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August 24, 2012

Verna Davis: Avoid a diet; feed on the Word

FRANKTON, Ind. — OK, people. I concede that I am “middle-aged,” even though the thought terrifies me. I mean, since I’m 60, and am unofficially classified as middle-aged, does that mean that 60 is in the middle and I am going to live to be 120? Wow, I sure hope not. (Watch out, Methusaleh. Someone might just break your record!)

But since I am in my Middle Age Period, I will also concede that I am very glad I don’t live in the Middle Ages. I mean, the Middle Ages had guillotines, whips, chains, stretch racks and other torture devices. Thankfully, we no longer have to endure these kinds of torture. Now, in this current Middle Age Period, the only torture some of us have to deal with is climbing on the bathroom scale.

I shared this information with my doctor and she told me I needed to start looking at the scale as my friend and not my own personal torture device. That’s easy for her to say. She is so thin she has yet to see the dark side of 130 pounds. She casually mentioned a certain number of calories that would be ideal for me to take in every day. That’s when the cold chills and stomach churning set in. Dare I say it? Was my doctor actually suggesting I go on a diet? (Well, duh!)

A diet? A diet? A diet?  Isn’t “diet” a four-letter word? And “diet” has the word “die” in it, so why should I take such chances? I think I tend to agree with the late Julia Child who said, “The only time to eat diet food is while you are waiting on the steak to cook.”

But there is one food — part of a special diet — that we can eat as much as we want of yet we won’t gain weight. At least not the kind of weight that can be measured on the bathroom scale. That food is the Word of God.

Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3: “God humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Jesus later quoted that passage to Satan during the time Jesus was being tempted by that sneaky old devil.)

Read that passage again. Did you catch the meaning? We need to feed on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. That means more than a mere reading of the Word. It means taking the Word into our hearts, our minds, our very being. Making the Word part of us. Meditating on it, studying it, memorizing it, devouring it with a hunger and thirsting that can only be satisfied with more of the Word.

After all, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

So, that diet — how’s it working for you?

Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at

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