The Belly Goddess 

close up photo of a condenser microphone

Martyn Lloyd Jones once said that most of our problems in life come from the fact that we listen to ourselves rather than talk to ourselves. I will add that we listen to a certain part of ourselves: our belly. I do not mean our physical appetite exactly. I mean the belly that the Bible talks about as the seat of our feelings, or our emotions. We set up this belly-goddess-of-our-emotions as prophet, priest, and king. 

Whatever our emotions tell us, whatever prophecies they utter, we assume they must be infallible. They must be mediating some all-important mystical truth to us. It couldn’t simply be that we had some bad chicken. 

Then we treat our emotions as some priestly offering. We say, “I offer my feelings to the Father as a living and holy sacrifice.” But that text in Romans 12 says that we are to offer up “our bodies” as sacrifices. 

In the end, we discover that our belly-emotions have fulfilled all three mediatorial offices of Christ as they become our king. Wherever the belly leads, we go. And she keeps the people of her dominion on a short leash, so they never know the great lands of maturity.

Emotions are not themselves sinful. They are not to be altogether avoided. But when they begin to instruct you, when you sit at their feet and start to take notes as if they are an all-wise rabbi, or when your life begins to center itself around your emotions like Israel’s worship did the sacrificial altar, or when you become the loyal subject of your emotions, then your worshipping your belly, and she’s a tyrannical little goddess. 

You were not made to serve your belly. Your belly was made to serve you. You were not made to fight for some well-balanced emotional well-being. You were meant to fight your enemies with your belly.

The only way to do that is to trust Christ. The man who believes on Him, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.