Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
One of my idols I have been battling for a long time is Food. In particular, turning to food (usually chocolate) for comfort when I am emotionally upset. This coping method is sinful, as I am turning to something other than God for comfort. I also struggle with eating for pleasure rather than for need – I have a hard time limiting my portion sizes and snacks. This is unhealthy for my physically, but also spiritually. When I allow myself to be controlled by food, instead of controlling my desires for it, I am raising it to Idol Status.
Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:8-9
I have been praying about this for some time, and have slowly been gaining control over my cravings. Supplements (glucomannan) did help for a time with feelings of fullness, to break the habit of eating when not hungry. However, I still struggled with comfort eating and over-eating for pleasure (which would be termed the unattractive word gluttony).
I have been reading through the Old Testament, and am struck by how particular God was with His temple. He was very specific in defining the temple, and everything about it was beautiful and special in His eyes. In the New Testament, we are now His temple. I believe this has implications as to how we are to treat our bodies, and how we present our bodies to the world. As far as food goes – the food I put into my body is what I am offering to God in His temple.
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
It takes time and energy to change, particularly in a family situation (cooking for more than 1!). I am not one to follow fad diets, but believe that good nutrition is pretty basic, commonsense, and practical. I am inspired to try to make the following dietary changes:
- Try to eliminate highly processed foods
- Decrease processed foods – make more foods from scratch
- Increase consumption of whole grains
- Increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Decrease consumption of meat
- Decrease consumption of fats and empty calories
- Increase consumption of water
- Decrease coffee consumption and replace with tea (preferably green)
I have already previously replaced high glycemic index sugar with low glycemic index sugars (xylitol, erythritol, coconut palm sugar). I also gave up all soda, alcohol (due to the caloric content mainly), sugary drinks, most juice, and milk. I have mostly replaced snacking with seasoned homemade popcorn instead of chips, cookies, cakes, etc.
Besides addressing nutrition and emotional comfort, I am trying to get at the root of food controlling me (which I believe is a self-control issue). I am doing this through fasting. Throughout the Bible, there are many passages where believers are fasting and praying. It’s something that seems to be a regular and common occurrence – not something rare or extraordinary. And yet fasting doesn’t seem to be all that common these days.
Biblical fasting comes in many forms and I don’t believe there is a right or a wrong way to do it. You can fast from certain things or everything, and it can be for any length of time. As with most things, I think we need to use common sense. What this looks like for me is on my non-work days I am fasting from all food from bedtime until suppertime the next day. For me, this is 3 days a week. I am continuing to drink – water, my one morning coffee, and unlimited tea.
I actually hesitated to post about this, because then I would be accountable! I honestly didn’t know if I would have the self-control to do it. This is my third week, and although the first day was tough, I committed myself to following through and it hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I imagined. I am trying to read the Bible and Pray daily, particularly on fasting days.
I have noticed that I am DEFINITELY having LESS food cravings. Chocolate and pantry-trips are becoming easier and easier to skip in the evenings and on non-fasting days. Portion control is easier. In fact I am feeling fuller sooner and often feel uncomfortably over-full after eating regular amounts. While I hope to maybe lose weight too, I am primarily hoping to develop a healthy relationship with food that honors God.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31