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You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat

     When this saying is applied, none figures when they eat a pizza, they’re likely to develop pepperoni skin tags, or become flat and round. Neither does anyone suspect they will become a snowman by ingesting a snow cone. But most are aware that how and what we eat has some impact on our body shape and at times, our overall health. This is why we are taught about a balanced diet. We learn to tolerate certain vegetables, or endure certain meats (animal proteins), for our bodies to operate at peak efficiency. We also need a certain amount of work or exercise to tone our muscles and maintain balance and such. This was the way God designed the body.
   Much of this is applied physically, yet countless numbers of folks mentally ingest ‘filth’ and expect to be ‘good people’. Spiritually, we don’t masticate (chew) and swallow, but we put information into our minds as we read and take in ‘religious’ material. Of course, the only ‘sure’ religious material is found in the Word of God, but it too, must be ‘rightly divided’. Most would not dream of ingesting poison as it will adversely affect the physical body, yet they readily expose themselves to toxic literature and caustic religious publications. Little do they realize they are ‘searing’ the mind to the point that it soon loses feeling and can no longer detect the danger(s) it faces.  
   The intake of the mind is as critical as what we ingest and process in our stomachs. We recall the old computer adage: “Garbage in, garbage out,” yet are not so concerned when the computer God designed (man’s mind) is deluged with the debris offered from so many sources. Again, we need to be reminded of Prov. 23:7a and the effect of what we allow to enter our minds. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” is said of him that “hath an evil eye”. Just as the food we put into our bodies affects the physical, so does that which we ‘mentally ingest’ or consume, affect the mind.
     That being the case, should we not be more cautious in the reading, studying, and thinking we do? Jesus taught that we should. The Pharisees of Matt. 15 accused Jesus’ disciples of breaking the “tradition of the elders” in that they failed to wash their hands before eating bread. In verse 3, the Lord exposed their hypocrisy in question form. He asked: “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”, then explained in verses 8-9 why their “heart” (mind) was defiled as well as the affect it had on their actions (worship). This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.   They had been mentally ingesting tradition rather than God’s Word and failed to realize they had become traditionalist rather than truly serving God according to His Law to them.
     Is this any different than countless numbers that hear false “preaching” and receive false teaching and simply absorb it without considering the source. Many people do this frequently. The source is not the one who delivers the message. In fact, it was Paul and Silas who were the messengers of the gospel to some Jews of Berea in Acts 17. Here was an apostle and a trusted evangelist who ‘fed’ these folks the ‘bread of life’. Surely these faithful soldiers of the cross “preached the truth” as 1Pet. 4:11 directs. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; It is certain from reading Acts 17:11 what these folks did and why they did it after Paul and Silas taught. They checked the message for purity, comparing it with the Word of God. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. When they were “fed” properly, the next verse states that “many of them believed” and from this we understand they obeyed the gospel.
     Again, we don’t “eat” the information we read and study, even though we do “take it in”. Christ Jesus spoke of two types of meat in Jno.6:26-27 as He told the people why many followed Him. One is physical; the other spiritual. Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then, in verse 35 we see that what Jesus offers completely satisfies. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 
     Of course, to offer improper spiritual food has a negative effect on the presenter and the recipient if they follow it.   Gal 1:8 is the inspired proof of this. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. One cannot preach “any other gospel” and expect the recipients to be spiritually filled. Timothy was told in 2Tim. 4:2 to “preach the Word”. Before doing he was told to “Study to show thyself approved unto God” (2Tim. 2:15). Be careful what we ingest spiritually, & what we “serve up” to others.  We are what we eat.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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