As I get older and my metabolism slows, I am starting to pay the price for not paying attention to what is known as “empty calories.”  Empty calories are foods that offer little to no nutritional value.  While I try to make arguments about the dairy found in ice cream or the protein found in the nuts of a bag of M&M’s, for the most part those foods offer nothing of nutritional value for the healthy maintenance of my body (although, I must say, at times, I do think they help my mental state! LOL!).  

Empty calories leave us feeling full, but eventually they turn to fat and can lead to our depriving ourselves of the minerals we truly need.  At times, we must admit we are guilty of this even in our spiritual lives.  We go through the motions, skim off the top of a sermon, pray only when we need something, or simply sit and wait to be fed instead of seeking truth, digesting sermons and small group interaction, and spending quiet times with God in order to listen and grow in a healthy way.
“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” This passage from Hebrews 5:13-14 was written to Jewish Christians who were considered immature believers because they did not “eat the proper food” to help them grow spiritually.  Like children, they continued to rely on milk far past the time when they should have moved on to solid and more nutritious ingredients.  Instead of applying the Scripture to their lives, learning discernment between right and wrong and beginning to teach others, they waited for someone to do it for them. 

Part of growing as a Christ-follower is reaching a point where you take responsibility for pursuing disciplines that lead to spiritual growth.  It is not the church’s responsibility, nor another Christ-follower’s, nor even a parent’s. You have to start taking steps to feed yourself instead of relying on others.  And when you do, be careful not to consume the empty calories of things you already know. Instead, dig deeper, seek answers, teach others, and train yourself to distinguish good from evil.  In this way, you will grow towards a deeper and more fulfilling walk with Christ.


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