I had some routine blood work done recently. Most of my levels came back in the normal range. But my cholesterol was a bit high, and my potassium level was on the high side of normal. Plus, I’m about 25 pounds overweight. Just great.
Gotta quit buying those chips.
I was reading God’s instructions to the Jews about what animals they could and couldn’t eat. Considering they were nomads with no refrigeration or antibiotics, and knowing the diseases the unclean animals tend to carry, it makes sense. God, always looking out for us, wanted His people to enjoy good health.
But I didn’t make the passage personal until I pulled out good old Matthew Henry. Listen to what he says:
“The Lord is for the body, and it is not only folly, but sin against God to prejudice our health for the pleasure of our appetite.”
It occurs to me God didn’t just suggest a healthy diet here in Leviticus. He made it a sin to eat certain foods. Now I know in the New Testament He makes it clear that all food is acceptable this side of the cross. But aren’t there other Scriptures that have things to say about a healthy diet?
Deuteronomy 21:20 says if parents have trouble with a rebellious son, they should take him to the elders and say, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of the town should stone the son to purge the evil from among them.
Jesus seems to recognize drunkenness and gluttony as being in the same category in Matthew 11:19.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul calls our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit. And isn’t self control one of the fruits of the Spirit? (Galatians 5)
desiringgod.org says that gluttony is the most tolerated sin in America. (February 18, 2015 Eight Lessons on Gluttony) I don’t want to sugar coat this (pun intended). Look around. How many obese people consider themselves Christians? I’m not judging. Just wondering if we who are overweight should consider the possibility that we are sinning against God by how we are treating His temple.
I’m wondering if the time I spend eating, and preparing food, or thinking about food, is disproportionate to the time I spend in God’s Word and in sharing the gospel. Have I made food an idol?
The other day I told you about a friend who prayed for strength to lose weight. I’m beginning to think the Lord is speaking to me about this very thing. I don’t want to put my health in jeopardy just for the pleasure of my appetite.
Matthew Henry reminded me this is no joke. I can no longer think it’s no big deal if I overeat.
Dear God, I want to surrender all of me to you, including my appetite. Help me, Lord. I am weak. You know I don’t have to be hungry to eat. I eat when I’m depressed, I eat when I’m celebrating or with friends, I stress-eat, and I eat when I’m bored. I like to eat. But, God, if it’s a sin, I repent of it. Help me to use food as You intend, to make me healthy and strong in order to serve You well. May the fruit of having Your Spirit living in me reveal itself in self control.