You Are What You Eat

photo from Pixabay

No, this is not about health food. Well, maybe it is.

Do you know why flamingos are pink? Because of what they eat. Flamingos are born with gray feathers, but as they grow and eat out of the swamps they usually inhabit, their feathers begin to subtly change colors. Their main diet is crustaceans and algae, which are filled with beta carotene, which holds a reddish-orange pigment. The more beta carotene they eat, the pinker their feathers become.

In other words, they are what they eat.

People have a similar problem when they consume great amounts of garlic. They begin to reek of garlic no matter how much soap and perfume they use to cover it up. If you drink a Coke, you will probably burp. If you eat too many carbs and not enough fiber, you will have digestive trouble. The bottom line is, what you put into your system is going to show.

What you as a Christian allow into your ears or eyes will affect you later.

Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Matthew 10:26 “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”

I Corinthians 3:13 “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

You cannot listen to a song all day and not hum it at night. Well, maybe you can if you are not musically sensitive. I am musically sensitive—if a song grabs my attention, I want to sing it for the rest of the week. That’s why I have to be careful what I listen to because it will come out.
This week, I stumbled across a youtube video of a song called “By Faith,” recorded by the Galkin Evangelistic Team. I have been watching it every day to learn the lyrics and my family could tell you I have been driving them to the cliffs of insanity by humming it at all hours. (Sorry, family.) The words to the song have been a huge encouragement to me as I have had to do some things this week that require a lot of trusting in God’s might instead of my own. And the recording’s mixture of upbeat music and challenging words has helped my usually pessimistic mind believe in the impossible.

Last week, however, I was checking out some music I had seen recommended on a Christian teen’s blog, and it affected me in the opposite direction. I love melancholy music, but it is not good for me. It was also a standard of music my parents do not believe is pleasing to the Lord. So, between the emotional nature of the music and the pricking of my conscience, I was rather miserable for several days. Finally, I surrendered my desire for that music to the Lord, not willing to let a moment’s guilty pleasure take precedence over a healthy conscience. And I learned this from that experience: Read the Labels.

Would you drink from a bottle whose label told you it was kerosene fuel, even though the liquid looked like Kool-Aid? Where I come from, kerosene is blue, just like the packets of Kool-Aid my grandma sent us. The kerosene containers had to be kept far away from children because of its deceptive color. If you don’t read labels, you can get into a lot of trouble.

There are some substances that are not harmful in themselves but contain ingredients which may have a bad effect on you eventually. My mom diligently scrutinizes labels for any trace of aspartame or high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated fats, so she can protect her family from the possibility of health problems as a result of these substances. Perhaps we might have a healthier society if more people read labels to know what they were putting into their systems.

It is the same with music, movies, books, friends, virtually anything that could have influence over you. Before allowing yourself to become enamored of something, take a moment to read its label. Check out if it is of the world or of God.
Titus 2: 11-12 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Do the music, movies, books, etc. match the criteria of grace? Do they help you live soberly, righteously, and godly? Or do they promote worldly lusts and ungodliness?

Once we have read the labels and discovered what they contain, we then must choose— to disregard the warning signs and follow convenience and feelings, or to surrender our desires to God and ask Him to remove our craving for forbidden fruit.
Proverbs 19:27 “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” 

Proverbs 23:4 “Cease from thine own wisdom.”

Proverbs 3:5-8 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

I Corinthians 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

Jude 10 “But what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.”

Ephesians 4:22 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”

Please don’t allow yourself to be deceived by what looks good or feels good, like Eve was. Read the labels. Study what pleases God and what doesn’t. Be careful what you feed your spirit because that is what you will become in the end.


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