“You’re not yourself when you’re hungry,” so says the Snickers ad campaign as a person is depicted way out of character but changes back to themselves when a friend offers the person a Snickers candy bar and they return to normal. There’s quite an obvious spiritual lesson, although I am sure not intended by the agency that wrote and produced the commercial. Whenever a Christian neglects spiritual food of the word of God, prayer, corporate worship, and fellowship with other Christians they, like the character in the commercial, begin to act in ways that are not like themselves. Since we all get like that from time to time, and like the person in the Snickers commercial, we need someone to come along beside us and let us know when we are not ourselves.
Galatians 6:1–2 (ESV) — 1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Would you be willing to step into someone’s life who is not acting like themselves because they are starving themselves or are overindulging in things so much of the world, they don’t have time or room for the things of God? What that person needs is a dose of the Gospel! Case in point was the scene in John 11 when Martha was not herself in the way she approached Jesus during a time of grief after her brother died. Grieving is known to produce a lack of physical appetite, but more often than not, the confusion of all that is happening often results in a lack of spiritual appetite. The result is just like the Snickers commercial as the person acts strange and often says things that are totally out of character. Martha, although a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, was known as a person who was often filled with anxiety which in this scenario added to her grief and caused her to show a bit of anger and bitterness toward the Lord Jesus Christ, but look how He handled it:
John 11:20–27 (ESV) — 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Jesus never tried to straighten out her thinking or scold her for her words. Instead He pointed her to spiritual food in the truth of the resurrection, to the truth about Himself, and the challenge of the Gospel. Notice how He concludes with the question: “Do you believe this?” This Gospel nugget became like the sweetness and fulfillment of something greater than a chocolate candy bar. It pulled Martha out of the pit of despair to an expression of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Wow, what a lesson!
I’m sure you know someone who is starving themselves spiritually and not themselves as a result. Just take note of the people you did not see at the public worship service yesterday. It’s time for you to make a call and offer them a spiritual Snickers, remembering that according to Galatians 6, it’s not time to clobber them but as Jesus did – take them to the Gospel and to hope in Jesus Christ. Of course, that wake-up call includes a challenge to them with God’s word and leaves them with a challenge to express their hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. This little bit of spiritual nourishment will help people who are grieving along with people who have turned away or whatever the reason that they have neglected good nourishment and are not themselves. Like the person in the commercial who heroically points out how the hungry person is not themselves when they are hungry and then brings the solution by giving a Snickers, so the Christian who steps out of their comfort zone to show concern for a brother or sister in Christ, is a real “burden bearer.”
Galatians 6:2 (ESV) — 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Will you be that person today?