Malachi 2:1-2: “And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.”
When each of our five children were little, my wife Grace was amazing to watch. For her entire life, she had studied health and nutrition. Once the kids showed up, she knew exactly what to feed them and what not to feed them. As I asked her to inform my ignorance, she explained that the children’s digestive system meant that their little body could not process all foods. Many would make them sick or even cause them to develop lifelong allergies if they were introduced into their diet too early.
I had no idea and had I been the one feeding the kids, it would not have gone well. The old adage “you are what you eat” is apparently quite true. And what is true of your body is also true of your soul. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus said that we should feed our soul the word of God and that God’s “word” was soul “bread”. Practically, when I teach the Bible at church, I am to feed the souls of our church family with the same care that Grace feeds the bodies of our family at home.
In Malachi, God, through the prophet, keeps rebuking the Old Testament pastors (called priests) publicly. These are the leaders who are also supposed to be the feeders. But they are not listening to God and feeding the people healthy doctrine. God is passionate about seeing His children well fed so they can be healthy rather than sick. This is a bit like the conversation Jesus had with Peter when He told him “feed my sheep”.
Like the priests, there are many people who God expects to feed the souls of others – pastors, ministry leaders, moms, dads, teachers, coaches, spouses, counselors, authors, friends, etc. To feed someone is a great honor, and great responsibility. This is why James 3:1 says, “…we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
Who feeds your soul? Whose soul do you feed? What are you eating? What are you feeding others?
In Titus 2:1, the Bible tells us to “teach what accords with sound doctrine”. That word for “sound” is sometimes translated “healthy”? Why? Because when rightly taught, the Word of God makes the soul of a person healthy so that they become increasingly healthy from the inside out.
Is there anything you are learning or consuming in the form of content (videos, books, blogs, social media, television, movies, podcasts, etc.) that is not healthy and is making your soul unhealthy?
By Mark Driscoll