Few of us in the first world culture starve ourselves of regular meals. Feeding our cravings has evolved into an art form. If we allow ourselves to experience a lapse between indulgences, Americans address physical pangs of hunger and thirst with religious urgency.
Modern media now offers more priority to nurturing mental health, as well. Many of us recognize how the mind demands a constant flow of positive input to remain healthy. We’ve come to pay closer attention to the warning signs of an ill-fed thought life.
While the first world culture urges us to care for the mind and body, we often neglect the most vital part of our lives. The soul, the component of our being which lasts forever, can suffer from neglect. Spiritual nourishment deserves our top priority, yet often goes ignored.
A hungry soul presents symptoms. We might notice a sense of emptiness or lack of fulfillment. An ache in our hearts can easily be misunderstood. We long for joy and pleasure, but seem unable to find lasting happiness.
Our world offers many forms of temporary satisfaction, but none can truly nourish these deep needs. We can stuff our empty soul spaces with busyness or status or hedonism. Our culture encourages us to purchase our way to fulfillment and happiness. These temporary salves provide a saltwater solution to our ongoing thirst. We continue to seek more of the world’s solutions while dehydrating the life from our spirituality. As author J. Otis Ledbetter so aptly notes, “There’s a righteous prescription for every soul hunger. But there’s also an unrighteous resolution. That’s our problem.”[bctt tweet=””There’s a righteous prescription for every soul hunger. But there’s also an unrighteous resolution.” J. Otis Ledbetter, Soul Hunger ” username=””]
In his new book Soul Hunger, Ledbetter offers the solution to this epidemic of inner starvation. He identifies the following nine areas of spiritual need:
The Hunger for Intimacy
The Hunger for Happiness
The Hunger for Contentment
The Hunger for Justice
The Hunger for Control
The Hunger for Respect
The Hunger for Truth
The Hunger for Achievement
The Hunger for Pleasure
Each chapter examines our God-given drives for divine fulfillment. We crave these holy elements while indulging in unsatisfying substitutes. Ledbetter offers us the means to discern between the misunderstood wants we’ve attempted to satisfy with our flesh and the pure desires of our souls. In addition to identifying the true sources of our needs, he also provides a guide to satisfying these spiritual drives.
The author arrives at his profound theological insights from extensive, worldwide outreach experience and years of research. A conference speaker and lead pastor, Ledbetter is also involved worldwide in ministries committed to passing a solid heritage to the next generation. His website includes a test to determine an individual’s hunger level. Visit the Soul Hunger site to discover your spiritual health status.
Soul Hunger leads readers to cultivate the area of health most needed and least acknowledged in our generation. He reveals the truths of our deepest hunger and leads us to the wellspring for ongoing nourishment. For those seeking true fulfillment, Soul Hunger is a must-read.