Yesterday we were discussing if it is safe for kids to eat chalk. Looking it up online, I learned that lots of people actually enjoy eating chalk and do so regularly. One woman said she eats 2 sticks a day, more when stressed. Like anything bad for you, eating chalk quickly becomes an addiction. Being addicted to non-nutritive food is called “pica”.
This is completely opposite from the way we try to eat, which is maximizing the nutrients per calorie, which is called being a “nutritarian” (Dr. Fuhrman’s term). We do this because quite literally: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT.
Take for instance my typing right now. My fingers are literally made up of cells built from the food I’ve eaten in my life. My fingers can move because of the energy from the food I ate today. I can think of this post because of both the food I ate that built my brain cells and the energy from the food I ate that allowed me to think and formed those cells into thoughts and thinking patterns.
Eating chalk will probably not kill you (as one person pointed out on a forum, it is probably better for you than Doritos). Well, at least not in small doses. But it does prevent your body from getting what it needs and if all you eat is chalk, you’d surely die.
Just like what we eat builds our bodies, what we intake with our mind shapes our thoughts and feelings, which consequently shape our actions and even our physical appearance. If you think negative thoughts, you will feel worse, you will have a down-case appearance, and your behavior will also change. What we set our minds on literally transforms us inside and out. That is why Scripture tells us to:
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:2-3)
The Apostle Paul tells us this because our new renewed self in Christ is “is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Col. 3:10). That means that our knowledge of God which comes through thinking on the things of God transforms us into the image of God, which is Jesus Christ (see Col. 1:15). So we become more like Jesus as we set our mind on the things of God.
What are you ingesting with your mind?
In the past during the Holidays, my wife and I have spent many nights hanging out together watching movies. This year, God confronted us on that and instead led us to spend most evenings reading Bible together. We did watch one movie (“It’s a Wonderful Life”), but that was it.
Why was this? Because quite literally: WE ARE WHAT WE WATCH/READ/THINK ABOUT.
If it is a good movie, I might spend 2.5 hours watching then AT LEAST another 2.5 hours thinking about it through the next few days (which doesn’t count how my dreams are affected). So for one movie, I might spend 5 hours of time thinking about the content of what I watched. That WILL transform me in how I think, act, and feel (the power of movies is shown in how many people got post-Avatar depression). All of this begs some questions: Is my life there? Does it build me up? Will it make me more like Jesus?
Sometimes (although I think rarely) the answer is yes. Watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” actually did draw me to think about God quite a lot, but that is also because the whole movie is about God intervening in a man’s life. But mostly, the answer is a big fat NO: this will not make me more like Jesus, this will not help me on my walk with Christ, and this will not be honoring to my Lord (which is the chief end of man and thus my purpose in life!). And ultimately, the things I watch are usually more vivid and engaging than God’s Word, which makes me think about “things above” (God, His Word, His Deeds, Heaven) less and think about “things on earth” (like sex, violence, or even things that are “funny” or “clever”) more.
Now consider all the TV shows, commercials, YouTube videos, news stories, blog posts, Facebook updates, books, and even conversations that you ingest every day. Are those propelling you toward Christ or drawing you away? Are you ingesting only “chalk”, only things that do not nurture your mind and heart but rather provide no nutrients?
If you are what you intake (watch, read, etc.), then what are you?
Please go read your Bibles. I beg of you! That is the one thing God commands us to ingest. See my post about reading the Bible in a year.
I also highly recommend watching this speech on “The Life of the Mind and the Love of God” by John Piper.