When we’re physically hungry or thirsty, we eat and drink. We know what it feels like to be hungry for food and we respond to it as it occurs, sometimes with great urgency and voraciously when hunger pangs are ignored for too long.
We know that if we feed our physical bodies with nutritious food, we grow strong and remain healthy. However, it’s easy to fall into a habit of eating cheese puffs, cookies and sugary drinks for a quick hunger or thirst fix. These can be satisfying for the moment, staving off hunger, but they lack the nutrition for the long haul. As a result, we grow weak and become unwell. This is especially true if we succumb to the temporary pleasures of junk food and snacks on a regular basis and lose our desire for good food and a well-balanced diet altogether.
What about a starved soul? Do we know the feeling of those hunger pangs or have we staved them off for so long we don’t even realize how starved our soul currently is?
Or maybe we’ve just been soul snacking instead of consuming a healthy meal?
Have you ever voraciously consumed time with God because you were that hungry for His word?
Like our physical body, our soul demands nourishment. When hungry, we can easily succumb to the cheese puffs, cookies and sugary drinks of spiritual junk food, instead of a well balanced and consistent diet of soul satisfying nutrition. The result is a weak spirit that easily falls prey to the conniving deceptions of the enemy. And like our physical eating patterns, a regular diet of junk food can cause us to lose a craving for what is healthy and develop bad spiritual eating habits.
Our soul is hungry all the time, but many times we feed that hunger with junk and snacks instead of a well balanced and consistent diet of soul satisfying nutrition.
What Is Spiritual Junk Food?
In the spiritual junk food groups, a cheese puff or cookie might be something like:
- Shopping as an emotional response
- Eating to feel better
- Binge watching shows or gaming
- Running to people who don’t turn us to God but feed us with more junk
- Workaholic tendencies [working to avoid emotions or address the needs of a relationship]
It’s not that shopping, eating, television and computers are things that should be removed from our lives. However, these things can move from being useful to being a replacement for what is truly needed to develop a healthy relationship with God. It’s when they replace nutritious meals they become harmful.
The good news is – God is ready to help us find our way back as soon as we are ready to confess our wandering ways and seek Him.
We all have unhealthy habits that God wants to show us. He beckons us daily to come sit and chat with Him so He can reveal what we need to see, restore us, and heal us. This requires a willingness to be vulnerable and transparent with Him and ourselves. He already knows it, it’s our own awareness that’s required for the restoration to begin.
- Instead of shopping as a response to stress – sit quietly with God and talk about what is causing the stress; ask for guidance and peace.
- Instead of eating to feel better – cry out to God / cry with God. Tell Him all of the feelings and ask for the healing He desires to pour over you.
- Instead of bingeing tv or games to escape – dive into His word and escape into Him.
- Instead of running to people – run to Jesus.
- Instead of pouring yourself into more and more work – pour yourself into conversations with God.
Just as a journal to track eating habits can help us be more mindful of what we eat and when, this soul food tracker can help track soul nourishing habits.
‘The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.Romans 8:6 NIV
Let’s spend time at the table with God and chat about our diet. He knows what we need. He know what junk food we’re consuming. He knows what our soul is craving.
CONVERSATIONS AT HIS TABLE
Use these questions to chat with God. Let Him bring you into a closer relationship with Him.
- When stressed or overwhelmed, what is a ‘go to’ response for you?
- Is there a habit of turning to something to feel better for the moment, something that lets you escape what you are feeling, even if just temporarily?
This is an excerpt from Tami’s book “Feeding a Hungry Soul – Conversations at a Table for Two”
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