Blog, Caring for our Bodies, Living in the Abundance of Christ

You are (Responsible for) What You Eat

I still remember a particular song from elementary school. If I remember right, it was a whole theme with an assembly, special speakers, singing, and activities. “You Are What you Eat” was the name and the message of the song. It went something like this:

“You are what you eat, from your head to your feet, so be sure to eat food that’s good for you.
Eat lots of meat, fruit and vegetables too….du-dum, du-dum, du-dum (I forgot the words here, obviously)
Because good food gives you the power. Power makes you strong as you can be. Because good food gives you the power, the power of energy.”

Well, that’s my recollection of the song and it stuck with me for some reason. I must say, their food choices are pretty good. Meat, fruit, and vegetables; it sound’s like they were Paleo, before Paleo was a thing. Ha, ha.

They were giving us a lesson that was important (even in the mid 80’s) which was, food affects your body, how your body functions, and how you feel. It’s too bad they don’t teach this in schools anymore. However, even though they no longer teach it in schools, you can still learn it for yourself and for your family.

Because…

You are responsible for what you eat. There. I said it.

You are responsible for what you eat and for knowing how what you eat affects your body.

You can say what you like:

  • This is what my doctor said was healthy to eat.
  • This is what a normal diet is in our society.
  • This is what’s available.
  • This is what I can afford.
  • This is all I know.

No. Sorry. Those aren’t good reasons for ingesting food-like-products, instead of consuming actual food. This isn’t an excuse for not taking the time to prepare your food. This isn’t an excuse to have no idea where your food is coming from.

I used to think that some people were just not capable of making the hard choices regarding food. That they lacked the ability to make good choices, even when they knew what they were. That they were not given the same ability of self-control that others are; that I was. I used to think that maybe other people didn’t have health issues like I did and therefore didn’t have to take “extreme measures” by eating actual food. No. None of that is true.

For a majority of people in this country:

What is true is when we get sick, we look for the quickest, most painless route, that may not fix the problem, but will at least allow us to continue with our lifestyle choices. What is true is when we go to the doctor, we’re not asking advice on how we can improve our lifestyle to make us healthier, we just want a pill; a quick, easy fix. What is true is most doctors don’t even offer nutritional advice, but write a script and tell you to move along. What is true is the doctor does not (and should not) care as much about your body as you do. What is true is if you live in the 21st century and have access to any technology, then you have information at your fingertips. What is true is most people do not take responsibility for their own health, but defer to someone else, that way they have someone to blame.

I have gotten A LOT of grief over my personal choices regarding food. From all types of people, worldly and Christian. Surprisingly in this country, people who are more liberal are generally more informed and conscientious about food choices. This is strange to me, because after my conversion, as I came to know the Lord more and more, and struggled with anxiety and illness, I feel like he directed my path, even in nutrition. And why wouldn’t he? He created the world and everything in it, including food.

“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.” Daniel 1:8

Do I think that God’s idea for food includes Twinkies, Doritos, and Lean Cuisine? Do I think God’s plan for food includes man-made preservatives, food coloring, enhancers like M.S.G (Monosodium Glutamate), and emulsifiers like Soy Lechitin. Do I think his plan for food includes G.M.O.’s (genetically modified organisms) that are altered, implanted with pesticides, and that cannot reproduce. No. I don’t think any of these things are God’s plan for food; for what we consume.

As Christians, we know we are to be good stewards over all that God has entrusted to us. We have no problem pointing out when someone needs to budget, so they can tithe, or have better time management, so they are able to volunteer at church. Being a good steward encompasses more than budgeting and time management. Being a good steward includes all aspects of our lives.

Have you ever seen the show “Hoarders”? It’s about people living in filth, stuff crammed wall to wall, hazardous and dangerous living conditions. Their lives have gotten out of control and they don’t know how to get out of it, or don’t want to. Most of us, if we saw someone living in these conditions, would say that they are not well. That they need to get help and cannot go on living this way. So, why when it comes to food, do we as Christians, give ourselves a pass? We live like God doesn’t want us to take care of our bodies. We act like he doesn’t care if the animals we consume from factory farms are grossly mistreated. We assume that he doesn’t care about the damage we do to our planet in the name of capitalism or any other “ism”. Yes. He does care.

Do we live our wholes in view of an eternal God, giving him every single area? Or do we hold back the portions that we don’t want to change or be changed. Taking care of our bodies is an act of worship. Taking care of our homes, and yards, and communities is an act of worship. Being mindful of where we buy our food and the kind of purchases we make is an act of worship.

No, we don’t worship the land, or animals, or ourselves. We worship the Creator of all of these things, and we honor him, by honoring his creation, including our own bodies. It is not in the idolizing of his creation, ourselves, or even our health, but in the consecration of living our whole life as unto the Lord.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

Some simple changes you can make (simple, maybe not easy) to start incorporating a healthier diet:

This is not meant to bring condemnation, but awareness, and to encourage, and admonish you to take responsibility for your choices regarding food. Don’t hold back what belongs to God.

And finally, I pray for grace. That we may receive God’s varied grace in this area, and extend that same grace to others.(1 Peter 5:10-11) 

“The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in: honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:6-12

 

 

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