Many Americans have gotten a fixation on food in recent years. While we usually think of someone with a food fixation as being obese or given to gluttony there are other ways that the fixation on food can manifest itself. Obsessing over organic foods, using fad diets, or counting calories are all ways that can give people a preoccupation with thoughts on food. So how do you balance being a good Christian and steward of your body while not becoming fixated on exercise plans and diets?
God provided the first man and woman on earth with a bountiful garden and created man with taste buds because food is meant for enjoyment as well as to nourish our bodies. God reminds us of our dependence on Him to sustain our bodies with food every time that our stomachs rumble after we’ve forgotten to stop working to eat lunch.
The New Testament does not contain any actual regulations on what types of food we should consume. We are supposed to eat with a grateful heart, whatever God provides and alway offer our prayers of thanksgiving to Him. Physical food even points to the largest source of satisfaction we can find in Jesus, the bread of life. So does God care whether we’re eating a fast food meal or a homecooked pot roast? He reminds us in 1 Timothy 4:4-5 that “Everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”
It’s important to remember that the gospel does not allow for any self-made righteousness. Jesus died on the cross and suffered for our sins so that we do not have to wok for our righteousness. It’s not based on the merits of our behavior, much less our eating habits. This means that the next time you are tempted to indulge in judgment when you watch a friend open a bag of potato chips you must refrain. Eating grain breads and lots of greens does not make anyone a better person.
Since our current culture is well saturated with restaurants boasting locally sourced foods we are often able to be very picky about where we dine and what sort of foods we eat. It is definitely a privilege and stewardship to be able to eat healthier, however it can become a roadblock for hospitality and fellowship.
Sometimes preferences can isolate us. Don’t let something as trivial as food ruin the sweet connections that Christian fellowship provides us with. Let’s remember the next time that we meet a friend for coffee that even if the cafe doesn’t offer the very best coffee beans it will not stop us from enjoying the meeting with our friend.