food and drink_01

Demonstrating Self-Control in Food and Drink

For As I Think In My Heart_2nd EditionWhen we became Christians, God placed us as stewards or managers over household down here on earth. We have the privilege of being a servant of God, concerning the issue of his great name and sovereignty. Once this is settled, it will never be repeated again. We will be one of the select few, who will have had the opportunity to play a role in helping to set matters straight. Our skills and our time are tools and gifts to God, to be used in service to him. If we are to use them effectively, we must possess the characteristic self-control. If we are abusing alcoholic beverages, even slightly, or are living to eat, as opposed to eating to live, we are wasting our money, our time, and polluting our skills, because we are lacking self-control. (Prov. 23:20-21)[1] We must keep in mind that we are still abusing our gifts if we overindulge, just the same as if we abuse. If we consume alcoholic beverages, even though we may not be a drunk, we still have impaired, or lost control over behavior, movement, and speech. Similarly, one may not have excessively eaten to the point of excess, but have consumed enough that we become lethargic and tired.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

As Christians, we do not live to eat as the saying goes, having food be our god. Christians need to eat for the sole purpose of living long healthy lives, which will enable us to better carry out God’s will and purposes. The body can only consume so many calories at each meal, and so many calories a day, before it starts to affect it adversely. It has been known for a couple decades that four or five small meals a day are better than the traditional three meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each meal should not exceed 350 calories. It is all about moderation, another great Christian quality. One should also drink half their body weight in ounces of water. As Christians, if we eat to live healthier lives, we will be able to carry out the privileges that God has given us.

  Proverbs 23:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
consider carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are a man of great appetite.

If we have gotten up on a Sunday morning and have eaten breakfast in excess, before heading off to our Christian services; how well will we be able to listen, to take in live saving counsel, if we are sluggish of mind? Do we want our ‘end to be in destruction, with our god being our belly, and glory in our shame, with minds set on earthly things’? (Phil 3:19) Yes, “such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” (Rom. 16:18) What did Jesus say? “watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” (Lu 21:34) The apostle Paul said, “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Tim. 4:8) Yes, bodily training has the value of helping us to maintain well-being in our devotion to God. Over indulging leads to more illnesses than we can possibly consider here, shortening our lives, causing those short lives to be less effective than they otherwise would have been. Does that sound like self-control?

[1] The Hebrew term here used for “glutton” and ‘gluttonous eater’ is zohlel. The basic sense of the word is possibly “be lavish,” that is, wasteful, prodigal.