Growing Spiritual Muscles: “You Are What You Eat!”

By Ch. (Capt.) Hank Mauterer
1st Battalion, 10th Special Force Group (Airborne)

Do you know the old saying, “You are what you eat?” How true that saying really is, isn’t it?

What it means, in essence, is that the state and condition of your body are a direct result of the types and quantities of things you consume.

There happens to be numerous research studies supporting this paradigm, such as the 2009 Cambridge University study that shows how high-fat diets fed to laboratory rats not only made them slower, but also dumber! Did you ever think that the meals you’re eating might be nothing more than “dumb and slow” pills?  If so, then you probably didn’t consider how this paradigm also might equally apply to your soul, so let’s take a moment and look into that.

Every human being is essentially a tabula rasa (blank slate), meaning they possess absolutely no inherent knowledge whatsoever.  “What does that word spell and mean?  How does electricity work?  Why can’t I touch the glowing stove top?” From the moment we enter this world, we, like dry sponges, begin soaking in knowledge, learning from our environment, from others, and from experience.  In fact, because we happen to possess no inherent knowledge, when a friend gives us bad advice, we have no idea it’s bad advice until when?  Exactly! Not until we act on it. We then learn to no longer take advice from that friend.

In the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Genesis, the Bible records how God created man and women in his own image, how he placed them in the Garden of Eden, and how he enjoyed holy fellowship with them. At that time, Adam and Eve were sinless, pure and holy, bearing the glorious image of God. They were completely dependent upon God as their sole source of wisdom and knowledge … until a fourth person entered the Garden: the Serpent. All of a sudden, Adam and Eve now had two counselors from which to choose, and, even though God had proven himself trustworthy, loving and faithful, despite his warning regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they chose to listen to Counselor #2, who, in the end, did nothing but feed them lies leading to eternal death. It very much matters, therefore, whom you follow.

Well, since then, nothing has changed.  Because we still possess no inherent knowledge, we therefore are still dependent on others to obtain it.  Because there are still only two spiritual counselors from which to choose the words of life, it very much matters whom we follow–especially when eternity is at stake, right?

So, if spiritually you are what you eat, then from whose menu have you been primarily dining?  Take a moment right now and assess what you’ve been grazing on this week, such as books, magazines, worship services, podcasts, scriptures, internet websites, YouTube, television, movies, music, advice, Facebook, etc. From whose menu did most of it come?

“The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens … My son, let them not vanish from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck. Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble … For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:19-26)

Remember: You are what you eat, so eat wisely.

May you find this word encouraging to your faith journey!