For those of you who are new here, in my counseling practice, I use nutrition to support mental health. Many of my clients experience relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety just by adjusting the way they eat. God designed our bodies to work on a steady stream of whole foods. Sugar, hydrogenated oils, preservatives and overly-processed foods muck up our bodies and interrupt the natural development of healthy neurotransmitters. A diet of little more than junk food over time leads to chronically poor physical health and poor mental health. It also weakens our immune systems, diminishing our bodies’ ability to fight off viruses, bacteria and infection. Simply ditching the junk food makes an incredible difference in how we function physically and mentally.
While there is plenty of information out there about the importance of nutrition and physical health, how often do we consider the health of our spiritual diet? Our spiritual health is similar – what we put into our hearts and minds determines how well we can function and fight off invasive thoughts and the Enemy’s attacks. And good nutrition takes effort. The frozen pizzas, burgers, donuts and sugary breakfast cereals are fast and convenient, but they cannot sustain good health over the lifetime. Likewise, we must put great consideration and effort into what we consume spiritually.
Thanks be to God that He gave us His Word to guide us through our lives as followers of Jesus. It is a light on our path, useful to equip us for every good work, it leads us on the path of purity, endures forever, is flawless, right and true and is the key to all wisdom. The Word of God is the source of true, real Spiritual nutrition in our lives, and if we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have all we need to learn these words of God.
Unfortunately, in our culture, we find ourselves too busy to really enjoy a healthy, homecooked meal. We are a fast food culture, and that translates to our spiritual practices, too. It’s easier to read a quick devotional in the morning than spend an hour in Bible study. It’s easier to do a pre-written book study with a video teaching than to dig into the Scripture with nothing but your Bible, a notebook and a pen. We take in these methods of Spiritual fast-food too often, and our spiritual health suffers just like our physical health does if we live off McDonald’s.
So this year, let’s make some changes. Instead of grabbing fast food for lunch, pack a salad that will benefit your physical health. And instead of a quick and easy devotional, grab a highlighter and spend some quality time in the Word of God, nourishing your soul with real, spiritual nutrition. Your body and spirit will be stronger for your time. In 2021, let the prayer of our hearts be, “Lord, help us to take the time to really feast on your Word, being renewed and changed by its power.”
Amen and amen.