You Are What You Eat
When you want to get in shape one of the most important things you can do is be intentional with your diet. What you eat has an enormous impact on the shape you are in, and your overall health. We see dieting and nutrition as a purely physical concept, but I want us to expand our thinking on this to the mental and spiritual place as well.
What are you doing to further your health and fitness spiritually? Is this even a thought? What kind of shape is your heart in, and are you getting the nutrition you need?
In the same way that what you eat physically has an impact on your physical health, what you eat mentally and spiritually impacts your emotional health. Think about social media: there is so much information, news, opinion, and emotion every day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we run to it like an all you can eat buffet. This is one of the main places we eat, and yes I mean EAT.
It's called the news "FEED" for a reason.
We are constantly eating and snacking on social media. We are, quite literally, feeding our mind, soul, and heart with the mental food it has to offer. Social media has become our culture's spiritual version of McDonald's: Yummy and delicious going in, and then later you feel sluggish and unsatisfied. It's cheap, fast, and always immediately available. We know it isn't good for us. And yet here we are with a 20 piece nugget (Twitter), a Big Mac (Facebook), a large coke and a McFlurry (Instagram).
It's not wrong to eat at McDonalds; we all do sometimes. It's not wrong to feed your mind with social media, either. But is it a good idea to eat McDonald's at every meal?
Your heart and soul run off of whatever fuel you put into it. If you consume harsh words, you will use them. If you surround yourself with gossip, you will gossip too. If you hang out with complainers, you will complain. Whenever I eat McDonald's it's like my entire system shuts down. I get sluggish, irritable, and sweaty. Eating spiritual McDonald's does the same thing for your spirit.
Social media is full of heavy things. It's where people come together to complain, argue, debate, disagree, vent out emotions, and share news and politics. Whatever it was designed for, that is what it is to us. It's all heavy, and consuming heavy things makes you feel heavy. It's important to know what is happening around us in the world, to care for others and to pray for hard situations. But goodness, if all you read is bad news it's hard not to feel bad.
P.S. There is a reason there aren't nearly as many happy posts on social media. It's because happy people don't spend as much time on social media. Are they so happy they don't feel the need for it? Or are they happier because they aren't on social media very much? Think about that one.
Make Room For Good Food
Each of has a "Spiritual Stomach" that operates just like our physical stomach. Here's how it works:
We consume spiritual food (what we read, who we talk to, etc.). After enough consumption we get full and stop eating, and let our spiritual stomach process the food. The food gets converted into energy and finally we use the energy to take action.
The food we feed our spiritual stomach is fuel for how we feel. Consume angry words, and you will feel angry. Read something sad, and now you feel sad. Surround yourself with people who complain, and you will complain. But there is good food that makes you feel good!
God has good knowledge and truth for you to think about. He has peace to fill your life with. He has joy for you to be full of. He has so many gifts for you; He has good, nourishing food for your spirit.
But we have to choose it. We can't eat so much junk that we don't have any room left in our spiritual stomach. When God comes around with a plate full of good food, and we are already stuffed with the world's food, there is nowhere to put it. We are too full to partake in God's dinner.
Where can He put His peace in your life if you are full to the brim with stress? How can he serve us joy when we are stuffed with bitterness and discontent?
We can only eat so much at one time. We have to save our appetite for the food that will truly nourish us.
To Get More Of God You Will Have To Get Less Of Everything Else.
We know we need God to fill us. We know we need His presence, and His truth. We just need to stop eating so much everywhere else and save our appetite for what only He has. I have learned in my life that it's best to fill up on God FIRST, before I start munching on greasy social media gossip. How many times have we eaten so much chips and salsa at the Mexican restaurant that we barely touch our meal? My problem is the dinner rolls they serve at steakhouses. When we are hungry, we fill up on the first food in front of us. So make God the first thing you consume! Get up in the morning and go straight into His presence! Fill up until you are satisfied, and believe me, you will be satisfied! Then when someone offers you gossip, or complaining, or you feel like scrolling through Insta, you won't feel the need to partake. Spiritual McDonald's will no longer be your meal, because you've already eaten!
One Salad A Week Doesn't Cut It
I've started doing something I thought I'd never do. I'm eating my daily vegetables.
Many of you know this, because you are far better at physical health than I am, but when you start eating the right food you FEEL BETTER! It's the same thing with your heart and soul.
When you feed your spirit and mind with good food, you are happier, more content, and you start to lose the anger and frustration that comes when your diet consists of social media burgers. When you get your diet right, you will start LOSING WEIGHT! You won't be constantly feeding your spirit with heavy arguments, disagreements, complaining, and bad news, and believe me you will start to walk lighter.
So, plan out your spiritual diet in the same way. Save your appetite for God's food, His word, His truth, His love and kindness, His presence. Make Him the first thing on your plate! Who eats a salad AFTER eating a double cheeseburger?