Recently, a friend who is a medical doctor told me, “The most natural way to know if you are healthy is when you feel hungry; because when you are unwell, you have no appetite.” At first, I did not give his words any meaningful thought. A while later, when I felt hungry, his words begun to sink in me. Upon further meditation, the Holy Spirit started to minister to me, and I realized what the doctor told me is also true spiritually.
If one is unhealthy spiritually, he’ll have no appetite for spiritual food, which is the Word of God and the things of God. Have you ever found yourself losing interest in attending church services? Or in worship or reading the Bible? Gradually, you are disinterested in the things of God. If yes, did you ask yourself ‘why?’
Of course sin is the common cause of spiritual sickness. Undealt with, sin is deadly. It kills and destroys the soul and the life of any individual held bondage to it. But there is something else we rarely talk about in church circles which causes spiritual unsoundness–spiritual constipation.
In the natural, constipation usually occurs when the body is stuffed with lots of junk food and there is not enough fiber in the diet or not enough water being taken in to soften the waste which needs to pass through the body. When suffering constipation, you are literally sick and very uncomfortable. You may experience nausea, abdominal pain and even diarrhea. In fact, you become very unproductive until you seek medication or relief.
Spiritual constipation on the other hand works the same way. Just like natural constipation is for the body, spiritual constipation is for the spirit of man. If you didn’t know, a human being is comprised of spirit, soul and body. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12; ‘For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart’. Notice the use of the words soul, spirit and joints and marrow which basically translate to body.
When the spirit is stuffed with ‘spiritual junk food’ and unable to get a release, then you experience spiritual constipation. Spiritual food is primarily words, and words can be either holy or unholy. Therefore, if you feed your spirit with unholy words – from what you read, hear or even see – then be sure to be spiritually constipated. Even when you feed yourself with holy words and there is no deliberate intention to release such words to others, you may soon find yourself spiritually constipated or what some may call spiritually dry. You may begin to experience discomfort deep within your soul but may not exactly say what it is.
Spiritual food should be taken in the right quantity and the right time. It must be shared with others including the man on the street. If not shared, you may become a victim of spiritual constipation and die a spiritual toxic death.
You may find the following five points on to how to deal with spiritual constipation helpful:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to search you for spiritual constipation and do an examination the way a doctor would do. Psalm 44:21: Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.
- Confess and repent of any hidden sin or bitterness towards people or God. 2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
- Take the right spiritual food from the Bible through regular reading and meditation. Psalm 1: 1-2: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
- Learn to share with others what God shares with you. Acts 20:35: I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
- Change your spiritual diet. You may consider to enrich your fellowship with God such as through prayer and fasting, praise and worship, song and dance, observing a night vigil, being silent in His presence, helping others, praying for others, and much more as He may lead you. 1 John 1:6-7: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
In conclusion, it would be important to reiterate that a person who is not released from their sin becomes spiritually constipated: their sin remains and they suffer the consequences of sin’s accumulative effects. This could lead to discomfort, and you may become dry, dull, and dysfunctional. The way to be spiritually healthy is to imitate Jesus Christ and live like Him. If and when you fall short of His glory, His grace is sufficient to restore us. Therefore, the most refreshing and freeing thing a person can do is be honest about their true selves and surrender all to God who forgives and restores freely. And what other way to glorify God for His unending mercies to our lives other than to share with others this amazing grace!