More Than Food

“If you put Jesus on eBay, I think the bidding would never ever ever stop.”

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When I used to think about God’s perspective on food I thought of Matthew 6:25.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? (NLT)

But I think I took it all wrong all these years. I’d been, I think, subtly interpreting this as meaning that God doesn’t care about what we eat. But, um, God did one of those, well, things He does this weekend where everything I read was all about this and got right in my face.

I think I’ll call it a God-incidence.

It started Sunday morning in the preteen class I help lead. I wasn’t teaching, but the lesson was on drugs. Pretty simple right? Don’t do ’em. God says not to. The end. Hmmm.

The current unit is on Fitness and caring for the bodies God gave us and the memory verse cam up during the lesson.

“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.

This approach helps me balance what I’m really just beginning to believe about food. Jesus meant it when He said we cannot defile our bodies by what we eat (think Daniel in Nebbie’s court or the Israelites coming out of Egypt with unleavened bread), just like taking an R rated movie into the church sanctuary would not actually make the church sanctuary dirty and unclean and a place you could no longer talk to God.

Rather, holding said R rated movie in the weekday silence or Sunday-singing of your church sanctuary (with a few notable exceptions) would be a stark reminder of what’s wrong with the movie. Because that’s a place that’s used  for glorifying God. It confronts you with sin that doesn’t match the space.

And I think it’s true with food too. I can’t make myself unredeemable to God by eating junk food or by not being responsible to research my food choices before I put them in my body. This will not change how God loves me nor will it make me unusable to Him.  What should happen though, if my body is truly being treated as a sanctuary for God, is to clearly remind me why junk food has no place there, and why certain eating habits just don’t work here.

Two immediate reasons for this last come to mind.

1. If I want to be used for God, I’ll be able to do it better if I’m healthy.

2. If you buy something for a high price, you treat it nicely rather than pouring the cheapest, least effective products into it. And as the verse said, we’ve been bought at the highest price. As one of the preteens said yesterday, “If you put Jesus on eBay, I think the bidding would never ever ever stop.” (Pause for smiles and giggles, keeping in mind that this kid meant this in the very most reverent way possible.)

One final reason why eating with carefully is a good plan, regardless of where you decide to draw the line. God asks us to be responsible stewards of all our resources, including our bodies and the animals and plants with which we sustain them. He has asked this of us since the dawn of time. OK a little after, He didn’t make us til day 6 :). Why would we treat this choice of what we eat any differently than what our budgets say, how we raise our children, how we plan our vacations, or where we want our careers to go?

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