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“When you eat, I want you to think of God, of the holiness of hands that feed us, of the provision we are given every time we eat. When you eat bread and you drink wine, I want you to think about the body and the blood every time, not just when the bread and wine show up in church, but when they show up anywhere— on a picnic table or a hardwood floor or a beach.”
This is my favorite quote from one of my favorite books, Bread & Wine, by Shauna Niequist.
I wrestled with my weight for most of my childhood and years of my adulthood, too. I spent a long time trying to convince myself that I didn’t love food. It’s just fuel. I can suck it up and live off of carrot sticks and Slim Fast. It’s okay that it tastes terrible…it’s low calorie and that’s all that matters!
Friends, there is more to food than the calorie count.
Food is a gift from God. We use it to celebrate, to mourn, to entertain, to fuel, to love, to show hospitality, and to care for people in tangible ways. There are absolutely dangers to overeating (just as there are to undereating), but we need food on a daily basis.
Here are 5 Bible verses that talk about faithful healthy eating, showing us what God says about food, not the latest fad diet.
1. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
When you bring God into your healthy eating, it changes everything. Striving to honor Him in your food and drink choices will bring not only a heart change, but it will also change your choices.
I used to think of food in two camps – there were “reward foods” and “punishment foods.” Everything that tasted good (tater tots, Nutty Bars, potato chips, and ice cream), I considered a reward.
Everything that was good for me – vegetables, whole grains, etc – I considered a punishment. I’m overweight because of my poor food choices, so I have to force myself to eat these foods.
But what if all food, the healthy and the not-so-healthy foods, could be eaten for the glory of God? What if you considered Him in your grocery shopping, your portion sizes, and your calorie counting? What if you sat down to dinner every night with a heart of gratitude for the plate in front of you, knowing food was a way to care for the gift of the body God has given you?
2. It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep. – Proverbs 25:27
Even the Old Testament instructed us to go easy on the sugar! It’s not bad to eat honey (or sugar) in general, but there are healthy boundaries to eating, too.
Portion control is more than just a set of rules to follow. They are boundaries to protect us. God knew we would be tempted to overindulge in a good thing (and isn’t that true of all good things?). He is not trying to steal joy from us with rigid rules. He just knows what is best for us and wants to give us gentle reminders to stay on that path.
Did you know that research has actually proven that the first few bites taste best? So, say, you are eating a decadent chocolate cake. The first few bites are going to taste amazing! After that, our taste buds tire and it tastes less and less amazing with every forkful.
Have some sugar. Slow down. Savor it, taste it, and enjoy it…just don’t overindulge!
3. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. – 1 Corinthians 6:12
Have you ever felt like food was calling the shots? I sure have! I can’t even tell you how many times my cravings have led me to down a box of Nutty Bars and, afterward, I would be sitting there in a pile of wrappers not knowing how that had really just happened.
No foods are off limits to you, but it is up to you to put reasonable limits on food. It’s not good to eat an entire chocolate cake or pizza in one sitting. You have the right to choose to do just that if you’d like, but it’s sure not going to be beneficial! It’s not good for your physical health or your emotional health, for that matter.
4. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. – Ecclesiastes 3:13
You may not be a farmer growing the produce you eat in your kitchen, but you do work hard to put food on the table. Enjoy it and be satisfied!
In my experience, when it comes to junk food, there is often not much satisfaction. I can eat an entire box of fruit snacks, a full bag of chips, or 5,000 calories of Nutty Bars and I still won’t be satisfied. I think I will be, so I convince myself to eat just one more…until I have no more left to eat.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, when I eat healthy meals, making sure they have enough protein, fiber, and flavor (bland boiled chicken breast? Blech!), I am almost always left satisfied. I eat until I’m full and then I stop. It’s a wondrous thing when you discover your stomach can actually alert you when it’s had enough.
This Scripture is a beautiful reminder that it is a good and godly thing to find joy in eating! Eat, drink, be satisfied, and feel the gratitude for the food that God has blessed us with (I still thank Him for Nutty Bars, but now I stop at 1!).
5. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
This verse is my go-to for any temptation in my life!
Temptation is a tricky thing. When it comes to food, we almost always call them “cravings,” but they are just the same as any other temptation.
The feeling comes on strong and has this sense of urgency that we must satisfy that longing right now.
That’s the lie of temptation.
You are not going to die if you don’t have that double cheeseburger in the next 5 minutes. You’ll be just fine without ice cream tonight.
Thankfully, we have a God who is more powerful than any temptation we face…we usually just forget to ask Him for help! He never promises that we will have a life without temptation (or food cravings), but He does promise us that He will always show us a way out when we seek Him and look for it.
Let this Bible verse remind you that God is faithful and you have always have another option outside of simply giving in.
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