Dr. Don Colbert, the author of What Would Jesus Eat, makes a valid point in his book concerning the health of His creation: “Jesus cared about the health of people. Certainly His many healing miracles are testimony to that fact. He desired that people be made whole, and that included being whole in body as well as in mind and spirit.”
If we seek to follow Jesus in every area of our lives, should we include Him in our health and nutritional choices?
As a student in Dietetics with a passion for nutritious, whole food, I can’t see why He wouldn’t want to be involved. He created the earth. He created food. And He created me. He has already taken an interest, in my opinion.
It’s hard to give our best when our bodies don’t feel well. And I believe physical wellness and nutrition may be one of the most overlooked areas in the life of a Christian.
However, please don’t get me wrong here. The truth is the truth, and it is only through Christ that we have salvation. We will never earn good graces and redemption from sin by eating healthy foods. Why? Because we cannot earn anything from the Lord; it is all freely given by grace because Jesus decided He would hang on the cross for us.
End of story.
“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26
I also believe how you choose to take care of your body is between you and the Lord as your Maker. Some people feel convicted about eating meat, and that’s great. At the same time others are at complete peace with eating meat, which is also great. I believe that Jesus died for our sins so that we can live in complete freedom.
“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Romans 14:1-4
However, I do believe if we are called to be good stewards of what the Lord entrusts to us (time, talents, finances, relationships), why then would we not include our physical bodies?
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
According to the book ‘Fast Food Nation’, the typical American now consumes three hamburgers and four orders of French fries every week. It’s convenient and it’s easy, but it’s no healthier than eating a large Styrofoam cup full of low-grade protein packed with artificial hormones, three tablespoons of animal fat, a teaspoon of salt, and a load of preservatives.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9
And I am speaking to myself on this one.
If we are quick to ask Him for healing on Sunday morning (which is an incredible step of faith and very biblical), then we must also be quick to make the changes that we can control to better our health (through the free will God has given us). We must do our part, beloved. And He will be abundantly faithful to do His (as always).
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15
God has big plans for us, but we must be healthy in order to carry these out.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
God gave us these bodies. In fact He designed them according to His own image, and we must steward them well.
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NLT
I invite you to join me this week in multiple conversations about the important role of diet, the interplay between complex colonies of microbiota in our gut, and the impact of (chronic) use of antibiotics on our bodies. I strongly believe these posts will serve as an incredible encouragement for many of you this week. May God alone receive the glory!
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Photo courtesy of menuconcepts.com.au