I’ve recently made major changes to my diet (more on that later) in order to benefit my body and much of the motivation came from this question, “Does God care what food I eat?” After research and sermons, I determined the answer.
YES! God does care!
The Lord created your body and your soul to do His work. When you put things in your body that aren’t beneficial, your body slowly begins to break down and cannot function the way it was created.
So many people have such long-standing bad habits that they’ve lost touch with what’s beneficial and what’s not.
Here’s a reality check. For the first time in history, as many people are dying of malnutrition and starvation as are dying from overweight-related issues.
What does that mean? It means the for every child that dies of starvation and lack of food, one person dies from a preventable disease such as heart disease or diabetes.
Let me put it this way. For the first time ever, 1.1 BILLION people don’t have enough access to food, while 1.1 BILLION people have too much access to food, leading to preventable diseases.
When I first heard this statistic, I knew I had to make a change in my own life, then hopefully help others by setting an example of a healthy lifestyle.
1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.” What does this mean when it comes to taking care of our bodies?
Everything is permissible:
Everything is allowable, meaning God doesn’t demand, “You must eat this!” or “Don’t eat this!” because God doesn’t control us in anything. When He created Adam and Eve, He also created freedom of choice. This means that while He may speak to our hearts about what to do and what not to do, it’s ultimately our decision to listen and act. When we act according to His will, He is pleased. When we don’t, He extends us grace and promises to make good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose. Therefore, everything is permissible, but…
Not everything is beneficial:
Just because we have free will doesn’t mean that the choices we make are good and valuable for our lives. This applies to areas outside of health and wellness too, but for our sake, we’ll stick with diet. While God doesn’t demand us to stay away from sugar, alcohol, fried foods, etc. it doesn’t mean that consuming these items benefits our bodies.
When we consume something that is unhealthy, there is a major reaction deep in our bodies. Sugar, for example, has zero nutritional value. It adds nothing beneficial. In fact, it’s incredibly reactive in your body. Sugar is known to cause cancer and premature aging. The reaction your body has when you consume sugar is the same reaction if you were to shoot heroine. When you eat sugar, the sugar triggers the release of opioids just as it does when someone does a drug. These opioids are associated with positive and happy feelings.
You may not believe me, which is fine. But think about it this way. Your body craves what you give it. Your body is so used to the effect sugar causes that you crave it. If you tried to stop, you’d likely experience withdrawal symptoms such as a headache, shaking, agitation. What do drug addicts experience with their drug? They crave it. They too experience withdrawals symptoms. Why do drug addicts increase their drug dose or frequency? Their bodies get used to it, just as your does with sugar.
Rick Warren has a fantastic two-part series on this exact topic (part 1 and part 2). It touched my heart so deeply and radically changed my lifestyle. The following text in gray are my are my notes from his sermon.
1 Corinthians 6:15;19 – 20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?” “Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.“
God expects you to manage your body
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?”
God expects you to take care of the blessings He’s given you. Your money, your car, your kids, your house, your personality and gifts, your body, among countless other things. He created your body to give you the ability to do His work. Your body is a gift from God and He’s loaned it to you for the years you are on earth.
Your body is God’s property
It’s not your’s because you didn’t create it. You use it while you’re on earth, then it stays on earth when you die. If you borrow your friend’s car, you wouldn’t do something that would damage the tires, you wouldn’t put on excess miles, and you wouldn’t fill the gas tank with the wrong gasoline type. So why do you do things to damage the biggest tool that enables you to do God’s work?
My body is connected to the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit lives in my body
“Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” If you saw someone vandalizing a temple, a church, a synagogue or other place of worship, you would know it was wrong and you’d likely call the police. So why do you damage your body by unhealthy eating habits?
Jesus bought my body on the cross
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” If you want to know how much you’re worth and how much Jesus loves you, look at the cross. With outstretched arms and nail-pierced hands, Jesus said, this is how much I love you. I love you so much it hurts. I’d rather die than live without you. I came all the way from Heaven to do this for you.
Making major lifestyle changes, like eating foods that are beneficial for you verses foods that hurt your body can be a drastic change, but it is SO worth it. Your body truly does crave what you give it, so after a couple of days or weeks without sugar, fried foods, or whatever your unhealthy weakness is, it really does get much better. Your body will start functioning better, you’ll start feeling better, and your body will become a true example of the Lord’s temple.
For more information, listen to Rick Warren’s podcasts on God’s Prescription for a Healthy Life or pick up a copy of The Daniel Plan, also by Rick Warren. More on The Daniel Plan soon 🙂