When it comes to food, do you have certain “guilty pleasures” you love to indulge in? It’s okay, we all do. We could eat New York-style pizza every single day. But that would be extreme carbo-loading, and since we’re not planning to run any marathons in the near future, we probably shouldn’t. We’re also fans of Edy’s Ice Cream — specifically Cherry Chocolate Chip! It. Is. Divine!
Crunch ‘n Munch? You know, caramel and chocolate drenched popcorn and peanuts? We also recall another brand, Moose Munch, which is an odd bit of nomenclature for a snack … unless you happen to be one of those huge high school football players whose nickname actually IS “Moose”!
Cinnamon rolls. Anybody’s, it doesn’t matter, although Cinnabon — to quote a line from Ben Stiller’s movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty — “That’s frosted heroin”! And don’t get us started on Tiramisu! Please, because sometimes we need serious help. Chocolate eclairs, Lay’s Mesquite Barbecue Potato Chips, and those little donuts that are dusted with a suspicious-looking white powder!!! No, we’re not paid to advertise, although the companies whose junk food we’re listing here … they really should reward us by sending us a year’s supply of everything.
Statistics show that people consume tons of junk food. Bags, boxes, buckets, and barrels full. Why do we love it so much? A couple reasons: First, it’s either very sweet or very salty, very crunchy or very smooth and creamy. These qualities especially appeal to the palate. Second, for many of us, these snacks are our comfort food. After a hard day of work or school, we want to reward ourselves with something sinfully delicious. It’s an old movie cliché, when someone is upset or depressed, they drown their sorrows with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Of course, the morning after some such binge, massive guilt sets in.
Junk food is great — occasionally — but it needs to be balanced out with more nutritional fare. A diet of nothing but comfort foods can lead to serious health issues, such as high cholesterol and diabetes. So let the “consumer” be aware.
There are other types of “junk food”: things we take comfort in; activities we tend to overindulge in; “stuff” we use to escape the pressures of life. Television, movies, sports, video games, graphic novels, magazines, the internet and — what’s your poison? We love these activities and things because, like junk food, they greatly appeal to our senses. And although such things, just like chips and candy, are not bad for us in moderation, when we binge on them, when we “diet” exclusively on such things, our brains and our spirits can get sick! We need fresh air and sunshine and healthy “spiritual food” to balance out the lighter and — we hope, only occasional — junky snacking we all tend to do. We need to “consume” some of God’s Word, the “Bread of Life,” each day. (Matthew 4:4)
We can continue to escape with “comfort foods,” but we need to remember that it is just an escape; and like snacks that provide nothing but empty calories and no real nourishment, we’ll still be hungry for something more. “The true bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. …I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.” (John 6:33,35 NLT)
Are you continually putting more “sugar and fat” into your system than you are “vitamins and protein”? You’ve often heard the quote, “You are what you eat”? Are you made of junk food? Are you glued to the boob tube? Is your ear stuck to the phone? Have your fingers meshed with the keypad? “As [a person] thinks in his heart, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7) Therefore, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT)