My mother was the consummate Southern cook. And my father was not an adventurous eater. We had fried chicken twice every week, roast beef once, and never anything that might remotely be construed as ethnic food. Every meal had white bread and some variety of gravy. The metric of culinary success in our home was how well the meal satisfied the tastes of my father, not whether it was a significant source of nutrition. As a consequence, I was a portly boy and my father labored to find husky, tough-skin jeans.
Americans spend considerable time and effort crafting food to please the palate, but little energy training the palate for food that will nourish. We are familiar with the Hippocratic Oath which begins “first, do no harm.” But Hippocrates is also reputed to have said, “let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
God has given us food ideally suited to nourish our bodies, protect us from sickness and promote healing. He put our first parents in a garden with only one dietary restriction. Adam and Eve were encouraged to eat everything except the one fruit which appealed to their sensual desire, but had no power to nourish. Listening to flattering words and eating only to satisfy sensual desire brought unparalleled grief to our first parents – as it does to us.
Like food, the words we consume should nourish us. Truth matters. We were created to be nourished on a diet of God’s truth. Only this brings spiritual health. If we only consume spiritual junk food, then our souls are malnourished, and the diseases of unbelief and fear ravage our lives. The Apostle Paul instructs his young friend, Timothy, that a good minister is not one who crafts palate-pleasing platitudes, but one who nourishes his people with biblical truth and warns them earnestly about the addictive allure myth, masquerading as spirituality.
Feeding and being fed on a diet of truth requires intentionality and discipline. Paul wrote “train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Join us this Lord’s Day, October 21, as we examine 1 Timothy 4:6-10 and consider how best to feed our faith. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.