Judgments are made about foods all the time in our society. This food is “Junk Food” and that food is “Healthy Food.” While I realize that some foods tend to be “nutritionally dense” and some foods are lighter in vitamins and minerals while denser in “energy” they provide, I don’t tend to think of foods as “junk” or “healthy” any more. When I did, it never made me thin *or* healthy! As unbelievable as it may sound, I lost 100 pounds (and have kept it off for 4 years give or take) while eating french fries, pizza, ice cream, etc., etc., all those things that people usually put on the “Junk Food” list and say make you fat.
Sometimes, depending on what people eat based on those judgments, they then feel “good” or “bad” about themselves. I have been there, so I know how that works! 🙂 It is interesting we don’t think of *why* we eat, but only the *what*. Maybe the *why* is important! (Actually, I KNOW it is!)
Some people even seem to think they can be closer to the Lord by eating certain foods and abstaining from certain others. (Again, focusing on the *what*, rather than the *why*.)
Food shows up in the Bible often. Even so, we would be hard pressed to prove biblically that God is pleased or displeased with us based on the nutrition content — the what — of our food. In fact, often throughout the Word of God, people were commanded to enjoy rich foods and beverages!
It wasn’t the nutritional content of the foods that the people were told to evaluate before eating or drinking. They were encouraged to eat CHOICE food and drink SWEET drinks. This was a *taste* test!
A clerk at the UPS store the other day made cheerful small-talk with me. He asked me where I was going to eat lunch. When I said McDonald’s he quizzically said “You don’t look like the sort of person who would eat at McDonald’s. You are so fit!” I guess fit people can only be fit if they do NOT eat at McDonald’s. Truthfully, I eat at McDonald’s frequently, but my cholesterol isn’t high and my weight is healthy. I eat smaller portions when I am hungry and that makes all the difference!
The difference isn’t *what* I eat as much as it is *how much* and *when*. If I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am not (which takes care of the “how much”), I have freedom to eat whatever I choose. My walk with God is unencumbered by a constant lust for foods that are “forbidden.” I heed God’s leading without giving in to greed and gluttony–two sins clearly highlighted in the Scriptures–by eating in moderation!
In an ideal world, of course, this doesn’t mean I act irresponsibly…I understand that my body is a stewardship, a trust. I want to make choices for fueling my body that make me feel and operate at my best, but I can do this prayerfully without obsessing about nutrition contents of the foods. I also want to move my body in a way that helps it get and stay healthy and fit.
The truth is, God has richly provided all things for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17). But because we struggle with the concept of moderation and enjoying these blessings within godly boundaries, we think we need to eliminate them completely! I wonder if, by doing this, we don’t deny ourselves an aspect of growth in our walks with Christ. To learn moderation, we need to depend on Him and His Spirit–especially with things that have mastered us previously. By creating our “Do” or “Do NOT Do” lists (EAT or DON’T EAT), is it possible we turn to a form of legalism that circumvents the very freedom that God desires for us? What if we could enjoy ANY food, in moderation, WHEN hungry, to fuel our body? Wouldn’t it be a delightful experience not to obsess about food any longer?
Matthew 6:31 speaks to me about this very thing when it says: So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
How about you? Do you tend to think of food as JUNK or as HEALTHY? Do you worry about what you will eat or drink or what size you will wear? What if you could enjoy ANY food in moderation? What then? How might this affect your life, your walk with Christ, your dependence on Him?