Loss of Appetite
Dr. Kris A. Jackson
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6)
Let me check your appetite today. You don’t need a professional M.D. to diagnosis how you are doing spiritually. The question is, are you hungry? “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. The soul requires calories just like the body. If you turn your nose up at the Bible there must be an underlying problem so I want to get to the root of that right now. Why do people lose their appetites?
1. Because of illness. Nothing sounds good when you’re running a temperature. Maybe chicken noodle soup or a 7-Up but that’s about it. When you’re sick everything makes you sick. Sin is to the soul what influenza is to the stomach. Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord is a reproach to them”; truth becomes nauseating. When a person’s soul is sick the preacher can spread a smorgasbord before him but he will push the plate back without raising the fork, totally disinterested. Force-feed the man with an intestinal bug and you’ve got a mess on your hands!
2. Because they’ve eaten too much candy. The way Grandpa spoils little Jazz’s appetite is by sneaking her some licorice, an ice cream bar or a handful of M&Ms. I love the reward but her parents aren’t too pleased come suppertime. Today’s church feeds on sweets and loses taste for Bible vitamins and nourishment. Believers beg sugar and spice and everything’s nice but it’s left the Body of Christ with a bad case of spiritual sugar diabetes. Cutesy “enticing words of man’s wisdom” destroys true hunger for the Word and leaves folks only tantalized and mesmerized.
3. Because the food served is bland. Don’t expect people to beat your doors down running to dinner if the Sunday sermon is as bland as an unsalted egg. “Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?” (Job 6:6). We are the salt of the earth but too often folks on the outside find only tasteless teaching, passionless preaching and saltless singing. It is one thing when the blind lead the blind, quite another when the bland lead the bland. Spiritual appetites are stirred when the food is served saucy and hot!
4. Because the person is already “full”. How can we satisfy the self-satisfied? Can’t be done. Sodom’s problem was “pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness” (Ezekiel 16:49). Thanksgiving at Mom’s isn’t too appealing when you just ate Thanksgiving at the in-laws an hour earlier. America’s boon is America’s bane. We are so “rich and increased with goods” that we’ve lost appreciation. Hungry people scoot up to the table and get wide-eyed. Full people plop down on the couch and get closed-eyed. A starved man can’t understand the fat cat that takes two bites from a six-dollar dessert then lays his wadded napkin over the precious remains.
5. Because something has disgusted them. Have you ever lost your appetite because something about the food didn’t set well? “Mabel, there’s a hair in my soup. That did it. Check please”. I can’t blame the world’s lack of hunger considering what they have seen from church people. Ghandi said he would have become a Christian had it not been for Christians. Isn’t that sad? See if this verse whets your appetite – “Dead flies cause the ointment…to send forth a stinking savor” (Ecclesiastes 10:1). Makes you want to go order the biscuits and gravy, doesn’t it? The same holds true in Christian witness. We are to compel men toward Christ not repel them from Him. You can tell the cleanliness of the restaurant’s kitchen by checking out its restrooms. By their fruit you will know them. Look inside. It doesn’t take long to assess a believer’s life. If Jesus is on the inside others will be attracted and spiritual hungers will stir. But if our own lives are foul don’t be surprised when the invitation is turned down, “Thanks, but no thanks”. In other words, make the meal every bit as good as the picture on the menu. Practice what you preach (and preach what you practice). Spiritual appetite will return when others see the real deal.
Believing for restored hunger in the Body of Christ