God made us to be physical and spiritual beings as a whole. Our physical lives and our spiritual beings were never intended to be viewed separately.
Yet, how often do we consider what we put into our mouths to impact us spiritually?
This week in our month of focus on wellness, I am going to concentrate on how we can eat well.
What we eat and put into our bodies is not only a physical act but a spiritual action, too. For what we do spiritually has an impact on the physical, and what we do physically affects the spiritual.
We see this from the beginning of time. God gave physical food to sustain our bodies. He provided food for Adam and Eve in the garden. You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, God told the couple. Yet, you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God also told them.
Adam and Eve had to comply to the spiritual act of obedience in their physical behavior of eating. They had to overcome their desire for what looked good, and their bodily greed. They had to be restrained.
Adam and Eve had to overcome the temptation to put into their mouths what would harm them spiritually. You see how the physical and spiritual cannot be separated? The physical act of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would be of spiritual detriment to them.
So, I have to ask myself, am I careful what I eat and put into my body? Eating is not just a physical concern but a spiritual consideration too, because our physical bodies are a temple—a spiritual entity to the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are meant for God himself.
Simply put, we cannot separate the two aspects of our being.
We see this concept in the story of Daniel. He declined to eat the food of the King and the Babylonians. Not only was the food rich, but also it most likely had been offered to idols. Daniel did not want to defile his physical body with what could harm him spiritually. He knew being healthy was both inseparably physical and spiritual.
How does this translate to us? Well, as Christians, we often pray at meal times, before we eat. We thank God for our food, but do we really think about the food in front us and what we put into our bodies?
Do we pray and consider whether the food we are consuming is honoring to God, and to us physically?
Sometimes I don’t even think about the quality or quantity of the food I am putting into my body. Usually it is because the temptation is on the plate in front of me and I give in too easily. I want to give in. The food and drink looks good, just like the fruit looked good to Eve.
What we need to do is not just thank God for the food, but bring our temptation to God. We need to really pray about the food we’re putting into our bodies. We need to ask God to help us overcome our desires; for his Holy Spirit to assist us in having self-control.
Next time you eat, pray for your eyes to be opened to the temptation, the desire and what is pleasing to the eye. Tell God you do not want to defile your body with food and drink and ask his Holy Spirit, who is living inside of you, to help you.
What food are you tempted to eat that is not good for you either physically or spiritually?
Are you tempted to over indulge? Do you find it hard to resist the sweets or the fast food in front of you? Test yourself for ten days.
Let’s be like Daniel and look healthier and better nourished from being restrained.
- Eat foods with less than 5 ingredients and only ones you can read.
- When at the store buy items that are a single product. For example, chicken, strawberries, lettuce.
- In the store, you should spend more time in the fruit and vegetables section than anywhere else.
(I am grateful to Danielle Gilde for teaching me these tips.)