You Become What You Eat
Hope is to our soul what energy is to our
body. Just like our bodies must have energy to
keep going, our souls must have hope to keep
When our body needs energy, we eat food. But
when our soul needs hope, what do we feed it?
Why do we feed our soul promises? Because
promises have to do with our future, and hope
is something we only feel about the future —
about ten minutes from now, or ten months, or
ten thousand years..
We’re never hopeful about the past. We can be
grateful for the past. The past can inspire or
even guarantee a hopeful future for us. But
all the wonderful things that have happened to
us in the past will not fuel our hope if our
future looks bleak..
However, if our future is promising, our soul
will be hopeful even if our present is
miserable, because hope is what keeps the soul
So, we “eat” promises, which our soul digests
(believes) and converts to hope.
Toxic Soul Food.
When feeding the body, there is “healthy food”
and there is “junk food.” Both will, in the
short run, produce energy. But healthy food
provides the right kinds of energy, enhances
the operation of the body’s complex systems,
strengthens its resilience against disease,
and increases its durability and longevity.
Junk food, on the other hand, has essentially
the opposite effect in all these areas, and
contributes to the breaking down of the body
Similarly, there are “healthy promises” and
“junk promises.” Both will, in the short run,
produce hope. But healthy promises provide the
right kind of hope and promote health
throughout the complexities of the human soul.
Junk promises prove ultimately toxic and lead
Both physical and spiritual nutrition are
important, because we always become what we
eat. We must take greater care, though, in
what we feed our souls, because so much more
is at stake.
The world and the devil are very aware that we
feed our souls promises, which is why, like
junk food, junk promises are everywhere. They
are heavily marketed (notice every temptation
to sin is a promise of some kind of
happiness), attractively packaged, tasty
(though not truly rich), convenient, and have
a particular allure when you’re running low on
hope. They deliver a fast buzz of false hope
and ruin your appetite for truly healthy
But junk promises always disappoint because
their buzz is followed by a hope-plunge into
guilt, shame, and emptiness. They never
deliver the happiness they promise because our
souls are designed for a far better hope. And
yet, junk promises can be addicting, because
our hope-plunge can send us back seeking
another fast, false buzz.
“Man does not live by bread alone, but . . .
by every word that comes from the mouth of the
Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4). Our
souls are designed to be nourished by God’s
“precious and very great promises” (2 Peter
But these promises are not mere human words;
they are living and active (Hebrews 4:12),
proceeding directly from the living Word,
Jesus Christ (John 1:1). He is the Word of God
(Revelation 19:13) and “all the promises of
God find their Yes in him” (2 Corinthians
What could possibly give more hope to our
sinful souls than Jesus’s promises to forgive
all of our sins completely, to remove all of
the Father’s judgment and wrath against us, to
always be with us (Matthew 28:20), and to give
us eternal life in God’s presence with full
joy and pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11)? Only
in him do we find “a future and a hope”
This is why Jesus called himself the bread of
life (John 6:35). The past grace of his death
and resurrection guarantee a never-ending
stream of hope-giving future grace for us
extending into eternity. To eat these promises
is to eat this living bread and live forever
And Jesus has made the Bible the storehouse of
nourishing, living soul food for his saints.
It is stocked full of promises, and he invites
us to come eat our fill for free (Isaiah
You Can Change.
This living soul food is more vital to our
ultimate health than bodily food. But learning
to eat well for the sake of our body’s well-
being has valuable lessons for eating well for
our soul’s well-being. And one of those
valuable lessons is that our taste preferences
can be changed.
Our tastes are conditioned by habits and wrong
ways of thinking about food. Like eating
healthy food, eating healthy promises requires
more work to plan — new habits of discipline
that aren’t as convenient and entertaining as
junk promises. And if we’ve become conditioned
to heavily processed, sugary, empty-carb
promises, artificially engineered to be
addictive, we may find the taste and texture
of true food less enjoyable at first.
But these habit and taste preferences will
change as we stick with it and increasingly
experience the benefits of substantial, hope-
sustaining and deepening benefits.
The only way to break a habit of eating junk
food promises is cultivating a taste for rich,
nourishing, long-lasting, deeply satisfying,
and true promises. It takes eating real food
to develop the taste for real food. We must be
patient. Old tastes do not diminish and new
tastes are not acquired overnight. We might
find it helpful to change some bodily food
habits at the same time, and let that
experience illustrate the spiritual reality.
But as we press in, God will meet us and help
us “taste and see” that he is good (Psalm
“The God of hope” wants us to feast on his
promises and be filled “with all joy and peace
in believing, so that by the power of the Holy
Spirit [we] may abound in hope” (Romans