It’s January, the traditional season for starting a new diet. The television is rampant with ideas of ways you can fulfill the dreams of a leaner you. There’s a lot of hype about diets, and I wanted to have you consider a whole new diet for the New Year. The good news is that this diet has nothing to do with food.
Paul was a dieting Christian. Although, as a strict Jew, he did adhere to the diet that God prescribed in the Old Testament, he didn't force this diet on new converts. Neither did he profess the health qualities of a Mediterranean Diet. The kind of dieting advice he gave concerned a spiritual diet. He wanted to make sure that after he had preached to others he kept himself fit for God’s kingdom. He exhorted us in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the game goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I think if Paul were preaching somewhere on the earth at this time of year, he would challenge us to put as much thought into a diet for our souls as we do for a new diet for our bodies. Has the thought of improving your spiritual condition even crossed your mind this year? What can you do to improve your spiritual state? Just like losing weight, spiritual growth takes hard work. Spiritual growth doesn't just happen. You need to put yourself on a spiritual diet if you are serious about seeing positive results.
There are a variety of ways that you can put yourself on a spiritual diet. You might need to diet from specific activities—such as listening to secular music, or hanging out with certain friends. You might want to diet from TV at night so you have time to read and reflect instead. Perhaps you are so over committed volunteering at your church that you don't have time to sit and be with God. I hate to step on toes here, but maybe your mind is so obsessed with your New Years Resolution to lose weight that your soul is sagging and you haven't even noticed.
As you are listening to all the ideas for great new diets for you to try this year, why not stop and consider what you might do to start your spiritual diet? Take some time to pray about it because the greatest Spiritual Trainer knows what would be the perfect spiritual diet for you. Let me know how your spiritual diet is going!