Acts 2:42 – All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
“Eat your vegetables!” It’s a phrase exasperated parents often exclaim as they plead with kids to eat the healthy food on their plate. Rarely will you hear them beg, “Eat your cake! Drink more sweet tea! Please, have another cookie or piece of pizza!” But alas, the neglected vegetable—the healthy source of such vital vitamins and minerals and nourishing stuff pediatricians say our kids must have—remain the bane of many a child’s mealtime experience.
Perhaps a parent’s quest to force healthy food down their kids’ gullets is even more difficult because adults often crinkle their noses at the green things on the table too. Ham and macaroni and cheese are great, but broccoli, spinach, or Brussel sprouts? How can you encourage your kids to eat wholesome vegetables when you don’t like them yourself?
Parents will sometimes try to trick kids (or themselves) into eating vegetables by disguising them as other foods. I saw a segment on TV about using spaghetti squash to make lasagna. “It tastes just like regular lasagna!” they exalted, “You wouldn’t even know it was good for you!” Well, whatever it takes I guess…
We need to eat more healthy vegetables. As I’ve grown up, I’ve found I like many of the vegetables I used to turn my nose at as a child. I have “put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11) so to speak (except for Brussel sprouts, bleh!). As a mature adult, I enjoy how vegetables offer variety, texture, and flavor to my meals as well as nutrition without all the add calories associated with bread and fatty meats.
There are activities in the Christian faith that many treat like vegetables—things people know are good for them, but they just don’t like to do. Some of these might be reading the Bible, keeping a daily prayer time, going to Sunday school and church, and receiving Holy Communion. When the preacher says “Do these!” we crinkle our nose like a stubborn child and refuse or make excuses (or just pretend like we’re doing them and hope no one notices we’re not).
As you look ahead and ponder your goals for the coming year, consider that you cannot progress unless you “eat your vegetables.” In other words, you cannot fully grow as a person unless you do the things that help you grow. Jesus’ first believers found growth by devoting themselves “to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42) Sound familiar? Those “vegetables” sound I lot like: reading the Bible, attending Sunday school and church, receiving Holy Communion, and daily prayer.
When we eat our “spiritual vegetables,” we find the Holy Spirit produces some sweet spiritual fruit in our life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). So, eat your vegetables and you will taste some sweet fruit. Of course, I’m no expert and I certainly don’t claim to know everything, but that’s the Truth as far as I can tell…
Remember, God loves you