrot or fillet mignon is too hard to eat.
So do it today– pick up your Bible– and bring on the steak!