Fasting. Intentionally going without food for long periods of time. That’s always been a difficult concept for me. Lots of people in this world go without food because they don’t have any. Why would I do that to myself on purpose?
In a recent Christianity Today article, Rob Moll argues that neuroscience can help us understand why spiritual disciplines like fasting are so important. It’s not just about giving up food (or other things) for a time. It’s about engaging in practices that can help shape us into being who we are called to be.
He begins by pointing out that many Christians today struggle with the spiritual disciplines because we shy away from anything that looks like self-denial. We’ll fast for a cause–e.g., solidarity with the poor–but we avoid fasting for other reasons. “But as we relearn to fast, we should remember that these disciplines are very much about us and our own personal faith.”