Solid Food // 2 Timothy 4:3-5
2 Timothy 4:3-5 (MSG) | “You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.”
The Apostle Paul cautioned that there would be times when people would not be able to stomach solid teaching but opt for spiritual junk food. I think it’s safe to say we’re in one now. How about you? The thing about junk food is it might taste good, but it’s nothing but empty calories. Most junk food actually has additives in it to make it addictive, so the more you eat, the more you want.
Have you ever been in a binge fest where it seems the more you ate the hungrier you get? I call that automatic eating. I have no control in those times and start scavenging for any and everything I can shove down my gullet. Once I finally give up, I feel bloated, sluggish, and shameful. Awful.
Isn’t it interesting how that proves to be such a parallel for our spiritual diet? We can be so easily tempted by the current thing of the day, conventional wisdom, and modern culture. There are some aspects that can tickle the ears and even pique your curiosity, but is it true? As Paul alludes, so much of the pop psychology is “me-centered” and an approach to try to make sense of the bad things that happen in life.
The Good News of Jesus points us beyond self and societal norms to salvation. Service in God’s name becomes the hinge from self-centeredness to a God-focus. The world looks different when God is at the center of loving and living. We all need that shift, don’t we? We need to turn our backs on the things of the world so we can turn and face God.
So, what junk food are you not just snacking on spiritually, but trying to subsist on? Have you felt the emptiness of automatic eating and suffered from the side effects? If so, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, today’s verse gives us a menu for a healthy diet: be mindful of yourself; trust God in good times and bad; feast on the Word; and look for ways to serve God by serving others. This diet is full of solid teaching and healthy fuel for living, now and forever!