Sometimes food, that we know isn’t healthy, can be so appealing and tasty. Even though we probably know what’s best for us, we can be inexorably drawn to the appeal of junk foods; the ones that have too much salt or sugar, large amounts of fat, or all sorts of taste-enhancing additives which seem so comforting in our present need. Unfortunately, healthy options can appear less appealing, especially if we’re used to the artificially-heightened taste and ‘instant’ pleasure of a diet of junk food.
I can’t help wondering if we sometimes settle for a diet of less-than-healthy spiritual food. I mean spiritual food which seems more appealing, but it can be laced with artificial ‘additives’ which counterfeit true ingredients, or which is unbalanced in its ingredients, with too much of one aspect of truth. Or it could be spiritual food that’s intended to meet a need for comfort in a quick-fix way. Perhaps good, healthy spiritual truth appears less appealing, or even slightly unpalatable, to us when we’re more used to the taste of adulterated, processed ‘truth’- which is never quite what it seems.
Good spiritual food, the word of God, is full of all the necessary ingredients for our spiritual nourishment. Ezekiel, the prophet, was presented by God with a healthy spiritual meal. The scripture says it was a scroll of words. This might not sound tasty, but Ezekiel says it was like honey in his mouth (Ezekiel 3:3), even though it contained words of mourning and woe (Ezekiel 2:10).
But, this delicious and life-bringing food that was so tasty to Ezekiel, wasn’t at all palatable to those Ezekiel was sent to (Ezekiel 3:7). It certainly didn’t have the appeal of being ‘sweet like honey’ or comforting. They found the words of woe about their sinful state totally unappealing and indigestible, so they rejected them. It seems they’d been living on a diet of unhealthy spiritual food for too long, and now they preferred something more pleasing to their distorted taste, even if it was artificial, impure, unbalanced and flavoured with lies. Their taste buds rejected what was healthy and looked to the junk spiritual food that would be more comforting. I wonder if that’s sometimes true of us too.
The good news is that, if we’re keen to eat the right physical foods, we can re-train ourselves to prefer the taste of food that’s healthy. Then it increasingly becomes more appealing and delicious to us than any of the junk variety. Maybe we should persevere in the same way with spiritual food. We can re-train ourselves to desire the pure, unadulterated truth which will bring healthy spiritual life. We can learn to avoid the unhealthy spiritual food, even if it seems more appealing.
Prayer: Father God, help us to recognise when we’re being enticed by spiritual food laced with artificial ingredients or unbalanced teaching, and help us to increasingly enjoy eating the words of God, the pure spiritual food which feeds us, and gives us a healthy spiritual life.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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