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Food for Thought

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Food is a gift from God! How often I forget that, when I think of food as the enemy that makes me gain weight or when I sit down to eat without a prayer or when I sinfully turn to food for my my own comfort and emotional fulfillment. Food plays such a huge role in our everyday lives; it provides the bare minimum fuel necessary for our bodies, but it is also so much more than that. Making and eating food can become a social event, an insta-worthy post, a hobby, or an idol for control. It can mean family time, a false sense of emotional comfort, something to do when bored, a cultural tradition, an act of service to others, or a celebratory occasion. Our incentives for food and ways that we eat meals are endless. Unfortunately, our motivation to eat or make food is rarely a pure and faithful act of worship to bring glory to God. This is a problem, as the Bible tells us that anything done without faith is sin.


Romans 14:19-23

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”

Our purpose in everything, even as something as ordinary, routine and visceral as eating, should be done in faith, to bring glory to God.


Conviction

Disclaimer: I’ll be sharing with you all what God has convicted me of in terms of how and what I should eat. I’m not perfect in this because I’m sinful, but I believe that my eating should be glorifying to Him and that food is a good gift! The composition of what I eat comes from my own conviction from God for how I feel compelled to take care of my body, and it is an individual, unique conviction from God that is different for everyone. I don’t believe there is one right diet or exercise regimen. God created us each with a unique and particular set of tastes, abilities, metabolisms, cultural backgrounds, and personal convictions. Ultimately, there is only one purpose that we should all have behind our eating, to glorify God, but the beauty of God’s creation is that there are a multitude of ways his people can eat food and still magnify his glory.


I think personal conviction here is especially important. God gives us all our own convictions about what is good and right for us. It should be said that there are ultimate truths that are essential to our faith and cannot be refuted (i.e. tenets of salvation such Jesus’s death and resurrection). However, there are also amoral things of the world that God can give us individual convictions or conscience about. An action that might be perfectly okay and good for one person (i.e. drinking alcohol or watching certain TV shows), may be harmful or too tempting for another person. I believe this same idea applies to food. Some might feel convicted or called to eat vegan or vegetarian. Some may be able to handle one small dessert a day, but that might not be good for other people. Take some time to pray and ask God if He has any convictions for your food choices.


Food

My personal food conviction is that foods, when in their naturally grown and whole form without any man-made additives or processing, are what God created and gave to us as the best nourishment for our bodies! However, I still believe God made humankind with creative, intellectual and innovative capabilities to steward his creation, and for example, to be able to produce millions of man-made products across the world. I believe we can enjoy a mix of all natural and processed foods in our diet because, ultimately, a healthy diet boils down to one question, “are you eating for the glory of God?


My convictions from God tell me that while not all man-made food is bad, they are better in moderation and eaten in the context of a diet that also contains a larger portion of whole, natural foods if possible. While it’s better for me to fuel myself with whole foods when I can, in the world we currently live in, where most grocery goods and produce have some sort of manufacturing, additives, chemicals or genetic modification added to them, this can be very challenging if not impossible. I’ve learned that I can’t stress about every unknown chemical in my food, but I can do my best to eat the least amount of processed foods that I can most of the time, while praying to God for my health and the health of those around me. Although God created science and has blessed us with lots of knowledge around physical health and nutrition, we must in humility remember that we still don’t understand all of it, and that God expects progress, not perfection. I don’t follow a certain diet plan because God has convicted me that overthinking, measuring, worrying over, and restricting myself in terms of food provides too much of a temptation for me to try to control my life. I try not to count calories or macros, but every once in a while I will, just to see if I’m on track for eating the appropriate proportions recommended by nutrition science.


Instead of tracking what I eat, I try to listen to my body. God created my body to tell me when I’ve overindulged (such as my clothes are too tight or I just don’t feel energized), when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth, when I’m restless for exercise or when I need to take an extra day of rest from exercise. It’s incredible when we realize how God created our bodies to tell us exactly what we need. Surrender meticulous and obsessive tracking of food or exercise to God, and stop and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Once you do so, you will be amazed to see how God created our bodies to be intuitive, to give us signs and symptoms of our health and physical needs. God uses our emotions, digestion, hair and nails, temperature, energy levels, breath, etc. to reveal clues about our health. If you’re under- or overweight in the body God designed for you, God created your body to tell you that. Listen to God speaking through your body! He created you to be his temple and wants what is best for you.



A Spirit-led Intuitive Diet

Since God created our bodies to be intuitive and often be able to tell us when things are healthy or not, there are times when intuitive eating seems like the best method of diet out there. Most of the time, I agree because of the ways in which God made our bodies to give us signs and symptoms to inform us of how we are doing. However, we are still sinful, broken people and we don’t always make the right decision in faith for our health. Our desires lie to us, just as our bodies also lie to us. They tell us that Ben & Jerry’s will comfort a broken heart, that eating & posting about the keto meal you just had will make you more valuable, or that going on a 5 miles run out of guilt from the food you just ate is a better idea than resting on the Sabbath. So often, sin creeps in and distorts our ability to care for our bodies well and in a manner that glorifies God.


Therefore, I’m advocating for a Spirit-led intuitive diet. God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to dwell within our bodies and guide our thoughts, prayers and action (John 14:26, John 16:13-15, 1 Corinthians 3:16, Romans 8:26-27). We are called to live by the Spirit (Romans 8:2,14 and Galatians 5:16-18) because if we don’t, we will be led by the flesh to sin and death. How could we not trust our All-Knowing God to bring us goodness, love and life to our bodies through His Spirit!? Ask and pray that the Lord would guide you in taking care of your body, His own temple!






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