Pre-Packaged Religion

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“Processed food is chemically altered by breaking down natural nutrients, then refortifying with synthetic vitamins. Every food item becomes exactly the same.”


Although the statement addressed our society’s current eating habits, the truth reached far deeper in my soul than food. I began to ponder:


If processed food is harmful for my body, what do processed Bible studies do to my spirit?


How many Bible-studies-in-a-box are created to sell me a product rather than nourish my soul? Do they lead me into the simplicity and purity of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3) or into an addiction of processed consumption? Are they only made from overly refined ideas to reward my sense of self? Or do they help me regulate my fleshly appetite (Colossians 2:20-23)?


Do I know how to digest large portions of the pure, unadulterated Word (1 Peter 2:2), or do I rely solely on someone else to dissect it, refine it, and package it for my convenience?


Am I more attracted to flashy packaging or to the fresh produce of the Word?


Do I derive my spiritual nutrients from time spent waiting before Him or time used sitting before a video series?


Does my Bible study encourage a hearty digestion of the meat of the Word (1 Corinthians 3:1-3), as well as a way to burn up of those spiritual calories through obedience (James 2:17,20)? Or am I like the Pharisees that learn things, but do not act on them (Matthew 23:3-4)?


Do I expend energy searching for Truth or stuff myself with principles that are easy to swallow? Am I more interested in a well-organized, pre-processed, thirty-minute speech or in waiting indefinitely for God alone (Psalm 62:1,5).


Am I a diabetic Christian — only consuming spiritual principles which are sweet to my taste — or do I submit to the discipline of my Father’s diet, which sometimes includes an exercise of suffering and endurance (Hebrews 12:1-11)? Could our country’s addiction to processed religion be the reason so many of us are spiritually distended and diseased (1 Corinthians 11:27-30)?


Holy Father,


I realize that I don’t even know how to find Your Words and eat them raw. I’ve never practiced the discipline necessary to do so. I’m addicted to the ease of pre-packaged religion, using soft devotions rather than delving into Your Word.


Break my addiction to consuming only what is spiritually comfortable. Reveal how I can personally grapple with You, rather than allowing someone else to do it for me. My religious dependencies have spun out of control. Renew my mind as I go to Your Word directly for satisfaction.


Teach me what it means to taste and see that You alone are good (Psalm 34:8). Change my consumption habits. May I go to Your Word, partake, and find You to be the joy and delight of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.