A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. [Proverbs 15:14 (NLT)]

eastern tiger swallowtail butterflyEvery breakfast, lunch and dinner, a recent house guest consumed between five and fifteen supplements like flaxseed and fish oils, magnesium, vitamin D, calcium, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and resveratrol (among others). Annually, people like our guest spend around $35 billion on supplements, vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and other substances to enhance their health. It doesn’t stop there; every year, five million diet books are published, at least 17 million cookbooks are purchased, and $33 billion is spent on weight loss products. Add to that all of the magazines, food channels, websites, blogs, and podcasts dedicated to nutrition, recipes, and weight loss and you have a nation of people who seem obsessed with what goes into their bodies.

Recently, a several hours delay at the airport led me into one of the terminal’s newsstands. After browsing the magazine rack for something to read during the long wait, it occurred to me that our nation appears to be more concerned about what we feed our bodies than the material with which we nourish our minds. I’m no prude but just looking at the topics listed on the covers of many magazines caused me to blush and the exposed bodies on the covers should have made the models blush! Although the Bible is pretty clear about not gossiping, many of those magazines and tabloids were nothing but gossip about the private lives of various celebrities. Rather than being so concerned with the calories or fat grams we put in our bodies, we might want to give some consideration to what we put in our minds. Instead of going fat-free, we could try going trash-free!

If we go on a trash-free diet, however, we should give serious thought to the other things we consume. We have television programs with housewives unlike any I’ve ever met, bachelors and bachelorettes trying out one another the way King Xerxes did with Esther, and hook-ups instead of relationships. While I wouldn’t want to return to the 50s when Elvis’ gyrations meant he was televised only from the waist up, it seems that we’ve gone too far the other way as near naked entertainers twerk while singing disgusting lyrics like “Sex in the air, I don’t care … Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me.” As Christ followers, we should give serious thought to all that we consume, not just in print, but also on our phones, radios, iPods, computers, television, and movie screens.

The words and images we take in affect our spiritual well-being as much as food affects our physical health. If we want high-quality ideas and words to come out of us, we need first-rate ideas and words to enter into us. Are we looking at and listening to the media with the eyes and ears of Jesus or just mindlessly snacking on the equivalent of the empty calories found in junk food?

As for supplements—in actuality, the efficacy of many of my friend’s supplements is questionable; all they really do is create expensive urine. Supplementing our lives with daily Scripture, prayer, Bible study, Christian fellowship, and church, however, is guaranteed to make us better, stronger, and happier than any pill could!

Today, let’s spend more time thinking about our spiritual food than our daily bread.

Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. [Isaiah 55:2-3a (NLT)]

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. [Philippians 4:8 (NLT)]

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