Monday, October 10, 2011

Spiritual Junk Food


This weekend I was lamenting the fact that in order to lose weight, I can not eat most of the food I love to eat.  It is rather frustrating that most of the best-tasting food is the worst food for you.  Whether it be fried chicken, hamburgers, candy, coffee with extra cream and sugar, or any of the other foods that most of us love to eat, it is all really bad for you.  If it were not true, then McDonald's would not be selling greasy hamburgers and deep fried french fries rather they would be selling bean sprouts on whole grain bread with raw zucchini sticks on the side.  If it were not true, then we would not have entire theme parks built around candy and the most popular houses on Halloween would be the ones that gave away apples rather than full-sized candy bars.  We love bad food yet that is the worst food for us.  Then I started thinking about sin.  I can make the same commentary about sin.  The things that are sinful are the things associated with fun for a good life. This is true whether it be materialism, greed, drunkenness, fornication, etc and so on.  Sin and junk food are associated as "fun" things and righteous living and healthy eating are associated with boring things.

Why is that? Are we part of some grand cosmic comedy where God makes the things we love the best the things that are the worst for us?  Is God cruel for making bad things more enjoyable than good things?  If you believe in the same God that I do then you know that is not true at all.  I think what this all comes down to is the flesh.  The whole world is geared towards satisfying the flesh.  Bad food is fun because we enjoy that food in a carnal way.  What I mean is that is gives us pleasure in the shallowest of fleshly ways.  It has no value for real growth of our health or physical bodies, but it does certainly satisfy the flesh. The same is true for sin.  Those things are fun because they tickle the flesh.  Fornication, drunkenness, etc are all things that make us feel good physically.  The thing is, though, that just as junk food is killing us all the while it is making us feel good, so is sin killing us spiritually even while it makes us feel good physically.  This all comes down to a scriptural premise that can not be denied.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV
If you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption.  If you sow to the spirit, you will reap everlasting life.  Sowing to the flesh is good for instant gratification, but that gratification will never satisfy as we only make the flesh grow more hungry each time we feed it.  It is like a physical addiction. When I used to drink, when I first starting drinking if I had a couple of beers, I was good and buzzed.  By the time I put getting drunk behind me, I was sharing shot pitchers with a friend to get that same effect.  The same is true for our flesh.  We begin with "little" sins as we dabble in areas we should not dabble in.  As time goes on, we need more and more to get that same good feeling we originally got from our "little" sins. Eventually, we become reckless and our behavior becomes dangerous.  Many people suffering from many diseases, loneliness, financial hardship, or even in prison because they started out with some "little" sin that became not enough.  Sowing to the flesh leads to corruption. 

Contrast this to sowing to the spirit.  Perhaps you do not get the same instant gratification that sin gives you, but you are sowing unto eternal life. You may not have the same treasure on earth that a sinner has, but you are laying up eternal riches for yourself.   Sure others may be dating around doing fun and exciting carnal things, but you are waiting for that relationship God has for you.  One will ultimately end up lonely and never able to have a truly deep and meaningful relationship, whereas you are able.  They have their fun for a few years and end up alone.  You wait on God's timing and end up in a relationship that you never could have imagined.  Sure others may look like they are having fun as they get high or drunk on all sorts of drugs, but years from now when their bodies are breaking down you will remain healthy.  More than that, as you grow in the Lord, the satisfaction of the spirit begins to drown out the call of the flesh to the point where we wonder what all those other people see in those meaningless sinful activities.  You have a peace that passes all understanding whereas the drugs they took at one time to have fun are now taken to forget a reality they can not bear.  You have that one relationship that will satisfy you for the rest of your natural life whereas the fornication they once did for fun is now done to forget just how lonely and empty they are.  You are free to do as you want on earth while many of them are in prison wondering how a road that begin so innocently ended so tragically. 

You see this is all true because there is another Scriptural premise at work here.  Just as junk food will lead to poor health as it wreaks its havoc on your body, so does sin lead to poor spiritual and physical health.  Junk food is fun for a time, but if you do not change your ways, that fun will become health problems that will haunt you the rest of your life.  Sin is fun, for a time, but if you do not change your ways, the freedom you once claimed you had to do anything you wanted will become your prison as what was once done for fun is now done to keep you from realizing just how miserable you are.  That is the reality of sin. 
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.  Hebrews 11:24-26 NKJV

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