I’m not sure what it is about college that gives this right of way for a junk food diet. Though highly stereotypical, images of Ramen-filled Styrofoam cups and plastic-encased frozen dinners are still a cringe worthy reminder that college can be a time of utter depravity.
Hopefully you are the change and choosing better habits for yourself, putting you above average. But many young people believe that their youth affords them the opportunity to put anything in their bodies and still reap health. After all, when you’re in college, you are clearly superhuman, right? While it is highly likely that your 19-year old metabolism will outdo your 40-year old metabolism in burning up snacks found in the store’s check out line, if you are wise, you will use your youth to store up health for your old age. Your bodily systems and even complexion benefit or suffer from your habits. What you decide to put in your body matters, and from the inside out.
Let this truth of what we know about eating be applied to your spirit. As your mouth is a passage way for the food you consume to enter your body and effect your overall health, so are your “gates”, which include your eyes, ears and also mouth, to your soul (mind, will and emotion). Moreover, what you choose to think about and dwell on, is also a gate for consuming your “spiritual food”.
Treat the things that you choose to see, hear, say, and think about as if you were going to literally swallow them and allow them to go through your body. How would the things you choose to see, hear and say taste going down? What effect would they have on your organs? Proverbs 16:24 says that “Kind words are like honeycomb pleasant to the soul and health to the bones” (KJV).
So choose the right stuff. Of course you can avoid the obvious spiritual junk food such as pornography and gossip, but sometimes there are foods which are not easily discerned without the Holy Spirit. Moreover, when you are constantly choosing to eat the right spiritual foods, you will lose your craving for the junk. You may even be repelled by it.
What are the right foods? The Word of God. Read it as much as you can. Make it a habit to read it everyday. The right music. Make a conscious effort to listen to praise and uplifting music in the place of music which glorifies sin. Let the sounds of praise bring you into the Lord’s presence wherever you are. The right images. I suggest avoiding TV as much as possible, but if you are to watch it, be mindful of what you are letting into your mind. Always consider, “what is this show trying to tell me about what God says? Does it confirm it or deny it?” The right words (heard and spoken). Avoid tearing others down with your words (while they are present or absent). Avoid listening to gossipers. Avoid listening to anything that you know is not kind to others. The right thoughts. Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The right people. Yes, that’s right, people can pull you up or pull you down, meaning that your company can have a bearing on your spiritual health. Ever get around the naysayer or negative one who seems to just bring down your mood? Or what about the friend who entices you to do things you know you are not supposed to be doing, like socializing when you should be studying? If you are not lifting them higher (and they are not lifting you higher), then politely avoid the scenario wherein you are being pulled down lower. The Bible says that the path of life leads upwards for the wise, leaving the grave behind (Proverbs 15:24). The right people also includes the assembling of believers, that is, church (Don’t skip it–the people of God are your family!).
None of this is given to induce pressure and anxiety upon you, or create in you a religious or judgmental spirit, but just be aware that what you consume through your gates does matter. Even so, the most important mechanism is the mechanism of faith, wherein you know God for yourself, you know who you are in Him. But even that is a process growth. The human body can consume junk food once, twice or many times and recover because it is design to endure. You might think that you are at liberty to eat junk and be okay. The thing about junk food, however, is that it has this curious ability to create within you a habit and addiction so that your overall health will be in a state of decline. This is the problem with sin. It never has enough. It asks you for more, while stealing your spiritual health. Health–physical and spiritual–depends on our choices and habits. Choose health today for a better tomorrow!