Have you ever went on a cookie-only diet? While little kids may dream about only eating sugary sweets for the rest of their lives, we all know that such a way of living could never sustain anyone. Just a few days into only eating cookies and your body would be falling into disrepair. You would be ill from lack of the nutrients you really need, and probably very tired of just eating cookies. It wouldn’t take long to revert to a more balanced way of eating.
If we take such careful care of our physical lives, why don’t we pay the same attention to our spiritual lives? We feed our heads with all sorts of mental junk food, rarely dining on something that will truly feed our minds and our souls. How can we expect our spiritual lives to grow if we’re feeding it only with the junk of the world?
What’s your spiritual diet?
As you go about your day, what is your mind absorbing from the world around you? What movies do you watch? What music do you listen to? What kind of people do you hang out with? Do the things you fill your life with encourage your faith, or tear it down?
These are questions we all need to consider. What we feed our minds will determine the health of our spiritual lives. A good, strong faith cannot grow deeper if it is purely being fed the spiritual equivalent of chocolate chip cookies. It needs food that will strengthen it and help it to grow.
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation…” 1 Peter 2:2
As young Christians, we begin by feeding upon spiritual milk—the basics that give us a foundation to grow from. As our faith progresses we move on to more solid foods, continuing to strengthen our belief. We need to be constantly feeding our faith, consuming and contemplating all manner of spiritual foods.
Spiritual food is essential.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
You are a new person in Christ. When you accept Him, who you are changes. You need to feed this new creation and strengthen your faith. If it doesn’t get the food it needs, it will wither away into a little wisp, always a shadow of what it could and should be.
There are lots of different ways we feed our faith. From reading the Word to spending time in prayer to engaging with fellow believers, it is truly essential that we make sure our “spiritual diet” is made up of a broad selection of foods. Each one is a crucial part of our lives.
It’s far too easy to stop feeding our faith.
There can come times, however, where we stop feeding our faith—almost without realizing it. Perhaps we’re no longer spending as much time in prayer, or we’ve fallen out of contact with those people who often encouraged our faith.
In this time of social distancing, lockdowns, and online church services, it’s growing far too easy to stop feeding our faith. We are suddenly lacking the encouragement that comes from meeting with our friends at church. We no longer have the accountability of meeting with a friend, or with our small group, to strengthen our faith.
For far too long, I took for granted the encouragement that comes from meeting at church with fellow believers. Returning to our church after two months of lockdown, however, I realized that there is something far, far different about meeting with believers, instead of merely watching a service online or attending a zoom call.
While watching online provided a way to still learn about God’s Word, there was no connection or fellowship with other believers. I was lacking the community, accountability, and encouragement that came from being physically with others.
While for many of us things like online church services and zoom calls are still unavoidable, I encourage you to find other ways as well to grow and strengthen your faith. Be intentional about it. Seek out a friend whom you can meet and pray with. Be creative and look for ways to continue strengthening your faith, even if the situation makes conventional means more difficult.
What spiritual encouragement do you have in your life?
Whether you have a mentor who encourages your faith, a small group to meet with and discuss what you’re learning in the Bible, or a close friend whom you can pray with, spiritual accountability and encouragement in our lives is a huge part of continuing to feed our faith. It’s these things that will help us to stay on track, even as the world gets crazy and hectic.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
There are many forms of spiritual encouragement. Spend time reading God’s Word to refresh your soul. Pour your heart out to God in prayer. And make sure you prioritize spending time with fellow believers. Go to church. Go to youth group. Meet with mentors or friends who can encourage your faith.
Don’t starve your faith.
Engage in many different forms of strengthening your relationship with God. Cultivate a life where your love for Him spills into every aspect of your day. Study God’s Word, let it truly impact you. Spend time talking with Him. Fellowship with other believers.
We need real, human fellowship in our lives and our faith. We aren’t meant to walk through life alone. Instead, God provides us with people to encourage us and build us up. Find those people in your life. Build up their faith, and let them encourage you as well.
Don’t starve your faith, dear Roses. Feed it daily. Nothing else you do in a day matters more than that.
Ever since she was little, Julia has loved to create things with words. As she’s grown in life, she’s seen and experienced how God’s love can restore and give hope. She writes with the goal of shining God’s light for others and pointing them toward a greater hope. As a contributing writer for the Wilting Rose Project, she hopes to encourage other young women, reminding them of the one who gives us our worth.