I am sitting at the computer this wet Friday morning eating a "high fiber" breakfast consisting of a piece of whole grain/whole wheat toast and a new (to me) high fiber, hot cereal by Kashi called "Truly Vanilla." One thing that I have to commend Kashi for is truth in advertising, because this "stuff" that I'm eating is just as the name states; TRULY Vanilla! For some reason, I don't think that their naming of the product and my definition of the product, though using the same two words, are inferring the same thing. Pouring it out of the packet, it looks like oatmeal mixed with birdseed. But, I am a gamer, so I cooked it in the microwave and gave it a try. The cereal, filled with nearly every whole grain you can think of, is fairly bland actually. After one bite, I decided to "doctor-it-up" with some Splenda to make it a bit more palatable (As Mary Poppins taught us, "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"). SO, I have now eaten it -- more because it is good for me than the fact that it is just good.
Sometime back, my doctor urged me to increase the fiber in my diet. "You are not getting enough fiber in you!", my doctor warned quite adamantly. Then the entire team of medical professionals ganged-up on me with a list of all the terrible things that are potential by-products of not having enough fiber in one's body -- with the one's they were referring to being me! "You have to change your diet, or you will be back here again, having surgery", they said. All it took was that one "S-word" to shake me awake. Whatever I can do to help myself get healthy, (and stay away from surgery-- as you readers know about surgery and me!), I'm all for it! "Cut-out the fried food, stay away from the MSG, lower your fat intake, and you can set yourself free!" (Lyrics from "High Fiber Rap" that I just made up).
Since then, I have become more conscious of what I am putting into my body. I read the labels of foods... fat content, fiber content, calories, and what the ingredients consist of. I have dropped 30lbs, lowered my cholesterol, and am in better shape than I have been in years. I have chosen to live a low-fat, high-fiber lifestyle.
This all got me thinking about Christianity.
A couple of nights ago, the Lord dropped a thought into my heart about my "Christian" lifestyle. I have been challenged by this thought throughout this week; Am I living a healthy, "High Fiber" Christian life?
What is the "Fiber" of our Christianity? Fiber is defined as "Something that provides substance or texture." So what provides the substance or texture in our lives that we live for Christ? I believe that the answer to that question is found in the Biblical teachings of Jesus himself, recorded in Matthew, chapter 6.
In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about "substance" for our Spiritual lives. In His teaching, Jesus lists the things that are truly important for us to integrate into our lives. These are the "High Fiber" principles of Christianity.
Ironically, Jesus begins where most people choose not to -- with the importance of "Giving." He then moves on to the importance of "Prayer." Next he deals with the attitude of "Forgiveness," which is necessary for our prayers to be effective. Then he talks about "Fasting," another activity that many Christians do not know much about. The chapter ends where it began, as Jesus' teaching comes full-circle back to the principle of "Giving."
According to Jesus, these are the important parts of the Christian life. The healthy Christian life consists of a balanced diet of Giving, Praying, Forgiving, Fasting, & Giving to start the cycle all over again. Like the high-fiber Kashi I just finished, you may not think that these things taste all that great -- but remember, the benefits of this diet are eternal!
Healthy living -- the Jesus way.
Try it today!