*Don’t read this until you’ve read part I and II and sat on it for a few days*
My guess is that after reading part I and II most people feel convicted and that they need to do something about their diet; which is good. We must learn to find peace in the continual pursuit of God, knowing that we will never be perfected until we enter heaven’s gates.
A famous nutritionist named Dr. Weil once went on vacation to Europe. He arrived very late at night, way past his bed time. When he walked in the place he was staying, they had thrown a party for him with fancy meats and cheeses He was so cooped up in his health that he went straight to bed without eating (since he had applied not eating late to his diet). When he woke up the next morning, he realized everyone at the party, despite their lack of sleep and poor dietary choices, had much more energy than he did. Dr. Weil was wiped despite the amount of sleep he got.
I had a similar experience not too long after hearing this story; only mine was for an extended period of time. I traveled to Oklahoma for about a week; eating, compared to what I normally eat, horribly. White bread, refried beans, cheese, fries, tots, eggs, bacon, cookies. I was fully expecting to feel horrible that week, as I normally do eating those foods. Additionally, I didn’t get a lot of exercise, played video games, got less than 7 hours of sleep a night, and watched movies. But something special happened. In being around my cousins for that long in fellowship, something trumped the food/exercise aspect of my health. My blood pressure had become a lot lower than before and I had the most energy I remember having, ever; despite getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night, eating horribly, and not exercising.
2. The Biblical aspect
In Luke: 10:7-8, Jesus tells the disciples when they go into a house that welcomes them “…remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.” We see in our own lives that this is more respectful and less damaging to relationships.
In 1 Corinthians brings up a few points relating exactly to this situation. In 1 Corinthians 10:31-33, Paul says “31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” Additionally, he says in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 Paul says “22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”
When we are in fellowship with one another, admonishing each other and building each other up towards Christ, something special happens; and it is better than anything we can do of ourselves. We are additionally reminded in Colossians 28-29, we must preach Him, “warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”
3. Social vs nutrition
The nutritional aspect of all of this should be second to admonishing one another and building each other up in Christ, as I learned from being in Oklahoma, but it must be consciously thought of. What if I had been eating healthily in Oklahoma in addition to being in fellowship?
When we are going through are day to day lives, we must be consciously aware of our state:our energy level based on how much sleep we get and what we are putting into our bodies. In Exodus, God gives His people dietary guidelines so they won’t get sick.
We don’t think about this anymore, we often say “Father, why have you brought this sickness upon me?” when it is in fact our own selfish doing: eating what we crave rather than what our bodies need. James 1:14-15 reminds us: :“…each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when his desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.” It’s pretty scary that when we are drawn to things we know are bad for us, we develop cravings for them, and they become a reliance in our lives.
Many people I know are Diet Coke addicts, but Christ should be the only reliance for us in our lives. Isn’t drinking coke regularly the same as being drug addict? It’s doing something for our bodies that seems good in the moment but is bad for us in the long run? Research shows that having one beer a day is much healthier than having a coke a day. “but wait a sec, alcohol is a drug, right?” yep. Pretty weird that soda is worse for us than drugs eh?
Sorry, I had to give a soda rant at some point.
Based on modern day science, the modern food pyramid sits at the top of this article. This is one that Dr. Fuhrman has promoted. It’s certainly made a difference in my energy level and overall health.
So let us not be gluttonous, be consciously aware of what things in our bodies are doing to us, and realize that God’s work and blessing to us in discipling and fellowship are greater than what we can do in our diet. This gives us no less of a reason to eat the best we can so that the Holy Spirit can work through us to the most potential; for if we don’t have energy to do God’s work, we are obviously not living up to our potential in Christ (not that we will ever reach it in our fleshly imperfect bodies).
So as a challenge for the rest of our lives, let us admonish each other and build each other up, being the best vessels we can through Christ Jesus. Ultimately, it is only with God’s help that we can curb our cravings and fleshly desires for foods that don’t benefit us; and truly, He, and the Holy Spirit’s work through us, is the biggest motivation for us doing so.
Imagine what God can do through us if we become healthier vessels with more energy; that are happier, living longer, and spending (an average of) $175,000 less on health care. Be aware that you have enemies in this world that seek for you to have poor health: just about every food advertisement on television.
P.S. Don’t go completely vegan: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/girlfriend-from-super-size-me-ditches-veganism/