Too many church dinners and a sedentary lifestyle finally did me in: either I would need to lose weight or buy bigger pants. Not enjoying the latter idea, for a week now I've had salad for lunch every day. They may taste like sadness, but the immediate effect was somewhat surprising: lettuce isn't a miracle food, but I began to instantly feel noticeably better. I eat my share of veggies at home, but apparently my body needed a little extra. It needed to be fed the right things.
As the body, so the soul. We need to feed our souls the right sort of spiritual food in order to grow and be healthy in our Christian walk. Why? Because in a very real sense, the old saying "you are what you eat" holds true for the spirit, too. Jesus puts it this way: "But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts -- murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander" (Matthew 15:18-19). What we put in our heart eventually comes out in our actions. If we "feed" on gossip, rudeness, dirty jokes, cussing, violence, etc., eventually we begin doing those same things. We feed our souls these things, and that's all it has to work with. Our hearts change, and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (and the arms move, the legs go . . . ).
We must instead feed on the good things: "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things" (Philippians 4:8). If we do this, we are far more likely to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit and display his fruits. The good things we take in will produce good things in our lives.
What are you feeding your soul?