Are you eating the right spiritual food in the right way?
Sometimes we as Christian men and women eat the right spiritual food, but we consume it in the wrong way. The body can only absorb so many nutritional supplements before sloughing them off as waste. Similarly, Robert Mullholland Jr. of Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky makes a powerful point about spiritual feeding in his book Shaped by the Word. He distinguishes between approaching the Word of God for information or for transformation.
Informational Reading of Scripture
- Seeks to cover as much as possible as quickly as possible.
- Is linear and demonstrates the thinking that reading is little more than covering all the parts.
- Seeks to master the texts.
- Considers that the texts exist for us to control or manipulate according to our interests and desires.
- Is analytical, critical and judgmental.
- Is characterized by a problem-solving mentality.
Transformational Reading of Scripture
- Seeks to meet with God, taking as much time as needed to pore over the texts until they get through the reader.
- Is in-depth reading.
- Seeks to allow the text to master us.
- Allows oneself to be controlled and conformed by the reading.
- Requires a humble, detached, receptive, loving approach.
- Holds an openness to mystery, to the mystery we call God.
Some of us are hungry because we aren’t feeding on the Word in the right way. David, my husband, often has to remind me at mealtimes, “Slow down. Enjoy what you’re eating. Don’t eat so fast.”
Are you eating the Word too fast? Is this one reason your soul feels famished, unsatisfied, without nourishment? Slow down. Savor your meal.
“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and passed them out to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate until they were full.” John 6:11.
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