A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

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Spiritual Junk Food

And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  1 Corinthians 9:25 NKJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.I love Peanut M&M’s, but I never buy them.

One handful of these gems leads to “just a few more,” and before I know it, I’ve eaten the whole bag. Oh, I can rationalize that they’re not that bad for me because the peanuts contain protein. But the nutrition label tells the truth: ten-plus grams of fat in a vending machine size bag.

Other junk foods, like potato chips and chocolate chip cookies, have a similar effect on me. I always intend to eat only one cookie or just a few chips, but my hand reaches into the container every time I pass it. And that lack of self-discipline means banning those temptations from my house.

When Paul told the Corinthians that “everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things” he referred to athletes who avoid unwholesome foods and activities while they train. But I can broaden “all things” into anything that hinders my public testimony to others or my private relationship with Christ.

Some Bible versions translate the word temperate as “self-control” or “strict training.” Paul emphasizes that representing Christ and His gospel requires sacrifice. Most of us realize that avoiding harmful activities like immorality and bitterness is necessary, but what about things we view as harmless or even healthful?

Dried fruit or veggie chips aren’t unhealthy foods; however, if I consume too many of those foods and neglect protein and vegetables, then I’m not maintaining a healthy diet. Similarly, spiritual junk food can include Christian books, charitable works, and inspirational music if I use them as substitutes for studying my Bible or praying.

Just as I must control my physical diet by keeping certain foods out of my house, I may also need to keep certain activities out of my life—not because they’re wrong, but because I can’t control my intake.

If we want to be healthy, spiritually fit Christians, we’ll ask the Holy Spirit to give us self-control, even in the harmless areas of our lives. We’ll want to be temperate in all things so that God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” when we reach the finish line of life.

Take time this week to inventory your spiritual junk food. What activities or habits keep you from ingesting the spiritual protein of Bible study and prayer?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Denise Loock

Denise Loock is the author of two devotional books that highlight the scriptural truths of classic hymns and gospel songs, Open Your Hymnaland Open Your Hymnal Again. She is also the founder of Dig Deeper Devotions, a website that encourages Christians of all ages to dig deeper into the Word of God. Two collections of devotions from the website are available on Amazon: Restore the Joy: Daily Devotions for December and Restore the Hope: Devotions for Lent and Easter.