As a Christian, my deepest desire is to glorify God. As a Christian living in this world, that desire is often buried under my daily life. I am not sure what it is for you, but for me, I often forget to remember to seek to glorify God in every area of my life. It’s not that I don’t want to but… you get it, I’m sure.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT
If you have a dieting past like me, chances are that food is an area of struggle for you. Food is such a daily thing- it really showcases our focus on glorifying God or not.
AM I GLORIFYING GOD?
But, what does it mean to glorify God with our eating? Does it mean we should eat kale every day, fast once a week or commit to eating “clean”? Rather than make assumptions, let’s see what the Word of God has to say about it!
Let me preface this by saying that the list below is NOT a to-do list. Do not be overwhelmed as you read it. Simply ask the Holy Spirit to nudge you on the one point He would have you apply this week.
Remember, God made us and He knows our imperfections and limitations. He doesn’t expect you to do every single thing, every single day. The addition of ANY mindfulness into making His name great through our eating is glorifying indeed!
So, let’s get started!
1. EMBRACE HUNGER
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9 NLT
A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry. Proverbs 27:7
Our bodies are designed to be healthy and fit – to thrive – within the context of hunger and fullness. By honoring those cues, you are honoring God’s design for your body. Hunger is no more uncomfortable than being thirsty, but our fear can add a layer or anxiety that makes it unbearable for some. Breathe, pray and try waiting for true body hunger before eating.
2. PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL
Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. Proverbs 30:8b NLT
Not more. Not less. Enough. God promises to always meet our needs but His plan does not include excess food. By practicing portion control and eating “just enough” we are eating in accordance with His best. Consider stopping your meals a little sooner and see if less is actually “enough”.
3. BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 1 Timothy 6:7-8 NLT
Have you ever pondered why your naturally thin friend can eat “whatever she wants” and yet you seem to gain weight just looking at a cookbook? Life can feel unfair sometimes. Especially when we lose sight of our blessings. Pray for contentment. Then cook a healthy and delicious meal and take some time to be grateful for the tasty food that you DO have!
4. AVOID UNHELPFUL DIETARY RULES
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as,“Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. Colossians 2:20-23
Trendy diets may change your body but they cannot change your heart. We may feel like we have earned a badge of honor by adhering to today’s popular plan, but those external restrictions are often met with a dietary regression as our habits have not actually changed. That’s why diets don’t work in the long term. While improving your food choices, look for ways to improve the state of your heart too.
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5. ENJOY YOUR MEALS WITH OTHERS
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity- all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
Eating with others when looking to make healthy choices can be a real challenge. We may find ourselves being served food outside of our preferences or nutrition plan and that stress can detract from the enjoyment of our company. Or we may feel disconnected from our original intentions as we get caught up in socializing and special occasions and eat types and amounts of food we didn’t plan on. Remember that people are first in God’s eyes. When we align with His purpose we can approach fellowship with a Godly perspective and food become just “food”.
6. DON’T WORRY ABOUT FOOD
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25
There is value in planning and preparation, but being overly concerned about food will only dampen our focus on and energy for more important things. If you find yourself preoccupied with what and when to eat, prayerfully decide ahead of time how you will navigate your meals and snacks. These “boundaries” will give your mind a place to rest and the challenges in sticking to your plan will require a welcome reliance on God.
7. REFRAIN FROM JUDGMENT
Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Romans 14:3 NLT
The dinner table is a judgment-free zone. Whether you are looking at a plate across the table or in another shopper’s cart, food choices are individual. The same goes for you. Don’t allow other’s opinions to cause you to doubt what God has called you to do. The full context of this verse encourages us to avoid eating things that will cause another to stumble. Meaning, it never hurts to eat in a way that is supportive of your fellow diner.
But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning. Romans 14:23 NLT
Don’t let this verse scare you. The idea is to err on the side of obedience in your food choices. Life is no different. Integrity is energizing and it “tastes” better than any delicacy, while compromise has a terrible aftertaste. Keep your spiritual and physical health in mind when choosing what to eat and honor those convictions!
9. START AFRESH
“But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.” Isaiah 43:18
No matter how many times you have tried to make healthy choices and “failed”, it doesn’t matter! This time can and will be different because this time you are relying on GOD. Your previous and present experiences are incomparable.
10. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GOD HAS ALL THE ANSWERS
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 NLT
I sometimes find it hard to believe that the Bible has everything we need to live a life that glorifies God. After all, there is NO food plan! However, what God promises – He delivers on! It is up to you and me to believe that what he says is true. If you can’t quite wrap your mind around this, it’s ok. Simply ask Him to help you (Mark 9:24).
11. ASK FOR DIRECTION
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25 NLT
As believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit resides within us. Rather than relying on external guidance, we have our very own navigator. While it’s easy to believe that the Spirit will lead us in big decisions, we often forget to remember that He will also guide our daily choices. Yes, even what to eat! But, we need to ask. Before you eat, pause and check in. Where does your Peace lead you?
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12. INVITE HIM INTO DINE
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 NLT
Not only can we ask Christ to our meal times, He is WAITING to join us. A “meal” speaks of so much more than physical food but it also includes it. How different would your dinner time look if you opened the door and invited Christ in to dine with you? While we long for the day we enjoy a meal face-to-face, we may experience eating in His presence now if we welcome Him in.
13. SEEK TRUE SATISFACTION
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35 NLT
Why did God create us with a need to eat? After all, His capabilities are endless and He could have easily woven us together to live off oxygen alone. Yet, here we are- getting hungry multiple times per day. This need for food serves as an example of the hunger and satisfaction that we can find in Christ. While spiritual starvation is possible, it’s unnecessary. It will help you to realize that physical and spiritual appetites can get crossed. If you find yourself exceptionally ravenous for food, try filling your spiritual “stomach” first.
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14. INGEST THE WORD
When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. Jeremiah 15:16 NLT
It is one thing to read the Bible, it is another thing to INGEST what is says. We can look at a salad, touch it, taste it, and even sit down to the table with it. But, until we chew it and swallow it, those vegetables do not become a part of our being. The same goes for the Word of God. When we eat this True Food our spiritual needs are met. No longer will we be confusing spiritual cravings as physical ones.
15. REPLACE FOOD THOUGHTS
Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. Romans 13:14 NLT
What dominates our minds, dominates our lives. If you think about food more than you think about the things of God, it will be no wonder that you struggle to find balance in your eating. This is me. I still find myself thinking about food a lot. While it is very difficult to control what thoughts come into our mind, we can control how long those thoughts stick around. Rather than fighting food thoughts, replace them with the things of God.
Glorifying God with our eating may look different than we expected. It’s not “eat this”, “don’t eat that”. No, glorifying God with our food choices is all about the heart. This may surprise us as our inner workings don’t seem visible to others but let me assure you- they are! There is something different about a man or woman who eats in a way to magnify the Lord. A big piece of this is because obedience brings true JOY. A joy that becomes a light to those around us.
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16 NLT