“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”—Proverbs 4:23 (NIV).
When I was in college, I could eat anything. It didn’t matter if it was fast food or healthy food. I could go to late night on campus and indulge in whatever I wanted. It was awesome. However, I am now at the age where I have to watch every…single…thing I put into my body. If I don’t, my body responds. If I eat too much salt, my blood pressure goes up and my feet swell. If I drink coffee or caffeinated beverages or eat too much chocolate, I get heart palpitations. The list of things I can eat without negative consequences is getting smaller and smaller the older I get. Now, my body shows me just how sensitive it is and what works with it and against it.
As I had my swollen feet propped up on a pillow after a day of horrible eating, I thought to myself, what if our spirits are just like my 40-year old body? What if we can’t consume the things we think we can without serious, negative side effects or consequences? What if our spirit is just as sensitive to what we consume through our eyes and ears as our bodies are when we eat good or bad foods?
Ephesians 5:9 (NRSV) says, “A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough.”
Matthew 6:23 (NRSV) says, “but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”
Whether we want to admit it or not, everything we see and hear condition us. Everything we consume impacts us either positively or negatively. Those things can also either draw us closer to God or away from God. Oftentimes, we don’t even know how things affect our subconscious until we find ourselves acting out in ungodly ways. I used to watch “The First 48.” It’s a reality crime show that details detectives solving homicides. Well, after consuming a lot of this show, I started becoming more fearful. God has not given us a spirit of fear, and God doesn’t want us to live in fear. It wasn’t long before I realized that my T.V. diet contributed to the fear, and I had to stop watching the show.
Like me when it comes to my diet, it’s time for us as believers to monitor and limit the things in our spiritual diets. When we do, I know we’ll see more positive outcomes and less spiritual lymphedema that holds us back.