For the last year and a half I have been working two jobs and helping to take care of the house and my two boys in between my two jobs while my wife has been asked to go above and beyond her usual teacher duties at her school. In short, life has been hectic around here lately. When we come across seasons in life such as this it’s only natural that we do our best to simplify our lives to keep from checking ourselves into the nuthouse. We both have had to make sacrifices because there just isn’t time to do all the things we desire to do. Case in point, this is first blog post I’ve written in a couple months. Beyond that, and infinitely more important, is that lately I’ve become far too content with Jesus junk food.
With so much to do in so little time, I’ve devoted precious little time to saturating my brain with God’s Word. My spirit is craving it but mental and physical fatigue means that I usually resort to getting small doses of Jesus on the go. As a result, my spirit has become like a 500 lb fat guy, morbidly malnourished on a steady diet of milky sermons, 5 minute devotions and a Bible App’s verse-of-the-day ripped from context and lacking any depth of meaning.
As a former minister I know it’s easy for those in ministry to wonder why so many followers of Christ have a shallow understanding of the Bible. I mean doesn’t everyone have 8 hrs a day to sit in their office and binge on scripture, doing Greek and Hebrew word studies and reading commentaries? I’ll be honest, I miss that time, but the reality is that we are each responsible for growing up and learning to feed ourselves in the midst of the busyness of life. I just haven’t done a great job of it of late.
Since I’ve been out of professional ministry, I understand the lure of Jesus junk food. But I don’t care how good you think your preacher is, he’s only feeding you milk. He has (hopefully) done the work of praying, reading and meditating, literally chewing up the scriptures in his mind, and now he’s regurgitating it to feed all the spiritual babies. Sermons cannot and should not take the place of us biting off a big chunk of spiritual meat for ourselves and allowing the Holy Spirit to help us break it down to the point where we can consume it.
Jesus junk food has created an entire kingdom of spiritually obese babies who have become dependent on the current church systems to spoon feed them. Preachers take a lot of abuse from demanding members of their church and wonder why the people don’t grow up when in fact the dichotomy of clergy / laity, “sit still and listen to my sermon” church structure has created the 30 minute drive thru where people can come get their Jesus value meal and feel good about it. It’s questionable whether or not to even call them followers of Christ because they have become too lazy to put in the time and work required to actually follow Jesus. Truth is, fat sheep get eaten.
Jesus junk food is enough to keep you alive for awhile but you have to understand that it’s not healthy for you. You were made for more than a passive sermon, desktop calendar verse-of-the-day or bathroom devotional. Your spirit craves the life that only comes from digesting large amounts of God’s Word. Life gets busy and sometimes junk food is all you can handle or maybe all you have time for and that’s alright, but you can’t allow yourself to become content with it to the point that you forget what real food tastes like.