- Jared White
Most would agree that a healthy diet is vital for good physical health. The connection food has to faith, however, might seem a bit more tenuous. Yet food is an intimate part of daily life -- there isn't a day that goes by when food consumption doesn't affect how we feel, move, or plan our schedules. We eat for enjoyment, and we eat to live.
Food holds a special place in the Bible
In the scriptures food is mentioned hundreds of times. It’s linked to relationships, faith, spiritual disciplines, and God's provision. Food is mentioned in Genesis, when God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree in the Garden except one. Food is mentioned again in Revelation, when John describes a vision of a beautiful tree that bears fruit every month and whose leaves provide healing for the nations.
When it comes down to it, food is one of the many ways God shows His loves for us and at the same time teaches us how dependent we are on Him. Food can be satisfying, delicious, artistic, or the center of special gatherings, but these are a few of the bonus attributes of food. Without it we can't even survive. Tragically, in today's world, we can barely survive with it either.
Processed foods are overtaking the food supply in our culture. The market is flooded with cheap, toxic, and nutritionally deficient food. Obesity, heart disease, cancer, and other nutrition-related problems are on the rise.
If given the choice, most people would prefer to eat a healthy diet, but eating healthy can be expensive and time consuming.
This is where faith in God's goodness and provision comes in.
In the beginning God created all the foods we required for optimum health. Then, two thousand years ago, Jesus promised that if we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness all these things will be provided for us. He also told us not to worry about what we will eat or drink, because He knows what we need. In other words, He's taking care of us... even now. When He said he would take care of us, do you think he meant giving us nutritionally deficient or toxic food?
The world's healthiest diets have two things in common: whole-food consumption is maximized, and refined sugar intake is minimized. I call it a creation-based diet. If we eat more of the foods God made for us, we'll be healthier, and it doesn't have to be expensive. Comparative shopping, bulk purchasing, and buying seasonally from farmers markets are all great ways to save money.
Your Body is a Temple
Eating healthy is also a matter of priority. True, life in these bodies is temporary, but God's word also says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We should take care of them and honor God with the way we live; that includes having self-control in what we eat. Purchasing fewer prepackaged products, eating out less, and buying fewer junk foods are all ways to make money available for filling the shopping cart with whole foods.
Making the decision to go with a creation-based diet is a huge step towards living a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, eating whole foods that are sustainably raised, either organically, locally grown, or pesticide free, can also promote a healthy environment and good stewardship of God's creation.
If you're ready to be your healthiest and make room for God's foods on your plate: trust in God's provision, implement smart shopping skills, and prioritize your health with a creation-based diet. Your faith will grow, and your body will be strengthened.
Jared is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. He loves getting outside with friends and family mountain biking, kayaking, back-packing, running, and surfing! He's happily married to his wife of four years and is currently working on a masters degree in U.S. and Native American History. Jared's fitness and nutrition knowledge derive from years of independent studying, personal experience, and a passion to help others be healthy. His perspective is influenced by the Bible and his faith in Jesus Christ. Jared maintains a health-related blog at www.creationbasedhealth.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @PrayEatPlay.