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Worse Than Junk
Photo: Cindy Kalamajka
I once had a friend who was addicted to junk food. When we stopped to get gas, he'd rush in and buy a handful of candy and snacks. He loved it! He said, "my doctor tells me to stay away from this stuff, but what am I supposed to do when I travel?" He traveled a lot. Needless to say, he was not a specimen of physical fitness. Eventually his health suffered and he was forced to consider his options.

Not everything that's labeled "spiritual" is good for you. Just because people flock to a particular church doesn't mean it's a healthy place to be. It's a jungle out there and there are as many spiritual conveniences and self-help solutions as there are McDonalds and Burger Kings. Christian bookstores are clogged with resources that go easy on commitment. There are sensational book series about end-times, Christian romance novels, and how-to study guides with easy-to-follow formulas that offer quick fixes for twenty-first century believers. But when you strip away all the hype there is very little substance left to satisfy one's deep spiritual needs. Like junk food they are high in caloric content, but short in nutritional value. This is why many Christians today are spiritually fat and morally sick.

No shortcuts

Jesus said, "Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life--to God!--is vigorous and requires total attention" (Matthew 7:13, 14).

"Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don't be impressed with charisma, look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook" (Matthew 7:15-20).

"Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words" (Isaiah 55:2-3).

Pursuing a healthy diet requires that we be willing to spend time in the kitchen preparing foods that have nutritional value. And, there is no substitute for spending time in God's "kitchen." To be spiritually fit we must spend time with God, in personal Bible study and prayer.

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By Rich DuBose. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ®.

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