There is a saying, “You are what you eat”. It is true that what we put into our bodies has an impact on our health, how we grow, and our general well-being. But, what if the principle applied literally?
- No politician would be allowed to eat waffles, in order to prevent flip-flops on policy statements.
- At Thanksgiving, we’d be stuck being a turkey or a ham (unless you like to be the life of the dinner and joke around a lot – then the ham would be appropriate).
- Imagine what would happen if you like to eat jerk chicken!
In reality, though, what we feed upon impacts what we become.
For our physical bodies, healthy food gives us energy, the ability to grow and repair injuries, and strength to get through our day. (Or, so I’ve heard – my diet is often sub-standard, I’m afraid.)
For our mental state, the information that we consume impacts our mood, our demeanor, and our outlook on life. Limiting ourselves to inspirational cat posters may be a little isolationist, but on the other hand, if we dwell on only the effects of evil in the world, it will get us down.
For our spiritual lives, what we feed upon also impacts us. If we consume only self-help books or the opinions of others, we will tend to become focused on ourselves, or on the knowledge of mankind (which isn’t always wrong, but because of the constraints of the human condition, is necessarily incomplete).
Those things aren’t bad…for what they are. Better yet, though, what if we fill ourselves up with God’s word, instead? Then, we will connect to His infinite knowledge and wisdom, so that His word will achieve its good purpose. This, I think, will be far more effective than filling up on the limited domain of mankind’s ideas and activities.
God says through the prophet Isaiah:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10-11 NASB
We can be a part of God’s plan, and learn from His word. The alternative is to either ignore it or fill up on human input; however, if we do, we should expect correspondingly inferior results.
As an example of the benefits of God’s word, it provides a sort of defensive stockpile, protecting us against the sin that we (hopefully) want to avoid:
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Psalms 119:11 NASB
By having a ready supply of truth to counteract temptation, we can live more like Jesus (who Himself used God’s word to defend against Satan’s attacks – see Matthew 4:1-11). And, in the end, we find that we become more like what we feed upon.
So, fill up on the best food you can find – physical, mental, and spiritual – and enjoy the benefits of becoming better as a result.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.