If you are like me, and many others, the struggle with your food diet is an ongoing one. We are always trying to lose (or for some, gain) weight, trying the latest diet or eating plan, to find one that will finally bring some lasting success. But what about our spiritual diets?
Our spirits require a healthy “diet” as well, and I bet that, like me, you rarely give it a lot of thought. We are probably pretty good at getting the minimal “nutrition” by going to church every week, maybe actually several times a week, for Bible Studies and other classes or small group meetings, which certainly would “boost” our healthy spiritual intake. But do we really pay that much attention to the content of all the little “snacks” we consume each day, in the spiritual sense? I don’t think I do, or not as much as I probably should.
Each and every day we are bombarded by so much information and so many images, whether from the newspaper and the evening news, conversations at work, things heard on the radio, much less the constant chatter from social media. And if you are like me, add in what comes in from books we read or movies or television. If we are really honest, the vast majority of what we are consuming in those areas is crap, or at best neutral or meaningless, when we consider the spiritual impact it could have. The struggle to keep children from hearing and seeing inappropriate things in all of those avenues is certainly nothing new. As adults, we tend to think we are more discerning and can filter out and reject material we feel is spiritually harmful, even as we hear and see it, and keep it from penetrating into our spirits to do us harm. But is that perception truly accurate? Perhaps it is, at least to some degree, but it probably has more impact than we like to think.
I’m not going to pretend, or even suggest that it is possible to absolutely, completely omit negative or worldly words, images, or concepts from our environment. However, we can do what we can to limit our exposure to those words, ideas, and images that are contrary to the values, morals, lifestyle, and spiritual awareness that, as followers of Jesus, we are commanded to emulate. It certainly would be wise to keep in mind the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8 (NKJ) “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – mediate on these things.” The more time we spend exposing ourselves to those things that are consistent with God’s Word and the lifestyle of holiness and purity He calls us too, and the more effort we spend on shutting out and shutting down the exposure we allow ourselves to those things that are contrary to it, the less those things can gain a foothold in our mind, emotions, and spirit.
That could mean any number of things, depending on your lifestyle and the company you keep. It could mean gently removing yourself from the company of friends or family who are consistently negative or seek to draw you into activities you know are unholy. It could mean limiting the time you spend on social media or unfriending/unfollowing some people or sites that consistently post negative or worldly images or messages. It could mean limiting or completely eliminating the newspaper or evening news from your daily routine. It could mean being more intentional about eliminating TV shows/movies/videos you know consistently have unholy content. It could mean taking a hard look at the content of books or authors you favor and eliminating those who consistently portray unholy characters or situations in their story lines. I’m sure you get the point. We need to pay more attention to what is coming in to our minds, hearts, and spirits to enable us to more fully emulate the holiness of our Lord and allow Him full access and reign in our everyday lives. As the old saying goes “Junk in, Junk out!” If we want what comes out of us to reflect Jesus, we need to take control of what we allow to come in.
May His peace sustain you,