Feeding Our Minds

Recently I’ve tried a new diet. The basic premise of the diet is that certain things are beneficial or detrimental to a particular person based off their blood type. After spending nearly a month testing it out and paying close attention to signs from my body I realized that certain foods give me energy and improve the overall feeling of my body, while others make me feel any where from lethargic to down right ill. Because my body does not know how to properly handle certain foods, it takes more energy and effort for it to digest that food, stealing resources that are meant for other things. 
As I was driving into work this morning I was listening to the radio and I noticed that more than half of the songs that were played were about broken hearts, broken relationships, hurtful people or dealing with disappointment. This made me think of the diet I’ve been on and how it also applies to our spiritual, emotional and mental states.

Most people spend a significant amount of time listening to the radio, downloaded music, watching tv or movies, and a more than half of each of these categories is filled with messages that are detrimental to our spiritual, emotional and mental lives. If we constantly bombard our lives with messages of disappointment, discontentedness, heartache, hate, revenge, etc. how do we expect to live healthy, flourishing lives? Instead of flourishing and enjoying the majority of our lives, we spend our time trying to process these messages and disband the upsetting memories these messages stir to the surface.

Scripture tells us “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

What if we cut back our exposure to detrimental influences from the media, long enough to gauge the side effects they have on our spiritual, emotional, and mental states? How much more could we enjoy life, how much more could we get out of life, how much more beautiful could life be if we spent less of our time trying to override negative external influences and more time thinking on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy?

2 Comments:

  1. Kristen,
    Thank you for posting this blog.
    The correlation you draw between the kinds of food we eat and our health and well being is well documented by scientific research and personal experience. Eating the wrong kinds of foods, not getting sufficient nutrients, or continually consuming excess calories that we retain as fat are all detrimental to our health, vigor and vitality.
    The same logic applies to our emotional and spiritual well being, too. We are all affected in varying degrees, often in very subtle ways, by what we read in books and on the Internet, the music we listen to, the TV programs and movies we watch, the people we associate with, as well as the news of what is happening in our communities and in the world. These influences can be good, bad or indifferent.
    Consuming too much negativity is likely with time to give us a jaded outlook on life, weakening our faith, leading us to depression or unnecessary “drama,” and making us indifferent or insensitive to the needs of others.
    As Christians, we are inextricably part of the culture and subject to its pervasive and inescapable influence; but, at the same time, we are called by God to set ourselves apart from the culture and to embrace the gospel as new creations in Christ.
    This creates a certain amount of tension between us and the world, and I believe the correct response is for us to be vigilant and to use biblical discernment in how we relate to the culture, particularly as consumers of the mass media. We need to effectively bear witness to and stay clearly focused on applying the teachings of Christ in all that we say, think and do.
    A good place to start? Spend more time in prayer and in reading and reflecting on the Word of God, become active in corporate worship, and critically evaluate how you are spending your time and whether what you are doing (both passively and actively) is bringing you closer to God. Cut out the activities that are detrimental to living out your Christian faith.
    Let me give a few examples from the Bible that underscore this point.
    “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6.19,20).
    Jesus said, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4.4).
    “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2.2).
    “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2.15).
    May you be blessed by the extravagant love of God our Father, the amazing grace of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.
    Colby

  2. Don Fanning, Professor, Liberty University, has prepared a paper with helpful suggestions on how to deepen our relationship with Christ through quiet time. Quiet time is that set aside daily for prayer and Bible study. The PDF file can be downloaded here.
    http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=cgm_disc_mat