Like me, I’m sure you’ve heard that saying a thousand times. You are what you eat. This never really made an impression on me until yesterday. My husband and I were discussing the difference between what we consider useful to ‘ingest’ and what was of no use. The more I pondered on it, the more I wanted to write about it. I’m going to use some fictional characters to illustrate the point of what the Bible says about what we eat.
Jane is sitting at home one night, with nothing much to do, so she turns on the TV and watches a re-run of Sex & The City. She laughs, and has a heart moment for the main character, and then goes off to bed. The next day she encounters a handsome man at the coffee shop and they begin to flirt. Over the course of the day they stay in communication and by the end of the day she really likes him, so she invites him over. One thing leads to another and the next morning he is gone. She wakes up knowing that she has done something wrong, and feels horrible for it, but chalks it up to: ‘that’s the way life goes… it’s normal right?’.
While all of the above seems harmless enough, let’s look closer at what has just happened. Jane willingly watches a show about meaningless sex, and is fully engaged in the characters and the plot, making it seem like she is there.. even part of the show. It looks fun, like the characters are living this super exciting life. The next morning when she meets a cute guy she has no worries or cares about where she is leading him, she wants her life to be as exciting and fun as her favorite show. The next day, after giving herself to a man she just met, and will probably never see again, she is miserable. Though she hates herself, she will do it again, thinking that some day her life really will be cool like it is on TV.
This is real. This really happens, and not just to girls, but to guys as well. This same thing happens with sex, drugs, seemingly harmless dangerous stunts, and even murder. The media we ingest into our brains & hearts tells us that these things are fun, can be cool, or will even satisfy a deep longing, and we mindlessly agree.
In Proverbs 4, King Solomon begs his son to pay attention and gain wisdom:
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
Why do we not know what makes us stumble? We look at our lives and think, ‘I am good. I have not done anything wrong’. But then we subject ourselves to a world that wants to shove immorality in our faces, telling us that it is ok, and even cool. It is handed over in an “easy to digest” format through media, in a constant stream, so it seems normal and we have to really force ourselves to stop and question what it is we are doing to ourselves by taking part. The truth is that all have turned away, there is none that do good (Romans 3:12). Without Christ we are hopeless, and remain in our desperate longing for a change.
For those who are lost, and have not found that peace that passes understanding: I want you to know that there is hope. It is possible to be rid of the saddened and wrong thoughts and hardships that we live in. For those of us that have found that hope, but are struggling to live set apart in this world: take the time to examine your life. What is it that consumes your conversations and thoughts? If your thoughts are not founded in Christ then you need to take action to figure out where they are coming from and how to get rid of them. For all of us, what we need is to pray.
It is not ok for us, as Christians to subject ourselves to mindless activities. I urge you to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul! “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10
Instead place your minds on the things above, in His word the Bible, and watch your lives be transformed.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
– Romans 12