My grandsons are going through the picky eating stage. I’ve watched all fourteen grandchildren hit it along the way, and it never fails to bring back memories of my own children’s fussy eating.
Our middle daughter hated peas. I remember waiting one day until she downed the four designated peas on her plate. Her sisters had long finished their lunches and were off playing. Those chosen few peas were keys to her freedom.
“I ate them,” she finally triumphed.
Grateful that the ordeal was over, I let her run off to play. I picked up her empty plate and saw four tiny smashed green blobs hidden underneath. Even to this day, she has never gained an appetite for peas.
Appetites are part of life.
They drive us to actions which either nurture or starve those cravings. They can be difficult to control and hard to satisfy, a blessing or a curse.
The Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land craved meat so desperately, they rebelled against God. David, while king, followed his whetted desires to adultery and murder. The appetite for power was so great in the religious ruling class of Jesus’ day that they put the Messiah to death.
I wonder how my actions and attitudes affect appetites in others? How can our cravings influence other’s appetites for or against God?
Whet Your Appetite
First, our own appetites must be whetted for the Word of God.
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:3 ESV
If our desire wanes for spiritual nourishment, surely our lives cannot produce a hunger in others. When we learn to love what God says to us, it whets an appetite for the Author.
Starve Wrong Appetites
If our desire wanes for spiritual nourishment, surely our lives cannot produce a hunger in others Click To TweetPerhaps in part, this post comes from a growling stomach. I am indeed seeking to shed a few pounds by starving wrong appetites like the very ones I’m craving. If I determine to eat just a salad, but keep a piece of chocolate cream pie next to it, I will likely end up failing in my resolve.
In the spiritual realm, the same applies. If we want to be properly nourished, we must not dabble with things that feed the drive toward wrongful or sinful behaviors.
I have been on enough physical diets in my lifetime to know how deeply I hate all of them. Yet, I recognize I cannot have it two ways. I cannot have my cake and eat it too. If I want to be healthy and fit, I need to discipline my eating and exercise.
Spiritually speaking, I need to quit shallow, spoon fed intake, and mere Bible substitutes. I need disciplined, regular, and deep time alone with Jesus and I need the nourishment of His Word.
Feed Your Appetite with Spiritual Truth
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8 ESV)
If I want to see spiritual growth, I need to connect what the Bible teaches me to my everyday life. I need Him to develop in me an appetite for what He values and look for opportunities to include younger believers in activities that feed their souls.
These are the thoughts I’m contemplating while I babysit three little boys who call me Grandma. I figure I’m old, right? I’m tired of bending over and hauling up. The mess of toys will just get worse even if we go through the torture of trying to pick up. The easiest thing in the world is to give in and just turn the TV on, to sit back and take a breather for a while.
Yet, something inside tells me that right now, in this bright sunshiny morning, we could do better. I could stuff little arms into jackets, and shove little piggies into shoes. I could give them time and laughter. We can talk and share God’s glorious world.
I can whet their appetite for trees, butterflies, and flowers. I can feed their hunger for the Creator with wind blowing in their hair and another push on the swing. Looking at the shapes of clouds and flights of birds will help control screen time cravings. We’ll blow bubbles and watch them float away, enjoying the gift of another day.
How is your appetite? Deep inside I know what I nourish in others will feed me as well.
(Adapted from an article first published in Legacy Coalition. Feed Your Appetite)