by Jonathan Gullo
I remember when I first came across the concept of a detox. I was at dinner, eating what I pleased, when I was startled by the sight of another participant eating only salad. The shock! On investigation of her eating habits, she began to explain to me the purpose of her odd dietary commitments – allegedly, it had something to do with ridding her body of toxic or unhealthy substances. After many years of unaccountable digestion of whatever my senses desired, I finally saw the apparent wisdom of my friend’s detox. My body was full of toxic and unhealthy substances – and I felt it. Lack of energy. Tired. Plus, I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. So I began a change. And what I thought was only going to be for a short period of time – a detox – became a lifestyle change.
In spiritual terms, this ‘turnaround’ is what we know as repentance. Not an emotion, or a fleeting feeling of guilt, but a decision to change directions. Not simply regret or remorse, but to turn around. It’s the recognition that there is a better way, and the commitment to chase it.
We all have a soul. And every day we are feeding it, nourishing it, perhaps even neglecting it. Life takes its toll on our souls. Every now and then, it’s a good thing to stop and assess the health of our souls. Does it need a detox? Do we need to rid our souls of toxic or unhealthy substances? Ultimately, the best thing for our souls is a relationship with Jesus. But it’s not just what I’m putting in that matters, it’s also what I’m cutting out. I find myself too often turning to something temporary, shallow and vague – such as entertainment – to satisfy a longing in my soul. My soul needs rest. But only Jesus can provide it.
The thing is, when I first began a detox, once it was ‘over’, I didn’t want to go back to my previous diet. The thought actually made me sick. I had changed my appetite.
King David wrote, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). He knew a secret about God, that if you truly allow Him in, you’ll never be the same.
Paul the Apostle put it this way, “The goodness of God will lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
When you taste just how good God is, you can’t help but want to change your soul-diet forever. Having a healthy soul doesn’t have to end with January.
Lord, help me identify what is toxic to my soul and what is nourishing to it. Help me confront what needs to be confronted and commit to what needs to be committed to. And help me to stay the course.