Jack bought six donuts and two apple fritters. Only the empty sack made it to the office. For lunch, he ate a triple-meat cheeseburger with super-sized fries and strawberry shake. In the evening, he planned to eat healthy, so he went to a Chinese buffet. He started with a salad and diet Coke, which made him feel okay with piling his plate high with everything that looked good.
After every meal, he reminded himself how badly he needed to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. The exceptions were killing him.
Hunger can help or hurt us, depending on what we hunger for. Too many times, we gorge ourselves with something to make us feel better. For some, it’s drugs, alcohol, or sex. Others medicate with video games, movies, or shopping. The satisfaction is short-lived, and then we want more.
Church can serve an all-you-can-eat buffet—a place to fill our spiritual stomachs with great worship and inspiring messages that make us feel good about ourselves. Or not. If it doesn’t make us feel good, we might say, “That service did nothing for me,” or “I didn’t get anything out of the message,” or “The music was too loud.” In that case, we have a hunger that isn’t being satisfied.
After Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in Samaria, he said, “I have had food to eat that you know nothing about.” The disciples had returned from the city with bread, but Jesus had experienced something more satisfying.
How could feeding others be more satisfying than feeding ourselves?