Do you savor every bite? Do you take in the whole experience of food: the location, the company, the music/ambiance, the smells? Do you race through eating? Is eating something you do because you need to, but not really something you put a lot of focus on? Do you eat for comfort or escape?
How do you eat spiritually?
Recently, I have been reflecting on how we are fed spiritually even more than how I eat, although they go hand in hand together. There are several different ways that we are fed: finding food on our own, being spoon fed, being led to the food, being taught how to eat, being taught how to look for and hunt spiritual food, and a combination of the above.
I have been in several churches, study groups, etc. where I have been spoon fed. This means, being presented with what to believe and how to view scripture. The more I am exposed to it, the less I like it. It gives me spiritual content, and makes certain things clear, but I am not having to work for it at all. I am not examining the scriptures and making my own choices, but instead am taking the beliefs of others and swallowing it without really knowing what it contains. I think that is very dangerous, and it creates very immature and unexperienced Christians.
I believe the best way to be fed is through a combination of styles and methods. There are times where I need to be spoon fed. It may be a difficult concept, or I may not be doing well and need to depend on the direction and counsel of others. Ultimately I want to move from being spoon fed (which is where most believers start), to being shown where the food is, learning how to eat it well, and then to learn how to hunt for more food on my own. That is a path of growth and maturity.
When we are hurt and traumatized in our spirit and soul it is hard to look to that spiritual food. However, if we do not eat of spiritual food we become malnourished and the situation gets even worse. We desperately need to eat because our bodies, minds, spirits, and souls are in need of the spiritual nutrition to heal and be restored. We may need to be spoon fed at times, and most if not all of us will need some help in being led to the healthiest food. On our own we can often find unhealthy food, but the healthy food is harder to get to and we need direction and sometimes assistance to reach it.
How are you being spiritually fed? Do your leaders tell you what to believe? Do they present material to you without much or any opportunity to respond or ask questions? Do they apply it to your life, or just present it before you, expecting you to know how to apply it and have it change and fill you?
Take a few minutes to think about your spiritual life, and how you can take a step toward maturity and growth? How can you show a desire or ask to be led to food, taught how to eat, and shown how to hunt for spiritual food on your own? It is likely that your church services will not change, but consider if there a study group you can join, a study group leader you can talk to regarding adjusting their style, a friend you can start meeting with for discipleship, or a training class you can attend.