Before you read this, or listen to the podcast I share, please hear me say two things:
- It is good to take care of your body! It is good to fill it with life giving foods. It is good to consume food intentionally. I am not saying that we shouldn't take care of ourselves. Like the quote from Doug Wilson below states, we should take care of ourselves so that we are well able to do the work that God has placed us on earth to do.
- If a doctor has put you on a specific eating regimen because your health is at stake, then please, by all means, follow it! Think about it! Plan accordingly!
Ok, read on!
"Our body is an instrument. It's a tool. It's supposed to wear out. We're supposed to spend ourselves in the service of God..." -Doug Wilson
The older I get, the more time God has to reveal my idols to me. Materialism, pride, people pleasing, and yes, food, being the most recent to make their way to the top of the list.
How can food be an idol you ask? Here are some helpful questions to flesh out the possibility:
- How much time do I spend planning meals?
- How much effort do I put into cooking?
- How often do I talk to others about how healthy I am eating?
- How many fad diets do I go on every year?
- How much time every day is spent thinking about what I will (or won't) eat next?
- Do I have trouble eating with people because they don't eat as healthy as me?
- Do I believe that the way I eat is earning me "brownie points" from God? (pun intended)
- Do I believe that the way I eat makes be better than others?
I'm loving just about everything the women of the Sheologians podcast have to say. I think they are really spot on concerning some tough topics that are hard to address (and ruffle quite a few feathers). I've listened to this particular episode twice now because I find it so relevant to my life. I haven't read Doug Wilson's book yet, but by golly I'm going to!
Like they say, repeatedly, during this episode, I am not sharing to call anyone else out about their eating habits or lifestyle. I'm sharing because the thoughts discussed in this episode gave me a lot to chew on (again, pun intended). Maybe you need to hear this stuff too.
Skip ahead to the 10:00 mark to miss the hosts' banter and get in right as the interview starts.
This topic makes me recall a story from Acts chapter 10. Peter, Jesus' disciple who grew up Jewish had followed strict dietary guidelines his entire life Then, starting in verse 9, we hear about a vision he has in which God addresses which food Peter should/should not eat:
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. Acts 10:9-16
The story goes on to relate how Peter is afterwards invited to the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion and by that right, a Gentile. Cornelius was interested in hearing more about Christ and knew Peter was the man to go to for answers, so he invited the disciple to dine with him at his house. This was unheard of! Until now, Jews and Gentiles never ate together! What God had Peter do was so counter cultural it was scandalous. But, He was doing a new thing. Because Peter ate with Cornelius, he got the chance to share the Gospel with the entire household. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the message, yes, even the Gentiles who ate "unclean food"! God made it clear that He cared a whole lot more about relationships and community than what types of food people consumed as they ate together.
Jesus came to set us free; free from all the things that bind us and that keep us from a whole relationship with Him. Is food one of those things for you? It definitely can be for me.