Monday, November 22, 2010

Vomit and Spiritual Formation

Mark 7:14-15 MSG "Listen now, all of you— take this to heart. It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it's what you vomit—that's the real pollution"

It is frightening to learn sometimes that our external lives are a reflection of our internal health or dysfunction. What comes out of our mouth (our lives, emotions, hands, etc.) is an inevitable outcome of what we have going on inside of us. To be more specific, what comes out of us is what we put in. What else could it be?

To be as graphic as the Message paraphrase, we can only vomit what we eat.

This points us to a fundamental truth in spiritual formation: our souls hold onto everything we put in them, stores it all, our minds and characters get formed, and our lives inevitably follow. The good news is that now we know how (at least one crucial step) to change what we vomit. Change what you eat.

What does your soul take in on a regular basis? You may say you are a follower of Christ, but who has most of your attention during most of your days?

My own hobby horse compels me to wonder about a lot of the “vomit” from pulpits on Sunday mornings. Are pastors filling their souls with the great things of Christ, good theologians, the fathers and mothers of the faith, or pro sports coaches and CEOs?


Suzanne said...

It is graphic, but sometimes we need that. It brought this verse to mind:

Prov 26:11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.

It seems we return to our vomit and wonder why we aren't healing, growing or changing.

We need to eat more from the things mentioned in Phil 4:8 so we can heal, grow and change for His glory.

Phil Steiger said...

Phil 4:8 is a great example of what we ought to be doing!