Spiritual gut bombs

One of my responsibilities that I have taken on as a husband is to shop for groceries. It's not that my wife won't shop for groceries but since I eat most of the food I usually enjoy doing it myself (but Kellie does a much better job when she does). I also like to clip coupons and I feel like a money champion when I can use a coupon for an item that is also on sale.

So I'm cutting coupons this morning because I had to run to the store to get some essentials ($3 coupon for toilet paper - booyah!) when I ran across a coupon that made me scratch my head. It was a $1 coupon for Tums Kids antacid. Tums for kids? Why in the world would my child need to take antacids other than for a diagnosed reflux condition (and after reading this article I found out that most of these conditions can improve with better diet)?

I'll tell you why kids need Tums: Their diets stink. All this fast food and potato chips and pizza and sodas and God-knows-what-else parents put in front of them are tearing their systems up. My kids eat their fair share of junk too, but Kellie and I have made a concerted effort to clean up their diet and make it much healthier. Apples and bananas have replaced cookies and candy bars (but nothing will ever replace Bryers Ice Cream. Nothing. Ever.)

This whole bad-diet-can-be-fixed-by-Tums thing has me thinking that we are too dependent on others to fix things in our lives that need fixing. Many of these things are in our power to fix ourselves, such as correcting our diets and maybe getting out to get a little exercise. Sure, there are some things that we can't fix but we have advanced medicine for most of that. And then there's God.

Christians sometimes treat God like a Tums - they don't need Him until their unhealthy lifestyles merit a quick fix. I mean, we can sin if we want to because grace will fix us up, right? Wrong! The apostle Paul talked about this in Romans 6:1-2 (that is, about grace not Tums). We are dead to sin, he wrote, so we should no longer live as if it controls us. God's grace doesn't give us the right to play spiritual chicken. You may be able to eat that basket of wings because you know you've got a roll of Tums in your pocket to soothe the burn but it doesn't work this way with our relationship with God.

Most of us are smart enough to know which foods will bring on a gut bomb. We avoid those foods (usually) or we pay the price. Are we better with our food choices than we are with our relationship with Jesus?

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