Chocolates, lollipops, Hershey’s bars, gummy bears, marshmallows…

Walking into a candy store and seeing so many flavours, shapes and colors warms my cavity-riddled sweet tooth. I used to love all kinds of candies when I was small. I’d eat them everyday if I could. My mom, having better sense than me, didn’t allow me to eat only candy, mainly because they would spoil my appetite for real meals. And when I’d ate them secretly, she’d always find out. However, she didn’t give up on me and continued on feeding me healthy food and made me eat it even when I wasn’t hungry.

And she was right. Eating badly can even change a person’s personal tastes. You can get so used to certain habits that you start rejecting foods if it doesn’t have that sugary taste. You’ll start finding other foods less tasty than candies. It messes with your head. This leads to malnutrition and far from being healthy. I mean, you can’t live just on carbs. Proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, for example, are extremely necessary for our metabolism to function properly. Therefore, the result of eating only candy is a poor immune system and, consequently, your body being prone of diseases.

Where am I going with all this?

We experience something similar spiritually-wise. The world where we live in can be compared to a candy store, or even to a chocolate factory, like Willy Wonka’s. We are inside of this enormous and, apparently, fantastic factory, and we’re invited to try all of its wonderful and varied sweets. However, to eat them will make us lose our hunger for God’s Word, because we’ll feel full. Consequently, we get spiritually sick. The Lord, as a responsible Father, leads us not to eat them, but to eat of Him. And even when we stubbornly eat sweets in secret, He will know. He is much more than an intelligent mother, He sees everything (Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24). And, because He loves us, He continuously insists that we eat healthy food, the kind that gives us life.

“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).

The Bible shows us the story of a young man called Daniel and his three friends: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. In Daniel’s story there weren’t sugary candies but the portion of the king’s delicacies. However, Daniel decided in his heart not to defile himself with them. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor the wine which he drank” (Dan. 1:8a). Daniel and his friends knew that they should follow another diet to be healthy young men. “And at the end of ten days, their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies” (v. 15). Young one, which diet are you following?

To eat what is in the world suppresses our hunger for God. It makes our spiritual life sick, once our immune system become weak, i.e., our consciousness becomes dull. Worse than that, we can start to think that God’s food isn’t so good, because our palate, our soul, is so used to other foods and it’s so full that it doesn’t have pleasure in God anymore. We need to realize that the food offered in this world doesn’t have the nutrients we need. Our diet, like Daniel and his friends’, should be the another one.

But, how can we follow a healthy spiritual diet?

These are the ways, reading the Bible and take it in prayer, reading spiritual books, listening to hymns of praise to the Lord and going to church meetings, where we can be helped by our guardians and stewards, our pastors and masters. However, it isn’t sufficient doing so just on weekends. We need to have spiritual meals on a daily basis as the physical ones. We need to eat every day and not just once in a month. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalms 1:2).

Furthermore, meals can’t be eaten in any way. Shoving down food too quickly, for example, doesn’t allow our body to absorb all the nutrients in there. That doesn’t allow enzymes in our saliva to properly work. The bigger the food contact surface, the greater is the enzymatic action, which is obtained from the breaking down of particles into smaller pieces through chewing. If we rush this process, we force our system to deal with stuff before it’s fully prepared. Paying attention to what you are eating is also another important factor, because it makes your brain stimulate the biochemical processes of chewing and digestion. As such, the best way of having a meal is without hurry, paying attention to what you eat and chewing each portion many times to absorb the maximum nutrients possible.

Young one, separate time to feed on God. Don’t rush, enjoy the Word, extract from it the maximum amount of nutrients as possible. In this way, you will be a spiritual healthy young one, with a strong “immune system”, your conscience will be sensitive to God’s speaking and your soul will find much more delight in Him than in the things of the world. The world can make you “be full”, but only God can give you complete satisfaction. “And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Say NO to Mr. Wonka and his attractive sweets. Say NO to the prince of this age. It is time to decide firmly!

Translation of the article “A fantástica fábrica de chocolates” (Blog Eu vos escrevi).