By John Telgren
Do you remember those diagrams of food pyramids in health class?
From what I remember, meats were closer to the top, and grains and
breads closer to the bottom. The key word for the food pyramid was
balance. There had to be a certain proportion of various kinds of food
in the right amounts to be healthy. The body needs the protein from
meats, but it also needs the nutrients found in fruits, vegetables and
grains. I can remember looking at examples of a healthy diet laid out
attractively on a dinner plate with the caption, "A balanced diet
contributes toward our overall health."
It occurs to me that the same is true for our spiritual health. The
Bible uses food analogy for the word of God. It says, ". . . like
newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you
may grow in respect to salvation . . ." (1 Pet 2:2).
Think of what this image communicates. I can remember when our
children were babies and living on milk. They "longed" for the milk.
There was no question in anyone's mind when they longed for the milk.
They would cry out until they were fed.
This is how we should long for the word of God. With that longing
and the nourishment that comes from the word, we grow in respect to
salvation. Without that longing, we may wind up being sickly and could
even die spiritually.
I want to extend this metaphor a little farther. Human beings do
not live on milk their entire life. As human beings grow, they begin to
add other things into their diet as needed. The food pyramid, which
consisted of just milk, begins to grow in variety. As we grow, balance
is needed to remain healthy.
All of the scripture is not the same. There are portions that are
written as letters, some as stories of various people's struggles, some
as vivid fantastic accounts of angels, dragons, and people locked in a
struggle to overcome evil, proverbs, wisdom instruction, poetry, songs,
and on and on. Each of them have various purposes. Some are more
directed at the mind, and others at the heart. There is a great variety
of scripture in God's food pyramid. At times, we may find ourselves
stuck to only one part of the food pyramid, such as the epistles, the
Gospels, or the New Testament. Notice what this Bible says.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for
reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man
of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17).
Notice, it doesn't say "some" scriptures are inspired. Nor does it
say, "The New Testament is inspired." It says all scripture is inspired
by God. This implies that we need to make a discipline of reading all
Part of the scripture is poetry and music. The unique thing about
the Psalms are that they generally are written to God rather than
directly to us. Their benefit is to model for us how to relate to God
in worship, prayer, and devotion. Reading of the Psalms ought to be a
regular part of the spiritual food pyramid.
- John Telgren preachers for the Leavenworth Church of Christ in
Leavenworth, KS. He may be contacted through the congregation's website