Friday, January 9, 2009

Portion Control of the Spirit

If you have every been concerned with your health and weight (which most if us women are at some point) you may have heard a lot of advice on how to lose weight, be healthier and feel great. As a mom, you may also be concerned about how to teach healthy habits to your children as well. One of the most effective methods that I have found in maintaining and losing weight is not fad dieting but simple portion control. Over the years, the fast food industry has focused on value, offering more food for your money-and most other food establishments have followed suit. Super size and all-you can-eat buffets have become the norm. It is difficult for the average American to even understand what a good portion size is anymore. As responsible stewards of the bodies that the Lord has given us it is important for us to learn more about this concept and bring our ourselves and our families back to appropriate portion sizes.

This phenomenon, referred to as "portion distortion" can apply not only to physical food, but food of the spirit as well. What are you putting on your spiritual plate, and it what portions? Are you filling yourself with oversize portions of worldly pursuits (that can be compared to high fat, high sugar, high calorie foods?) or are you filling yourself with the perfect portion of God (comparable to balanced diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, milk, protein, and small amount of "good fats").

In our media-rich, advertising centered, fast paced society, it is a difficult for us and particularly for our children to resist the temptation to distort our spiritual plates with those "high calorie, low nutrition" things of the world. Money, power, beauty, and material items are just some of the things that are falsely promoted as "the American Dream". While there is nothing wrong with any of these items in and of themselves, the oversize portions of our hearts and minds that they occupy can become a barrier in our relationship with the Father. Sometimes we end up putting those things before him, without even realizing it has happened.

Lamentations 3:24-26 tells us how we can resist those temptations, confirming that the Lord himself should be our "portion":

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

When we wait quietly on the Lord, spending time with him and his word, he is the nutritious portion that we need to lose the "weight of worldliness" and feel healthier and happier on a spiritual level.

Proverbs 23:1-3 instructs us all to practice physical and spiritual "portion control":

If you sit down to eat with a ruler, notice the food that is in front of you. Control yourself if you have a big appetite. Don't be greedy for his fine foods, because the food might be a trick.

As you begin this glorious new year that the Lord has given us, join me in practicing and teaching our children the value of spiritual "portion control" (and a little physical portion control never hurt anyone either!)


Nancy M. said...

That is a great analogy! I struggle with both sometimes.

Melanie said...

Very good.
I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Deb Burton said...

Thanks for leaving your encouraging comment on my site. I so appreciate the uplifting words that my sisters in Christ share with me!