Theology of Food

24 Sep

This post is an invitation to those Christians who are with me on the lifelong journey to have a right relationship with food . . .

I have a lot of questions.  I have some ideas of what the answers might be but . . . I also don’t speak dogmatically where the Scriptures are silent.  I welcome your ideas.  

It is much harder to put food in a proper context in life because, unlike other things that can harm us, we can’t give up eating altogether.  We can give up drinking.  We can avoid tobacco and recreational drugs.  We can avoid extramarital sex (or even be single all life long and live without sex altogether).  But we all need to eat.  And we need to do that without harming ourselves or our testimony in the process.  

As a very good friend has recently written, contradicting our testimony by being a glutton is not helpful to anyone.

Yet, the balancing truth is that God has clearly let us know He has richly given us all things to enjoy!  Food is one of those things.  

There will be a Marriage Supper of the Lamb someday.  We enjoy fellowship over food.  So having a hate relationship with food doesn’t seem to be what we are after either.  

How do we love food without loving it too much?  Without making it an idol which blocks our view of our Saviour?

Again, God gave us the principle, but not the specifics.  

And the specifics may differ from person to person.  Sometimes Christian freedom is like that.

For example, now that I am at my Weight Watchers goal (for almost a year) I seem able to eat a lot of fruit without regaining any weight.  I know a handful of friends who can’t do that.  Is it sinful for them to eat vast quantities of fruit, but not for me to do the same thing?

On the other hand, I live without dessert, by and large, except for my once-a-month piece of Carnegie Deli cheesecake from a local deli that imports it.  

There are some gals who are naturally thin and could eat a slice of that cheesecake every day without gaining weight.  Is it sinful for me to eat cheesecake every day but not for them to do the same thing?

I suspect that much lies within the attitudes and intents of our hearts.  But in some cases, we may be governed by our body types, too.  My particular body would be fat if I ate a big piece of cheesecake every day.  And, back to my friend’s observation, I would have a hard time being credible while teaching on Christian discipline to young women if my own body were almost 300 pounds.  

Sometimes we just have to go with what we’ve got and trust that God gave us the right body!

See how many questions I have?  I would love to dialogue with anyone else who sees that there is a deeper theology in play here.  Counting Weight Watchers points works, but I always like to understand the underlying facets, too.  Especially as it relates to my relationship to the Lord and how to better glorify Him . . . 

Come with me on the journey?


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