Eating a Healthy Spiritual Diet

In sports there are serious ramifications for players who don’t pay attention to their diets. Remember a few years ago when Vikings offensive lineman Bryant McKinney came into training camp reportedly weighing 400 lbs! McKinney was so overweight and out of shape that the Vikings cut him from the team despite the fact that he is a phenomenally gifted football player.

Athletes who are serious about their sports understand that coming prepared to camp involves creating strict parameters around their diet. They understand that there is a direct correlation between what goes into the body and what performance comes out of the body. Twins first baseman Justin Morneau came into 2012 spring training 20 pounds lighter than the year before after cutting gluten, dairy and sugar from his diet. When he was asked if maintaining the diet was hard Morneau said,
It was difficult, but I knew I'd feel like absolute garbage after eating [bad foods]. I knew my body wouldn't be recovering, so I was better off avoiding it."
Pastor and author John Ortberg boldly says that connection between the condition of our soul and the things we let into our live is as undeniable as the law of gravity. “No one climbs up a ladder,” Ortberg says, “steps off, falls ten feet and thinks wow, what we the odds of that?” And yet, many Christians, after failing to take their spiritual diet seriously, are surprised when they feel anxious, battle repeating sins, or have broken relationships.

I’m working to install this ‘garbage in, garbage out’ principle in my children. Just last week I explained to my kids over Root Beer floats why my wife and I have rules around who they can play with and what they can watch on Netflix and YouTube. I tried to help them understand everything that comes into our lives through our eyes and ears is to our soul what food is to our bodies. I explained to him that if we watch and listen to ungodly things, we are inviting ungodliness in our hearts, and eventually ungodliness will come out. It is a lesson that I have to remind myself of over and over again.

Jesus said this so plainly that is it shocking how little concern Christians have for the principle,
"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” – Matthew 12:33-35 (ESV)
I suppose one hard part about this for Christians is that you don’t always notice you’re getting out of shape. Gaining unholy weight happens slowly most times. Just like obesity. You don’t eat the Godfather’s buffet one day and wake up the next morning looking like the kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It happens very slowly, one poor health choice at a time. One skipped jog, one extra slice of pie, one supersized Three Quarter pounder at a time. Little faith compromises, accumulated over time, add up, and someday they will catch up with you, until you wonder, how did I get like this?

1 Peter 2:2 says,
…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (NASB)
How much pure spiritual milk do you have in your diet? What proportion of the things that you take into your soul, through what you watch and listen to and read and engage in, what proportion of that would you consider pure spiritual milk, the kind of thing that feeds your soul with the nourishment of Jesus Christ and his Gospel?