It has been rather scary talking about the subject of health and what the Bible says about it. I know it is a controversial subject that we won't all agree on. In this last post, I will share some of the conclusions I came to when I truly dug deep in my own heart.
I am glad the commands in Scripture work for all times and all people. If the Bible instructed us to eat the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern diet that Jesus ate, those of us in a different climate would struggle to obey. Though God specified in the Old Testament how the Israelites should eat, He doesn't describe a perfect diet in the New Testament, and we are able to adapt to our cultural settings.
In some ways, I am limited by my circumstances.
When I read books on the subject of health, I often become frustrated when I think of stretching the grocery budget to purchase the avocado, wild salmon, organic blueberries, natural sweeteners, and myriad of health supplements they claim are crucial to good health. I can't buy all free-range, grass-fed, organic, free-trade food and still meet my grocery budget. I can't grow, raise, and make all my own food from scratch and still have time for the things God has called me to do.
I can do my best to stretch my budget and buy quality food. Food made at home is typically far cheaper, and healthier, than processed food. But I may find some things are not possible with where God has placed me and the priorities my husband and I have chosen. I can choose to accept my circumstances as designed by God for me at this present time and not be consumed by guilt by what I cannot do.
Why did the topic of health bring me confusion, fear, and guilt? When I took an honest look at my heart, I found health placed on a pedestal where it did not belong. “The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.” (Psalm 135:15) My pursuit of health didn't look as sinister as a golden idol, but my trust was in man, man's books, and man's ideas, and not on the Giver of Life.
I claimed the promise that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) If fear and confusion do not come from God, my preoccupation with what I fed my family was wrong. I needed to confess my sin in looking to man to give health and seek God's direction in this area of my life. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
Do I still read health books? Yes, I do. I enjoy the opportunity to learn new things.
Do I still try to serve my children nutritious food? Of course.
But I have learned to check my heart often and search for fear, pride, and frustration that appear when health has become an idol.
I'd love to hear from you. Am I the only one who has allowed health and nutrition to become the focal point?