Updated: Jan 8
This time of year, it is easy to find yourself munching on the junk foods and leaving the healthy option rotting in the fridge. It is easy to justify also. After all, it is the holidays! A season specifically designed for indulging our pleasures often to the point of misery! Have you noticed that the more you munch on junk, the less desirable nutrition becomes? How, even when you get done eating a healthy meal, you can’t get that piece of chocolate cake off your mind? It takes some detoxing and a whole lot of discipline to get your body back on track, and often we do not see the results as quickly as we would hope for. So, what do we do? We cheat a little here, we indulge a little there until we are left with an empty box of Little Debbie's wondering, “How am I right back where I started?!”
We all know that game, we have all played the game. Some of us have won, and some have lost. But we should not let our past define our future. Christ sure does not hold that standard over us!
Have you noticed the same mantra can be true of us Spiritually? Lately, I have not had that same desire for the Word that I used to have. I have not been “Hungering and thirsting after righteousness.” And I realized it is because I have been munching on “junk food” so much that it has taken my desire for “nutrition” right out of my spiritual diet. Lingering too long on the news app. Falling into the pit of watching dumb videos on Facebook, telling myself, “Just one more video, and then I will put the phone down.” And then find myself almost an hour later and a cramp in my arm from holding my phone up. Tell me I am not alone! Being too concerned about what is happening in the lives of all my people on social media and hoping they are also concerned about what is happening in my life. One more episode of whatever show is next on Netflix. How do you watch an entire season of a show in two days??? I have filled my mind with so much information that it has left it too full to hunger for anything more. My desire for what is Spiritual has been replaced with what is temporary. And the result? A constant feeling like something is missing. Knowing that I have not been experiencing the sweet fellowship of my best friend, Jesus Christ.
I had been reading a book by Jackie Hill Perry called Holier Than Thou, but I put the book down after a few chapters. When I realized my longing for the Word had changed, I started reading it again and picked up where I left off at chapter 4: Unholy Gods: Idolatry…I am currently reading through the same chapter for the third time.
Some things have stood out to me in this chapter…
“I Don't know your idols by name. You might, and the God you have exchanged it for certainly does. But know that who, or whatever it is-it will fail you forever.”
“We take what God has called good, and remove a letter. Give it ultimate status in our lives and hope with all of our hearts it will be the deity we have baptized it as.”
“Social media thrives most on our neediness in the way it makes us discontent in being known and loved by God and God alone. Looking to it and not Him for love and other things. Every post reveals from what we find value and identity…every “like” feels like praise, every” comment” feels like prayer, and every “follow” feels like heaven. One that we have constructed to the glory of our own name.”
These quotes hit me like a brick wall. I felt conviction flood over me. I knew I had replaced my relationship with God with an idol. My idol was not carved out of wood, but had taken a place on a throne in my heart that is reserved for God, and God alone.
I am not saying that the news, social media, or shows are terrible and sinful, and I have cut them out of my life forever! No, I am just saying that my time fellowshipping with my Savior should not suffer because I have filled my spiritual appetite with pleasures of the flesh. Pleasures that do not satisfy.
The new year is such a wonderful time of reflection. A new beginning and a time to reflect on the events of the past year. A time to question our choices and ask if those choices have profited us. Or have they brought us into closer communion with Christ?
Have you been like me and put some unholy idols on a stolen throne? Maybe we need to take this new beginning to evaluate not only our physical diet but also our spiritual diet.