Healthy Eating From a Biblical Perspective
by Olga Hermans
Last week my family and I finished a 10 day juice fast. We watched the “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” Movie and realized that it would be a good thing to make a choice to detoxify our bodies. We had a great time doing it; some of us endured a lot of pain, like bad headaches. But we will probably do it again, just because we choose to make a healthy choice.
You know, all the things that we see the world promote, we can find in the Bible. Fasting is a biblical principle; Jesus did it, John the baptist did it, Paul did it; why shouldn’t we? There is nothing new under the sun. The Bible is a very practical book; it is not a history book and not just a “pie in the sky” or something that can collect dust on your coffee table. No! You can find all the answers to all your questions. The Bible is a book that you can live by.
It covers every area of your life and it has a lot to say about what to eat and what not to eat. Yeah, God is concerned about your lifestyle. You are not the first person that has problems with food. Do you remember the first problem of Adam and Eve? Food! They ate the wrong food, the forbidden fruit.
Then there was Esau; what was his problem? He loved his lentils. There is nothing wrong with that, but he sold his birthright for a bowl of beans. Food became his downfall!
And Eli in 1Sam.1-4 was overweight because he loved that fat meat and passed his bad eating habits on to his sons. His sons loved the fat meat so much that they stole it from the sacrifices. God warned Eli to get his sons under control, but Eli liked to eat more than to obey!
Eli’s situation is sad because he really did love God. But he could not give up his eating habits or discipline his sons. He was so overweight that when he heard that the Ark of the Covenant had been stolen, he lost his balance and fell backwards off a stool, breaking his neck!
Wrong eating habits produce all kinds of bad things, but be encouraged, God has the way out of these bad habits!
1. The Lusting For Food
We all have a desire to eat good food and that is very natural. Our bodies need food to keep going. But we never should start to lust after food. I myself love to eat chocolate with almonds in it and can really crave for chocolate. Then I read this scripture in Proverbs, that good practical book on wisdom: “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger” (Prov. 19:15).
Idle people are hungry people! Have you ever noticed that when you sit in front of the TV and you get entertained; your mind is kind of idle and you find yourself longing for all kinds of goodies? Not so when you are busy and occupied with some important things. So, it is a good thing to keep you busy. It’s good to keep your body busy, and it’s good to keep your mind busy.
Another key to eating properly is found in Proverbs 13:25: “The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.”
The word that stands out here is the word “satisfying”. You can eat to the satisfying of your soul or you can go beyond that amount and stuff yourself! Most of the time we go beyond being satisfied because the food tastes so good. The righteous don’t go beyond being satisfied; they stay within that limit.
Here is a verse that might surprise you: Proverbs 25:27, “It is not good to eat much honey.” That has to do with sweets. It is better to eat natural sweets like fruit. Honey is good, but too much of any good thing is dangerous!
We’ve covered the dangers in eating sweets; now let’s look at the dangers in eating too much meat.
2. The Eating of Food
Eating sweets is not good, and eating too much meat is not good. None of us wants to eat too much and get into trouble with our eating. We want to be healthy people. The next question would naturally be, “What can I do to change my eating habits?”
The Bible tells us how to handle our craving for too much food. The first scripture that comes to mind in changing our eating habits is 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Ask yourself if your eating habits glorify God.
We can be skinny and still not glorify God in our eating! If, on the other hand, you look like the Michelin Icon/man, will people see God in you? Proverbs 23:2 says, “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” That is pretty serious and it shows how serious we need to be when it comes to wrong eating habits.
Now, let’s be optimistic and look at how to eat. Proverbs 18:20 says, “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Never complain about what you eat but speak good things over it.
Many people are in trouble over food because they eat when they are depressed. Proverbs has something to say about this too: “All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast” (Prov. 15:15).
Eat when you are happy, and it will be a feast to you. It could be crackers and milk, but you’ll be happy. Whatever you eat when you are happy will be a continual feast. You will receive more strength from your food if you eat it with joy.
4. The Sanctifying of Food
One of the most important aspects of eating, and something that will help you to keep a right attitude in your eating, is found in 1 Timothy 4:3-5: “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
These verses tell us that we do not have to be vegetarians. Every creature is good for food. Remember, though, that we are not to be unruly eaters of flesh. Did you know that what you pray over, giving thanks, is set apart by the Lord for your well-being? I believe that if nutrition is lacking in what you have to eat, God can make it up to you if you will give thanks for it and pray over it.
However, that doesn’t mean you can neglect good meal planning. But sometimes you may be in a position where you can’t eat correctly. If you believe everything you hear or read about food, you will become frustrated: “Bacon causes cancer,” “Coffee causes cancer,” etc. If you followed it all, you wouldn’t know what to eat! Ask God to bless and sanctify your food, and He will take away sickness from you. You can’t always be extremely selective about what you eat, but you can pray the right thing over your food before you eat it.
5. The Choosing of Food
We must eat the right kind of food! If you are tempted to eat a blueberry pie or a piece of cake, think of partaking resurrection power – the power you need to overcome all those bad eating habits. The more resurrection power you feed to your mind and body, the easier it will become to say, “No!” to bad eating habits.
5. The Kingdom of Food
The last point is without doubt the most important one. Paul said in Romans 14:17: “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink: but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” We are not to major on the “kingdom of food,” but we are to major on the Kingdom of God. Do not dwell on your eating habits, whether you are too fat or too skinny. If you want to reach your destiny that God has for you, it might be a good choice for you to take your eyes off the problem and put your eyes on the Kingdom of God.
Here are some practical steps to change your eating habits and see your body improve:
1. Keep your mind active – think on right things (Prov. 19:15; 27:7).
2. Don’t eat to stuff yourself, but to satisfy yourself (Prov. 13:25).
3. Watch your intake of sweets and meats (Prov. 23:3,20).
4. When you eat, do it to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31).
5. Take your bad eating habits to the cross and reckon them dead (Prov. 23:2).
6. Speak right words about your food before you eat (Prov. 18:20).
7. Don’t eat when you are depressed (Prov. 15:15).
8. Pray God’s Word over your food (1 Tim. 4:4,5; Deut. 7:13-15).
Question: Do you have any bad food habits and what are you willing to do about it?
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