Nourish Your Soul
Have you ever found that sometimes you just have to stop gorging on something that’s not good for you?
(Don’t worry, this isn’t about any extra pounds you might’ve picked up in recent months). I’m talking about when it’s time to stop feasting on shocking controversies, flame-throwing debates, and the anxious headlines that never end…
I’ve found that an intentional diet of my media consumption has helped my overall health. Of course, we need to stay informed. As followers of Jesus we’ve been sent into this world and we should go in with both eyes wide open. It’s good to know what’s happening (and what’s happening is a lot indeed).
In the coming days many of us will be more than a little interested in outcomes of various elections across our country. Hear me: there’s nothing wrong with interest, but interest cannot give way to obsession. At that point, the more we consume the same stories and viewpoints the more we are left full of anxiety, despair and all-out hostility.
Not a healthy plan at all.
That means I’m going to discipline myself with a sort of media diet. Yes, I need to be informed but I don’t need to spend my time hitting the same website multiple times a day or checking my newsfeed constantly.
This won’t even be a full fast from all things media, but a diet. And like all good diets, it’s not just about “cutting back”…It’s about getting the right nutrition.
This time for your soul.
The Bible often uses the image of eating as a picture of how important God’s word is to our spiritual health. Jesus even alludes to this when tempted in the wilderness.
“One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. – Matthew 4:4
It’s interesting to me how this image of eating comes up over and over. The prophet Ezekiel (3:1) is told to proclaim God’s message, but first he must eat God’s words. Jeremiah (15:16) also uses this imagery. When the apostle John encounters an angel who holds a scroll of God’s word in the book of Revelation (10:9) , he is commanded to eat it before he preaches it.
Allow the words of Truth to nourish your soul.
As we head into an election cycle where tensions are high and opinions are loud, come back to the truths of Scripture again and again. Ask God to open your heart to hear His voice above all the other noise today. Take these words into the deep places of your soul. And whatever else happens in these coming days, I’ll come back to the timeless truth of the Eternal One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Pursue the peace and welfare of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to Me, the Eternal, for Babylon because if it has peace, you will live in peace.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.