Does your diet bring you freedom or do you feel enslaved?
The question isn’t a debate over what you choose to exclude or include on your plate. You have the right to pick an eating style that lines up with your personal preferences. Instead, I am asking how does your diet decisions affect you when you are away from the table.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a chapter in the Bible that spells out a healthy life to-the-tee. Fortunately, there is a lot of practical advice that you can measure your life up against and see if it is producing the type of fruit that is positive and ultimately healthy (for you).
Galatians 5 can be a game changer if you take time to read it thoroughly with your relationship with food in mind. Warning: being convicted is a good thing; feeling self-shame or condemnation is not a God thing. Because chances are your toes are about to take a trampling, or maybe just mine did.
Please, take a deep dive into the entire 5th chapter of Galatians, line by line. In a nutshell, Paul shares that there is freedom in Christ. When you choose to walk and live in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh that continually tempt you. While being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from a moral code, it provides you with a Helper that guides you day-to-day in making honorable choices.
You can rest easy that you’re on track, by assessing the fruit your actions and mindsets produce in your life.
Chances are you can recite the fruit of the Spirit without hesitation:
Recently, I experienced an “AH-HA” moment reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan. He brought to light that Galatians 5:22 says, “the FRUIT of the Spirit” not “the FRUITS of the Spirit.”
You’re either walking in the FRUIT meaning you are experiencing them ALL, or you’re being deceived by only living out a few at a time.
While this revelation has convicted me in more than one area, I want us to bring the idea back to our relationship with food.
Just because you love the way a food or meal taste, and at that moment, it brings you joy, if you leave the table feeling uneasy about the decision, and you’re not kind to yourself for the choice, or lack self-control with the portion, you aren’t “eating in the Spirit” so to speak.
The other side to the argument, is just because you have all the self-control in the world, and are faithful to following your food rules, but don’t find joy in eating, love the body you’re in, or aren’t kind to yourself if you get off track, you, too aren’t “eating in the Spirit.”
Bottom line, God desires a better way for you to approach making dietary decisions. God put you on this planet for a specific purpose, to help further His kingdom and love one another. God did not put you on this planet to get lost on a rollercoaster of finding the right method to weigh less. Of course, God desires you to live in a manner that you're taking care of your body and doing your best to prevent an early demise from gratifying the desires of the flesh, but don't miss the forest for the trees.
Instead of seeking the right combination of food or nutrients that provide an outward version of yourself you deem worthy by the world’s standards, I’d like to challenge you (and myself) to instead seek a relationship with food that evokes the fruit of the Spirit. The ending of Galatians 5:22 states against such things, there is no law. Meaning, when you are living (that includes eating) by the Spirit there is no “bad” food choice or reason to be enslaved to rigorous food rules.