It’s Not About the Food

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It may be controversial, but I think we blame the food too much when it comes to our weight.  When it comes to releasing weight and getting thin within, I personally believe it’s not about the food.  In the past, when we want to shed the pounds, we change the way we eat.  We count.  We measure.  We weigh.  We change what we eat.  Essentially, we blame the food and start to label food as “good” or “bad”.  There’s way too much emphasis put on the food, but not about the emotions or the habits…or the heart and mind.  Our physical weight and even the mental “weight” is just a symptom of what’s going on deep inside of us.  It’s not about the food itself.

People can get really defensive about food.  It has become a really personal and passionate topic.  The opinions on food changes day to day from person to person.

We can have all sorts rules when it comes to food.  We can limit our food intake.  We can count and track, but ultimately, that’s just an external change.  The thing that sticks is the internal change, in our heart, mind, and soul.  Because really, how many diets exist in this world?  Hundreds upon hundreds!  And some of us have gone from one diet to the next, from one eating style to the next, from one restrictive plan to the next, and we lose weight, we gain it back, and then we lose, and then we gain MORE back.  Why is that?  I personally believe it’s because it’s not about the food; it’s about our heart.  When we don’t get to the core issue of our eating habits, we lose sight of what’s truly important.  Our eyes are on the types of food we eat and the quantity of food we eat, and we never glance at the condition of our heart and the patterns of our thinking.  So if food isn’t the issue, why do we keep blaming the food?

When I first started this journey, I had a lot of fear about food.  I thought that if I ate sugar, that I was tempting God and that it would kill my body.  I had an extremely hard time pushing past the fears and the thoughts that plagued my mind.  I cried out to the Lord for help and He answered my prayer.  He showed me His truth.  Even before this part of the journey started, I tried all sorts of ways of eating: food combining, eating right for my blood type, eating only raw foods, juicing, counting, weighing, measuring, etc.

We know what the always-and-forever-changing opinions of this world say about food, but what does God say about food in His Word?

  • He has given us every herb and tree to eat of. (Genesis 1:29)
  • Every animal is food along with herbs. (Genesis 9:3)
  • Food has taste. (Job 6:6)
  • He causes it to grow for the service of man. (Psalm 104:14)
  • He gives all animals as food. (Psalm 136:25, Psalm 147:9)
  • He gives food to the hungry. (Psalm 146:7)
  • Eat only as much food as you need. (Proverbs 25:16)
  • Food is for nourishment. (Proverbs 27:27)
  • He gives us food. (Ezekiel 16:19)
  • We aren’t to worry about what we eat. (Matthew 6:25)
  • Food doesn’t defile a man. (Mark 7:19)
  • Life is more than food. (Luke 12:23)
  • Food strengthens. (Acts 9:19)
  • All food is pure.  Don’t eat with offense. (Romans 14:20)
  • Food is for the stomach and vice versa. (1 Cor. 6:13)
  • Food doesn’t make a difference in our relationship with God. (1 Cor. 8:13)
  • No one is to judge us in food and drink. (Colossians 2:16)
  • God created food to be received with thanksgiving. (1 Timothy 4:3)

I wrote down scriptures on notecards and read them each day until those fears dissipated.  I knew from His Word that I can eat and enjoy all foods, but I needed more of an understanding of what God meant.

I looked up Galatians 5:1, which says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

And 1 Timothy 4:1-5, which says, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

And then I looked up both sets of scriptures in the Matthew Henry’s commentaries.  These are the notes I wrote down in my journal:

  • We are to look upon food as that which God has created; we have it from Him, and therefore must use it for Him.
  • What God has created is to be received with thanksgiving.  We must not refuse the gifts of God’s bounty, nor be scrupulous (strict) in making differences about food where God has made none; but receive them, be thankful, acknowledging the power of God, the Maker of them.
  • Not only has He given us permission to eat all foods, allowing us the liberty of the use of these things, but He also promises to feed us with food that’s convenient for us.
  • Every creature is God’s, for He made all.  Every creature of God is good.
  • The blessing of God makes every creature nourishing to us.

God also says in His Word, “Have you found honey?  Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit” (Proverbs 25:16).  This is what Matthew Henry has to say about this verse (what I wrote in my journal): He talks about how we are allowed a sober and moderate use of the delights of sense.  Honey is not forbidden.  We may eat of it with thanksgiving.  God has given us permission to make use of our taste buds.  “Eat as much as is sufficient, and no more.  The pleasures of sense lose their sweetness by the excessive use of them.  Eat food with sobriety.”  Eat between hunger and satisfaction (0-5).

Before anyone throws rotten tomatoes at me for sticking up for ALL foods–I also want to add that everyone has different convictions and preferences when it comes to food.  When Paul was addressing the food issues in Romans 14 (it’s a really good read on this topic), he was letting us know that Christ has given us the liberty to enjoy all foods.  He says not to be judgmental about it.  He says not to eat food offered to idols.  He says to eat with thanksgiving.  He says not to make others stumble by what we eat.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink. Colossians 2:16a

When I was at a certain place in my journey where the Lord was showing me that I can eat all foods, I was so tempted to go back to some of my old ways of completely cutting out sugar because the lie was still there that sugar is evil.  So as the Lord was showing me His truth that I could eat sweets within my boundaries (eating between 0-5 of hunger and satisfaction), the enemy was also trying to ensnare me with the lies that if I ate sugar then something really bad would happen.  Someone even made a comment to me that sugar is “poison”.  Wow!  And they compared it to drugs.  Ouch.  Honestly, that was another hurdle I had to jump over with the Lord’s help.  We have to be SO careful about our convictions and what we say to others.  I bet that person had no idea that what they said would trip me up and cause me to stumble.  Obviously, that person is passionate about not eating sugar, but God has been working so hard to free me from any rules man has made about food.  Now, this doesn’t mean that all I eat are sweets; I believe in eating in moderation.  What we eat over a long period of time is what counts; it’s not one meal or one day of eating that makes or breaks us.

Image courtesy of akeeris at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of akeeris at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And then there’s also foods that some of us cannot eat because it makes us physically ill.  Maybe you have a gluten intolerance.  Or maybe you are lactose intolerant.  Whatever the case may be, I think we can be mindful of the food our body enjoys and be careful and considerate about sharing our convictions when it comes to food.

On pages 186-189 in Thin Within, it talks about how there are pleasers, teasers, total rejects and whole-body pleasers when it comes to food.  The pleasers are foods you know you enjoy, maybe even by specific brand.  They “hit the spot and bring physical satisfaction” (page 186).  The teasers are foods that you don’t really think about until you see a picture of the food or someone mentions the food.  They aren’t as satisfying of foods, so we may think that “more is better”.  Total rejects are foods that are “simply not worth eating”.  They may be too sweet, salty, artificially flavored, etc.  Whole-body pleasers are “foods that make you feel good overall”.  It’s the “foods that your body calls out for, are enjoyable while you eat them, and they leave you feeling energized afterward” (pages 188-189). I really like how Thin Within talks about these different ways we respond to foods.  I believe different foods will fit in different categories for different people.  What may be a whole-body pleaser for me may be different for someone else.  Most of all, I just love the freedom God gives us when it comes to food.

I can either listen to what the world and the diet creators say about what I should or shouldn’t eat, or I can listen to what the Creator says about food.  I will choose the latter because that’s where my peace resides.  I’m choosing to turn my eyes away from all of the babble and confusion about it, and I’m choosing to fix my eyes on Jesus.  He won’t lead me astray.  I will listen to His voice.  This is where it all boils down to–Jesus.  He came to set us free from the law.   And I believe in that freedom, He meant for us to be free even in what we eat.  The world makes laws and rules about food, but God gives us the liberty to choose what is satisfying to us.

How about you?  Have you been bombarded with all of the “billboards” about what the world says about food?  Will you take a stand with me and turn a deaf ear to it and listen to the One who knows your needs when it comes to nourishing your body?  Maybe you do have some passionate opinions and convictions on this subject, would you be willing to join me in being extra careful about sharing those convictions?  Let’s walk in love!

P.S. Heidi wrote a great post about this a little while back.  Click here to read!

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21 Responses to It’s Not About the Food

  1. Susan Bradbury August 15, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    I am putting this post into my journal. It is so well said! 🙂
    It is not about the food…it is about my heart!

    • Christina Smith August 15, 2014 at 11:50 am #

      Susan, exactly! It’s about the heart!

  2. Chris Gramenopoulosw August 15, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    What an excellent article! Christina you need to expand your giftings that God has given you and write a book like IDAD. You explain things so well and help us to understand Truth and to put aside the Lies that we listen to until we know the truth. As you said we are to turn our eyes and hearts upon Jesus and the things and teachings of this world will grow dim!!
    Bless you and keep those blogs coming.

    • Christina Smith August 15, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Chris, thank you! That was really sweet of you to say! I feel so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to write for the Lord and encourage everyone in TW. I want to share the joy of the freedom Christ has given me with everyone. I’m actually praying about writing a book because it’s been on my heart.

  3. Sara August 15, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Love this post! Pulling out the Truth cards and using this to add more!

    • Christina Smith August 15, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      Sara, yay for more truth cards! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! Means so much! 🙂

  4. Denise August 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    What an encouragement in truth! I will want to print this and tuck it into my Hinger Within book. Many thanks for so carefully researching God’s Word.

    • Christina Smith August 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

      Denise, thank you for your kind words. 🙂 I pray each time you read this print in your Hunger Within, that you will be encouraged more and more. 🙂

  5. Michelle VanNess August 15, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    This is great I just posted something on the TFT Bible study regarding this issue what perfect time. I want to listen to the Holy Spirit leading me in regards to food choices and not be motivated out of fear regarding the world’s Standards and the diet lies say.

    • Christina Smith August 18, 2014 at 9:21 am #

      Thank you, Michelle! It’s certainly God’s standards we want to live by. Amen!

  6. simplydalena2013 August 16, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    Christina, as always, your words are powerful, so full of wisdom, God is definitely speaking to us through you. I join you in prayer, as you ask for His leading in writing a book. The “fruit” of what you write, I think confirms that you are on the right track. Love you! Dalena

    • Christina Smith August 18, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      Thank you, Dalena! I just want The Lord to speak through me. I love seeing people set free through His beautiful truth!

  7. Merry Browning August 17, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    This is so uplifting. You have a gift from God in your writing.

    • Christina Smith August 18, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      Merry, thank you! That was so sweet of you to say.

  8. Susan August 17, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Thank you for writing this, Christina. I needed to read it and be reminded that it is about the heart. It is about listening to and living out what God says about food. There are many excellent quotes I have pulled from this article to put into my cards.
    Thank you again!

    • Christina Smith August 18, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Susan, thank you! I bet you have a really great set of truth cards!

  9. Nikki August 18, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    I saw your post on Facebook this morning, and I’m so glad you shared it! ThinWithin has been a blessing to me and God helped me to release my weight. The last 4-5 months have been very stressful and I found myself going back to old habits and mindsets and as a result I’ve gained back about 15 pounds. So, reading this today reminded me that it is a heart issue and I can surrender it back to my loving Father. Thank you again for the encouragement!

    • Christina Smith August 18, 2014 at 9:18 am #

      Stress is never fun, but God has made a way for us to persevere through those trials (James 1) without turning to food. This is where renewing my mind in Gods truth has helped me overcome. He does the big part! Keep going to Him. Fix your eyes on Jesus! So good to hear from you!

  10. Mary Anne Endeman August 18, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    This was a wonderful post! It helped me to remember that God loves me and cares about what I eat. The diet industry mainly cares about making money. I have let people influence me on what is good to eat and what is bad. I have vegan friends that really like to lecture me on how bad all dairy and meat are for me. Your article helped me to remember to keep my eyes on Jesus and His Word, and to not let food rule my life. I will save it to go over again. I have lost weight and then gained some over the summer because I slipped back into my old way of doing things. Then I would try to “be good” and eat the right foods, which only frustrated me and made me binge. Thank you, & keep on writing as you are such an encouragement to others.

    • Christina Smith August 18, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      Mary, so great to hear from you! Keep going to God! Renew your mind! Life is more than food and drink; it’s peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

  11. Ella December 1, 2017 at 2:38 am #

    Christina I have been reading your posts and listening to your sound cloud recordings and just wanted to say thank you ! Every one of them spoke to me and has been so helpful in my TW journey.

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