How long can we survive on one third glass of liquid a day? What if our eating and drinking together provide our bodies never more than four ounces of liquid a day? Anyone would dehydrate and, in time, die. The physical body cannot function for long on so little liquid.

How long can we live on one small meal a week? Two? Three? Even four? Such starvation quickly becomes the gate to anorexia. Anorexia is the path to death. The physical body cannot function indefinitely on so little food.

We recognize physical dehydration and anorexia when we see them. Without being told, we know the seriousness of both. Can you identify spiritual dehydration in yourself or your family? Can you recognize spiritual anorexia when it occurs in your life or your family?

Paul told the Christians at Corinth, "I spoke to you like babies in Christ, not as spiritual adults. I fed you milk. You could not digest anything you needed to chew. Unfortunately, you still cannot" (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). They had multiple, devastating, spiritual problems. Paul knew how to help them. But they knew so little that Paul could not teach them what they desperately needed to understand.

The author of Hebrews addressed Christians considering renouncing Jesus Christ. Their current problem? They repeatedly laid their spiritual foundation over and over again. They never matured (Hebrews 6:1-8).

Jesus promised that people who hungered and thirsted for righteousness would be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). He promised that he would be the bread of life who could eliminate spiritual hunger (John 6:35). He told a woman that he could give her living water that would eternally destroy thirst (John 4:7-14).

We can listen to exceptional sermons twice a week and be anorexic. We can even add a couple of classes and still starve. We can spiritually dehydrate by exclusively fixing our focus on the church and not depending on the Savior.

Because regularly "listening to good preaching" is bad? No. Because attending Bible classes is bad? No. Because thinking about the church is bad? No. Because all of that is not enough to prevent you or your family from spiritually starving or dehydrating.

Will your appetite allow Jesus to fill you with righteousness? Will your thirst allow Jesus to fill you with living water?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 21 February 1999

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