Available for order now! American Awakening: 8 Principles to Restore the Soul of America.     

when you’re squeezed

“You are what you eat!” This phrase has been used for at least a couple hundred years, I’ve learned, and was popularized in the 1920’s. It’s always meant basically the same thing: your body and health are shaped by the foods you eat. 

Nutritionists and other scientists have told us more and more over the years about how this all works, but the principle hasn’t changed: what we put in matters. This is true not just of our physical food but of our minds and our souls. As we continue to explore the theme of what we fixate and meditate on this week I want to call us to examine what we’re taking in. 

Jesus predates this phrase, but he had an interesting take on the same theme in Matthew 15, talking about food laws, freedom and what really matters: 

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” 

He goes on to explain more deeply:

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”

What we know about how the heart is filled is that it comes through our eyes and ears, making its way to our minds and into our souls. I may sound old-fashioned here, but that’s not my desire when I say the following: be ever-so-careful what you take in. 

The news, shows and movies you watch, the podcasts and music you listen to, the social media you follow – these things are shaping you. And most importantly, they’re shaping your heart. From there is where the real stuff comes – either good or bad. It may not seem that important right this moment, but a squeeze will come – a moment of pressure in a relationship, personal strain, confrontation – and when we’re squeezed, like a piece of fruit, what will come out?

This week, maybe even right this minute, take stock of what you’re taking in. Write down the things you’re filling your heart with and ask yourself if there’s anything you need to let go of in order to more fully find the truest, most free life God has for you. When the squeeze comes, what will others get? Will it be a bitter, mostly worthless pulp? Or will it be the sweet juice of life, refreshing and pure even under pressure?

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Joel

Joel Searby

A healthy and united America is truly possible… and it starts with us. John Kingston draws on wisdom from history, science, faith and culture, along with his own experiences, to offer eight principles for discovering purpose, meaning and true community.

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