Friday, March 11, 2011
Food, Diet, and Moderation...
I'm so grateful that God has given us sorts of delightful foods to enjoy. I Timothy 4:4 tells us, "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,"
Yet, at the same time, God urges us to moderation. In Proverbs 23:20-21, He warns us not to join with those who gorge themselves on too much food, "for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags."
Isn't that the truth? I've found that when I overeat, especially if the meal is heavy in carbohydrates, I do lose energy.
For me, three roots over eating too frequently or eating too much at one meal are
1) I am actually trying to increase my energy. Sometimes, a snack or meal, especially one containing a little protein, does reduce physical fatigue. However, trying to find energy in food when you are already well-fed backfires. I have an auto-immune thyroid condition which causes deep fatigue, along with some other energy-draining health issues. Thus, I sometimes snack for comfort and in an attempt to feel better. I particularly give in to my made-up assumption that chocolate must be medicinal!
2) I am simply being greedy.
3) I eat on the run and eat too quickly.
Many eating/diet plans, such as the popular, French Women Don't Get Fat, actually work because they encourage moderate consumption. Rather than depriving you of all the things you enjoy or laying out a strict eating regimen, they help you balance what you do eat so that your diet is healthy for you.
Even so, I find that with my autoimmune thyroid problem, I will have to make sacrifices in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Thus, I need some strong intrinsic (inner) motivation to eat correctly.
One lesson that God is writing on my heart right now is from John 6:1-71. Among the truths presented there is the fact that Jesus is our spiritual bread -- in other words, He is our spiritual nourishment.
"Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will gives to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."
"Truly, truly I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." vs. 32-33
"This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." vs. 58
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." vs. 68
God does give us physical food for our nourishment and for our enjoyment. Those of us who have an abundance are to share with those in need. Since, the hungry comprise a good deal of the world, giving to others should be dear to our hearts.
Likewise, God gives us spiritual food for our nourishment and our joy, and this food is more important even than physical food. This temporal body will perish, and we will one day be clothed in new bodies. The nourishment for our soul and spirit lasts forever.
The people who followed Jesus because He miraculously fed the 5,000 were on to the fact that He was the awaited Messiah. In fact, they wanted to come and make him king, right then. They were thinking in terms of renewing earthly Israel, rather than in ushering in a spiritual, eternal kingdom. They did not quite understand the concept that the Messiah was also to be the suffering servant of Isaiah, who would lay down His life for us. They had in mind the dreams of men and not God's dreams.
In the same way, we can busy ourselves with our little physical kingdoms and neglect the more vital spiritual kingdom. We can also focus more on caring for our physical nature than we crave God's kingdom and His righteousness. When we suffer, even so lightly as can hardly be called suffering, we turn to physical things rather than to Jesus for comfort.
Or, we try to establish our own righteousness, which ends in frustration. As Paul said in Romans 6 and 7, the good he wanted to do he didn't and the bad that he did not want to do, he did. That pretty much sums up our lives when we are depending on ourselves.
Where is the answer? "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!". Romans 7:25.
..."The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6
"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink....But seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." From Matthew 6:16-34.
Thanks for reading!