Why are so many Christians spiritually malnourished? Maybe it’s because they’re trying to survive on a starvation diet.
It’s odd. There’s plenty of spiritual food available. Yet many Christians only eat once a week. Admittedly the once a week meal is usually a feast that a pastor’s prepared. Then when everything’s been consumed, mouths are dabbed with communion napkins and we go home to live hungry lives until we can slide into a pew for the next banquet.
What’s up? Why do some of us try to exist on a diet that consists of only one or two meals every seven days? It’s bizarre! We’re not food-deprived. We could and should be enjoying an amazing buffet every day.
When we don’t eat physical food we soon become tired, weak, irritable, depressed, lack concentration, or fall sick. Something similar happens when we don’t eat spiritual food.
Just like we’re made to eat physical food, we’re made to eat spiritual food. One or two meals a week can’t sustain us and a snack every now and again is simply not enough. Physically, we need three square meals a day. Spiritually we need a substantial, satisfying and balanced meal every day.
A child learns to suckle and then chew. Many Christians are spiritually malnourished because no one’s taught them how to eat the Word.
So how do we learn to eat? By first learning how to live on milk and then learning how to live on solid food (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:13-14). Like everything in life, learning begins with understanding the elementary principles and practices, then building on that foundation.
Eating the Word commences with learning how to read, listen, digest, and apply the Scriptures. Once these things are mastered, we must learn how to contemplate, interpret, study, memorize, pray, teach, and live the Scriptures.
When I was a boy, my diet was basic. As I grew older, I started eating a wider range of foods. In the same way, we must start with a basic diet, then add new foods as we grow. There’s a smorgasbord of fine foods to satisfy our palates. To grow spiritually we must taste the different Bible engagement practices in order to enjoy the delights of God’s Word.
The hunger in us needs to be satiated. We were made to feed on God’s Word. Spiritual malnourishment shouldn’t exist in the Church. But that will only happen when we learn to eat the Word.
Bible Engagement Basics https://www.amazon.ca/Bible-Engagement-Basics-Lawson-Murray-ebook/dp/B079B77Y72
© Scripture Union Canada 2020