Did you know you’re supposed to eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day? Whether you are healthy, should lose weight or are in ridiculously good shape, there’s no getting around the need to consume what can feel like a rather large amount of fruits and veggies.
It’s very easy to read the statistics and what doctors and dietitians have said concerning how to eat healthy and have a healthy lifestyle. Why, then, is it so hard to acknowledge the truth of it all? Because if we really believed it to be true, we would act upon it, right?
Always learning but never acknowledging
God designed our brains to learn and understand. We go through decades of learning in a classroom. We learn about the people around us through conversation. We learn about our culture through observation. We are always learning.
At some point, though, we begin to learn without acknowledging the truth. Like learning about how many fruits and veggies it takes to help keep our bodies healthy without actually putting the knowledge into practice, we learn truths about ourselves, God and faith without ever really acknowledging what we learn as truth.
2 Timothy 3 describes the attitudes and actions of people in the last days. There are some pretty scary similarities between the godless people Paul writes of and our own attitudes. Lovers of themselves. Boastful. Proud. Conceited. Disobedient to parents (yes, he really calls this out next to abusive). Always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
Again, Paul is describing people who do not follow Jesus during the last days. But isn’t it a little strange that we can relate to many of the not-so-great qualities he points out here?
We will always struggle with sin until the day we die. That doesn’t mean, though, that we have an excuse to ignore truth. As followers of Jesus, our days include going to church, reading our Bibles, participating in small groups. We are always learning.
But are we able to acknowledge the truth when it contradicts our love for ourselves?
Do you love yourself?
If only it were as simple as eating enough fruits and veggies! But putting aside our selfish desires and picking up truth takes a lot more than simply planning out our meals and snacks to include healthy choices. It requires acknowledging our sin and the truth and then putting into action what we have learned.
Our culture is all about love of self. Do whatever feels good for you. If it’s right for you, then it’s right for you. Your truth is truth.
What happened to humility? What happened to learning about truth and then following it?
In order to acknowledge truth, we must first be willing to give up the sinful idea that we should be lovers of ourselves. This concept of obsessing over self has snuck into the everyday life of a follower of Jesus. Not only do we have conceited daily desires, but we also allow this deceit to affect our time with God as we search the scriptures some days simply for what makes us feel good, or we pray for a situation to turn out exactly the way we want it to.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and our minds should be captive to Christ. We are not our own, but instead we belong to God. Simply looking at and smelling fruits and veggies will not provide us with the nutrition we need each day. We must pick up the food and consume it. We must read our Bibles in search of learning more about God. We must acknowledge the truth about our sin and God’s glory.
We can love ourselves and not acknowledge truth without even realizing it at times. We use our busy schedules or our inability to understand God as an excuse to not spend time with Him or put into practice what we learn about Him. In other words, we’re saying, “I don’t think I really need that truth. I’m fine without it.”
We may not think of it in those words, but that’s what it breaks down to.
How to stay healthy
First, we need to show humility and acknowledge some truth. Our bodies can’t remain healthy without eating right, and our souls can’t remain healthy without God’s truth. So what’s stopping you from living a healthy lifestyle?
Once we stop fighting the fact that God knows better than we do, it will become much easier to accept His truth. Truth from the Bible, truth from other followers of Christ. Truth from our pastors. And once we begin living as lovers of God instead of lovers of ourselves, we will desire more and more to acknowledge His truth and live it out each day.
Let’s Talk About It: What spiritual habit do you need to begin in order to feed your soul?