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1 Cor. 6:13b -“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (ESV).”
1 Cor. 6:19b-20 – “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Col. 1:16-17 – “16For by him [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whetherthrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
The point of these verses is that our bodies belong to the Lord. Furthermore, Christ is the sustaining source of all life. In light of God owning us and Christ providing all we need in order to live through His creating power and finished work, here are 10 suggestions for eating unto the glory of God:
1. You must not over eat. I realize that this is ambiguous; for, it is meant to be. Do not eat more than you need. “How much food do I want?” Or, “How much food can I fit on my plate?” should not govern how much you eat. Instead, you should ask yourself “How much food do I need in order to be a good steward of this body that belongs to the Lord”? Putting our minds in neutral concerning anything in God’s world is directly forbidden in Scripture, including in how we eat (Phil. 4:8).
2. You must not under eat. I believe many young girls and women struggle with this; however, more and more men are struggling with this sin today as well. You must eat in order to provide nourishment to God’s body. The only time in the Bible that voluntarily abstaining from eating is allowed is whenever we are fasting.
3. You must enjoy the Lord before, during, and after eating. It is not enough to merely pray before you eat, but you should be thankful toward God while you are eating. It is impossible however to be thankful toward God while sinning; for, our sin communicates that we are not thankful toward God. So, if you are over-eating or under-eating, you are not eating with thanksgiving toward God.
4. Pleasure in eating should only be one of your motivations. Pleasure in eating is unfortunately the main reason that humans eat… at least in the West. Oftentimes we enjoy the food so much that we don’t even think about God or His glory. In other words, Christians often eat like Atheists, when they instead should be eating in a way that communicates that Jehovah is their God, and food is not.
5. The desire to be healthy should only be one of your motivations. If we were only meant to eat tree bark and grass, why then did God give us taste buds? We should enjoy our food, but not to the detriment of His body. There is wonder beyond our finite minds that is bound up in the wonderful taste of food that we often take for granted. His glory is revealed as we enjoy Him through His creation: our taste buds and the various foods that satisfy them.
6. What you eat matters to God; so it should matter to you. You cannot intentionally eat foods that are purposefully and blatantly bad for your health; it is impossible to enjoy the Lord through eating an entire meal of chocolate cake. However, we have no reason to believe that we are forbidden to enjoy some cake.
7. We must be good stewards of the food that the Lord has provided us with. This does not mean that we must clean our plates, but it does mean that we should handle His resources wisely. We should plan our meals as well as we can so that we do not waste God’s provision. Furthermore, it’s interesting how we often hear about managing our finances well from the pulpit; however, we often think nothing of the amount of food we waste on a daily basis.
8. Beauty in food should be one of our motivations as well. We should ponder every now and again the wonderful reality that a sweet potato is shaped, colored, and textured like a sweet potato and not like an orange. God’s masterpiece is all around us, and food is part of this masterpiece. “Stopping to smell the roses” in order to enjoy the Lord is a God-honoring endeavor.
9. If we are to enjoy the Lord through eating, then food cannot be an idol in our lives. Thus, food cannot be seen as an end in and of itself; rather, it must ultimately be viewed as an avenue through which we can enjoy the Lord. If at any point, we eat with selfish motives, then we are not truly enjoying food the way that it was intended to be enjoyed. A Christian should enjoy food more than any other person on earth, for we know its Creator intimately through Christ; and eating is merely another avenue through which we can enjoy Him.
10. Finally, in light of food, we should cultivate a love for God in our spouses, children, parents, friends, etc. Each time we sit to eat the goal should be to enjoy the Lord, not to enjoy one another, “the hands that prepared it,” or the feast before us. We instead should enjoy the Lord through enjoying one another, the “hands that prepared it,” and the feast before us. “Isn’t God good”? should be on the tips of our tongues; instead of, “Isn’t family good,” or, “Isn’t food good”?
What are your thoughts about this article?
Is there anything you would add or take away? Why or why not?