Keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. 1 John 5:21 NLT

I’ve long been a health nut.

When my kids were little, I bought The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide and kept it under my side of the bed. When anyone got sick, I’d check the symptoms with the medical guide. Even when they weren’t sick, I’d pull out the heavy volume and pore through its pages.

These days I browse the Internet. With countless websites pertaining to health, it’s important to glean information only from trustworthy sites and to compare data. I trust the sites that aren’t trying to sell me something and are there simply to educate and inform.

I’ve learned a lot. For example, I’ve long dealt with unrelenting symptoms of hypothyroidism. When I researched the thyroid gland, I learned that triclosan, an ingredient in antibacterial soap, interfered with the function of the thyroid. I checked the labels of all the soap products in the house, replaced dish detergent and hand soap, and bought a packet of antibacterial hand wipes not containing triclosan to keep in my purse. You don’t know what’s in those hand soap dispensers in public restrooms.

I also learned that soy, which has been touted as healthy, may interfere with the absorption of synthroid, the medicine I take daily for hypothyroidism. Soy cannot be consumed less than eight hours after taking the medicine. Once again I scrutinized product labels—and was surprised by what all contained soy: coffee creamer, “healthy” cereal, and—get this—a multivitamin powder that’s supposed to have been formulated to boost thyroid function!

“It’s used as a filler,” my husband said when I told him. And here I’d thought soy was supposed to be good for me.

I study labels so I can eliminate the things that are detriments to being healthy and feeling well.

But do I have the same attitude when it comes to my spiritual health?

Am I as careful with what I consume with my eyes and my ears as what I do with my mouth?

I wouldn’t think of skipping a meal, yet how often do I forego a quiet time, when I read the Bible, meditate, and pray?

What fillers have snuck into my life that, although they appeared to be good for me at first, really interfere with my relationship with God? God doesn’t just want to be first in my life—He commands it: “I am the LORD your God … You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:2, 3).

It’s too easy to let the fillers sneak in. Fillers are just that—they take up space but add no nutritional value.

I need to be a spiritual health nut, too.

As I examine my heart, soul, mind, and life this Lenten season, Lord, show me the fillers that threaten to take Your place. Amen.

Read and reflect on Exodus 20:1-11.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 Michele Huey.

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