The more you get to know me, the more I hope you will notice that I seek to be consistent across the board. I want to see Christ glorified in every realm of my life. Because of that, I have thought a lot about how the way we eat and how we care for our bodies fits in with the gospel of Christ. In other words, I have tried to answer the question, “Why is this even important?” Our decisions regarding health and nutrition (of which you’ll soon learn a lot about if you keep visiting me here!) all stem from the following convictions that we (Blane and I) share:
1. We should seek to nourish our bodies and do what we can to keep them running at an optimum level. We do this not for the end goal of health alone, but so that we can be strong enough to share the gospel and serve others for as long as God has us living on this earth. We also believe that we should seek to nourish our children’s bodies so that they can seek to accomplish the same things (Acts 20:24).
2. We believe that we don’t own ourselves, but that our bodies are temples in which the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Therefore, we can’t do whatever we want with them. Instead, we are stewards who should prove faithful and be responsible with what has been entrusted to us. We consider it a moral obligation to do the best we can with all that has been given us, including our bodies and our children’s bodies (until they are responsible for themselves). Everyone will one day be held accountable (Romans 14:11-12).
3. If we have been given knowledge about something and its detrimental effects on us, we believe we will be held accountable for how we respond to that knowledge (Luke 12:48). We do not desire to continue living in a manner that indulges our fleshly desires or caters to a fear of man (Proverbs 29:25, Isaiah 51:7) with no thought to the physical or spiritual ramifications. Again, we believe that accountability is individual (Romans 14:11-12).
4. It is very important not to make an idol out of health and nutrition or elevate it to a consuming status in our life (Exodus 20:3). Circumstances often dictate food choices, and there are few absolutes. If I found myself in a situation where I had nothing else, I would be thankful for cockroaches to feed my family. It is absolutely true as well that all men are appointed once to die (Hebrews 9:27). God is still sovereign (Psalms 135:6). It is impossible to force his hand or make him grant you a long, healthy life, no matter how well you eat. We aren’t in ultimate control. That’s why the gospel is central, not food (Romans 1:16-17). It’s appointed once for everyone to die and THEN eternal life ensues. Our primary and most pressing focus should be on our health of our souls. Earthly health only matters to the degree that it facilitates Kingdom work.
5. We seek to be charitable toward others. Indeed, pride is always to be abhorred. We recognize the urgent need for humility, especially when it is possible that we are the ones who lack faith (Romans 14:1-10). Ultimately, it is each individual person’s responsibility to live the way they do out of faith, and we pray that we are not a stumbling block for others (Romans 14:20-23). If someone has us in their home for a meal, we graciously enjoy what is served to us (Romans 14:19-20). We also do not look down on others for choosing differently than us (Romans 14:13-14).
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14: 17-19
Is this an area of life that you have thought about? What principles guide your decision making when it comes lifestyle and food?