We intuitively understand the meaning of the phrase “you are what you eat”: diet directly affects health. But the concept extends into broader realms. Jesus’s words in Luke 6:43 apply agriculturally. A good tree — one planted in quality soil and receiving ample water and sunlight — naturally produces good fruit, and vice versa. What goes in must come out, in some form or another.
Of course, Jesus, as he often did, used this agricultural metaphor to convey a spiritual truth. We are what we eat in a metaphysical sense, too.
Modern psychology has affirmed this. Contrary to the Enlightenment belief that humans are predominantly rational, study after study has shown that emotion and subconscious forces influence our decisions far more than dispassionate logic does.
And what shapes our subconscious? According to Jesus, the soil, water, and sunlight of our lives: the inputs into our system.
We live in an age with more inputs than ever. From the number of people we interact with, to the torrent of media we consume daily, we’re almost always on the intake. And because, as a whole, we still hold to the Enlightenment notion of the rational self, we’re far more easily influenced than we realize.
The wise response for a follower of Jesus is to humbly evaluate our inputs. What media do we choose to consume, and what values do they subtly call us to embrace? What people most have our ear, and how do their messages shape us? And, most importantly, how many of our inputs carry God’s voice and his values into our hearts?
Father, there are so many voices seeking to have influence in my life. Forgive me when I muffle yours behind so many of the world’s. Show me what inputs are unhealthy for my soul, and lead me to the sources of your Word and wisdom, so that I might naturally bear good fruit for your glory. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Throughout This Day: Invite the Spirit to make you aware of the impact of the various messages you receive. Seek to evaluate those messages in the light of the Gospel.
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