Are You Full?
“One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” (Prov. 27.7)
“Are you full?” is a question that is asked often around my house, as it was around my father’s house and my grandfather’s house before him. Roughly translated, it meant “Did you get enough to eat?” It was God’s blessing that the question was very rarely, (if ever) answered “No.” Parents check their children often to see if they have gotten enough to eat, at first to ensure their proper health and development, and later to see how much time would elapse before having to feed the bottomless pits that are teenage children.
How sad it is that we do not check the spiritual fullness of those that are around us as often as we check their physical fullness. Do we check to see if our children have consumed their fill of God’s word for the day? How silly would it be to claim that we could feed our physical bodies twice a week (perhaps on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening) and expect proper growth and development? How telling of a sign would it be to those around us if our physical well-being suddenly assumed the state of our spiritual well-being?
Brethren, Solomon points out something for us to consider when we think about our own spiritual consumption. “One who is full loathes honey,”, meaning that even though the food can be finest thing we could possibly consume, it matters little when the eater is already filled to the brim! Notice that Solomon does not say what the eater was filled with in the first place!!! This is an important point when we consider the things that hold our attention and time, filling us up with things that do not benefit us! Brothers and sisters, it does not matter what fills you besides your proper spiritual food! The problem lies in the fact that we are filled with something besides that which gives us life! When it comes time to eat the vegetables at the table at my house, if my children are already full and cannot eat that which provides them with the much-needed vitamins or minerals, I do not care whether they ate doughnuts or chips or soda or anything else. They have “spoiled their supper”, because it didn’t matter what it was, it mattered that they were already full and could not eat what was prepared for them. And so often, this is how we have become spiritually. So full of what the world has offered us to consume that we have little to no room for what God has for us!
We must learn to be hungry for what God has to say for us! We must learn to adapt the attitude of the psalmist in Psalm 119, wherein he says in v.131 “I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.” The psalmist here describes his need for the words of God in terms of being out of breath and panting for need of the pure air that comes only from the spiritual food God has richly provided for us. How long has it been since you have consumed God’s spiritual food through Bible study and prayer? How much did you “eat”? Did you get “full”? How long do you believe that spiritual meal will last you? A week? Couple months? A year?
“…but to the one who is hungry, everything bitter is sweet” Solomon concludes the thought from Prov. 27.7. The one who is spiritually hungry can consume from God’s word until their every need is met and they are “equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3.17) We encounter people daily who are so full of the world and its distractions that so many people do not realize they are starving to death spiritually, and yet when they truly discover how hungry they truly are, their hunger for spiritual food is insatiable. These people are not satisfied by the hour of Bible study they were perhaps initially offered, often keeping the leader of the study somewhat hostage by their continued questions, and desire to know more. Even the parts of scripture that are painful to follow (the possibility of family relationships being damaged, the call to repentance from worldly things, etc.) are still consumed by the one that is truly hungry for what God has prepared for them. Why? Because they are hungry! Are you hungry for the food which benefits the spirit as much as bodily food?
It is remarkable how hungry people are for God’s spiritual food when a great tragedy shatters their perception of fullness and satisfaction. It is even more sad that men and women, having fed from the Word at God’s spiritual table, will return so scarcely it barely warrants their place being set!
Brothers and sisters, learn to ask yourself and others around you, “Are you Full?” We might be surprised at the growth of our spiritual body if we learn to feed it early and often!