Don’t Starve Yourself
I recently did an experiment on my Instagram and asked this question: “If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would you say?” I received a lot of cliche, yet good responses like “Listen to your parents, they know what they’re talking about, don’t stress the small stuff, develop a better relationship with God now” and so forth.
However, it was my very first response that caught me off guard. It said, “Don’t starve yourself, it’s not worth it.”
I assumed this young lady so bravely meant not to physically starve themselves and my heart broke. I don’t prefer to use the word “hate” often, however, I hated that she felt she had to say that. I hated it because I never wish for anyone to starve themselves on purpose for any reason. I began to think of how we tear ourselves down when we are disappointed in our reflection when we look in the mirror, especially when we compare ourselves to those around us. It is escalated during the times we try to become healthy and subsequently fail. I thought on this for a few minutes until my mind suddenly shifted to a different place of starvation.
What if in fact, it wasn’t something physical at all? What if she was referring to starving herself of knowledge, power, God’s anointing, learning, experience, or relationships.
What if it was something emotional? What if it was something she had starved herself from that could have helped her grow in her career, her financial life or her education?
This made me think of the story In Luke 2:43-49 where Mary, Joseph, and young Jesus are traveling back to Nazareth. They suddenly realize their 12-year-old is no longer following along with them and they begin to panic. Verse 46 of this passage informs us that Jesus stayed behind to listen in on some conversations with men who were publicly known as wise and highly educated. His curiosity set in and He began to ask some questions Himself. This is one biblical event I would have loved to sit in on; listening to 12-year-old Jesus basically whoop these grown men into shape. I’m guessing He was not the kind of kid you wanted to get into a theological debate with. Jesus knew what he was doing. He was trying to grow. He was trying to strengthen others’ knowledge while expanding his own. He was being an intentional learner, so how much more should we?
Recently, I heard Sis. Shenae Andrus, Apostolic author of “Silhouettes,” says “It’s never been about the arrival, it’s been about the process.” Let me tell you one word that sums up the process of anything you are trying to accomplish: UNCOMFORTABLE.
Growth in any aspect of your life will not come without a time of being uncomfortable.
We can’t go to the gym without our muscles being stretched. We can’t gain knowledge without sacrificing some time to learn. And we won’t be able to step into the full anointing God has for us if we don’t give our all to Him.
Romans 10:2 states: “For I bear the record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” We can have passion or zeal to accomplish something in our education, finances, spiritual life, and other areas, but if we do not intentionally allow ourselves to grow, be discipled, and strengthened by outside sources- something or someone other than ourselves, we will not fully reach our goal.
Throughout my 21 years of life, I have met a lot of young people that are full of zeal. They jump and shout during every song whether it’s “Amazing Grace” or another hymnal from those old red books. They are just on fire for God. The problem is not their energy or as the kids say, “hype.” The problem is not shown on the perfectly balanced and planned social media posts where every square is from the same color palette, everyone has matching clothes on in the family portraits, and even the dog is smiling… it’s perfect. Perfection in the Kingdom on earth is not actually attainable, but growth is – if we feed ourselves with the right things. Reading more of The Word of God, pushing just a few minutes longer in our personal prayer times, fasting for the things we want to see change, and giving our very best to the One who made us – that’s possible.
Don’t starve yourself from the opportunities and blessings God has for you because the grass looks greener on the other side. That grass could be artificial. It will never grow; just fade. Don’t starve yourself from the nutrients you need to get where you’ve always longed to be just because they are not as easily attained. One day, one meal, one prayer at a time, and you will be full- Full of faith, power, anointing, freedom, and so much more.
Hannah is 21 years old, lives in Arkansas and attends Calvary Tabernacle of Bentonville. She loves serving in CTKids at her church, baking, thrifting, and enjoying the beautiful natural state during all seasons. She is currently an AIMer to Athens, Greece for 3 months under the supervision of Bro. Joshua and Sis. Christene Moreno.