Spittin' your food out

My son Deacon sometimes does something at the dinner table that's really gross. He'll be eating just fine when suddenly an urge to fill his mouth completely overtakes him. Then, without warning, he'll look at me and mumble something while at the same time start spitting out his food. I have to grab a napkin to catch the contents, all of which have been chewed and partially processed. Yuck!

When my son does this it usually means he's done eating. Instead of walking away from the table to be excused, it hits him that what he's stuffed into his mouth will not make its way into his belly so he spits it out. Christians are kind of like this too.

This happens in a couple of ways. There are times when we simply gorge at the Lord's table, feasting on whatever any teacher or preacher puts on our plate. We simply fill up until we are almost overwhelmed by information and application, yet we have no real intention of putting it into practice. When we've had enough we walk away from the table until the next time we want to fill our guts.

Then there are the times when we are fed spiritually and we get real excited. We just simply can't hold it in so we quickly regurgitate what we've heard to anyone around us who will listen. Our mouths - our hearts - are so full that we can't take in anymore (or we don't wait to take in anymore) and we quickly spit it out to share with the world. That's not necessarily a bad thing but the problem lies in the fact that, once your mouth is empty, so often is your heart. The satisfaction of being filled passes quickly and you are once again settling for an empty stomach (think of mountain-top experiences that quickly degenerate to complacency).

So what's a follower of Christ to do? Do we feast or famine? Most of us know that what we take in either has to be burned off or eliminated as waste. If you don't exercise or all that you take in is junk, then what's not eliminated will hang around more than you want and become stored as fat. Moderation, then, is key and exercise is essential.

I love learning new things about Jesus and my faith. But if all I ever did was ponder on it in my heart then it wouldn't go very far. What I must do - what we must do - is never settle for being content on just sitting on God. He wants action, whether it's going on mission, sharing the gospel, or shining the light in dark places. That means we've got to push away from the table, wipe our mouths, and get to work.

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