My youngest son, Troy, has an unusually long tongue (just ask and he’ll happily show you). He also has a voracious appetite. One evening this past summer the boys talked us into eating supper outside on the patio table. While we bowed our heads and Phil gave thanks I heard noises to my right. I peeked my eyes open (don’t act like you don’t do it once in a while too ) and I see Troy running his big tongue along the filthy table licking up a pile of sloppy joe that had fallen from his bun. I grimaced as I could see the dirt he was taking in and that he was just inches away from ingesting bird poo.
Troy was hungry for the meat, but was also willing to eat a lot of dirt to get it. We often do the same thing in a spiritual sense.
We feel a hunger for more inside of us, a hunger for God and spiritual goodness. It is our soul longing for sustenance, so we look for what we can feed it.
We grab the latest “Christian” best seller and find Jesus talking to us in first person, yet these are not the same words in red from the Bible.
We turn on the radio to our favorite station yet hear more about being positive, uplifting, and non-offending than being salt and light in the world.
We watch feel-good movies that drop God’s name and play with our emotions yet are so off base scripturally that they are laughable.
We search for a good sermon online or a pithy quote to “like” on social media.
Not all of these activities are bad or sinful, but when a soul is longing to be nourished it needs the real stuff without the extra dirt tossed in. What sense does it make to lick up the dirt along with the meat just so you have to sort it out after it is already inside of you?
God tells us through James that we are “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27, NIV). Many times godly instruction and God’s Word can be accompanied by a lot of unnecessary additives and fillers, this is what I am calling “dirt”.
Think of the dirt as pollution to your body. It may not always be blatantly “bad” but even the “fluffy stuff” can act like smog and cloud our vision of Jesus. The world throws enough trash at us each day; don’t willingly add more to your diet. Don’t acquire a taste for it little by little in seemingly innocent ways.
There is a lot of dirt masquerading as “Christian” goods out there. We need to be very careful in what we read, listen to and declare as “good.” This requires a lot of discernment on our part; a lot of comparing to the only source of Truth.
Remember that Jesus Christ is the Word of God made manifest (read John 1). There is nothing we can read, sing, type or say that can add a single ounce of worth to him. There are many great writings and songs that point us toward him, and I am a fan of many these, but never a follower. I follow Christ alone, God’s Word alone.
I have used dirt as my example, but many times it may look more like fancy glitter. It may even taste sweet like honey, but it will not last. The dirt will turn to slippery mud, the glitter will catch in your throat, and the honey will turn sour in your gut. Only God’s pure Word stands eternal and will not diminish. Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
I’m not really overly concerned about my kids eating some dirt now and then in the physical sense, no biggie. I have a house of boys and the five second rule is alive and well here. However, when I see those I love eating spoonfuls of dirt (or glitter) in the spiritual sense I will do what I can to grab their hand, toss the spoon, offer a fork and knife and put the filet of God’s unadulterated Word in front of them and say, “Eat!” I enCOURAGE you to do the same.