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Careful Consumption

You are what you eat. The first time I heard this phrase, it was relating to someone's actual diet. The phrase is used to caution people from eating junk all the time because what you eat affects how you are able to function. For example, if you live off a diet of fast food, you can have low energy and feel sluggish, versus if you have a more balanced diet it could actually give you energy and improve your mood. I'm not an expert or anything, but the concept is simple enough. It also doesn't just apply to the things we eat for our physical body.

Designer Jac Vanek once said, "You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in.  You are what you take from these.  You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner.  You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life.  You are every single day.  So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence.  Let the words run through your veins and let the colours fill your mind."

She beautifully articulates this truth when it comes to the people we are and potentially grow to be. We are the sum of our experiences, and though we don't always get to choose every experience, we do get to choose how we allow them to shape us. Most of the lenses by which we view the world are ingrained into us by how we were raised, yet as we transition into adulthood we sort through what we believe works for us and discard or modify the rest. When we factor in our faith it changes the game entirely.

Proverbs 23:7(a) says,

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:"

Matthew 6:21 says,

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

and Proverbs 4:23 says,

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."

The Bible cautions us to be vigilant in keeping the condition of our heart, because God knows that the condition of our heart is going to be reflected in our character. American philosopher Will Durant says, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." If we as Bible believers are practicing the character of Christ as God has intended, then our heart is a reflection of the things God holds dear. Our faith is a practiced behavior. We have to choose to be Christ-like in every moment presented to us. This is important to remember because we can easily fall into the misconception that because we call ourselves Christian, then we are already have done all the work required to be one. This is simply not true.

If we are not kind, honest and above all loving, we can not honestly believe that we are Christians. If we are not practicing the attributes of Christ, how could we possibly call ourselves Christ-like? How can we hope to if we don't learn who Christ is and surround ourselves with others who can encourage us in the faith. This is why Hebrews 10:25 says,

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Yet, we also know that while going to church certainly helps, we aren't surrounded by Christians when we go to school, work, or even when we hang out on our days off, which is why we have to be careful what we feed our heart. The things we read, listen to, watch, allow to entertain us and talk about should and eventually will reflect our character.

Philippians 4:8 says,

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

God gives us instruction in His word on how to guard our heart so that we can shape it to more accurately reflect Him. It's our job to guard our heart so that Christ can keep it.

How are you going to more careful in how you consume this week?

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