Friday, February 21, 2014

Whose God is Their Stomach

What is it that, if it was taken from you, would take with it your joy?

That thing is your treasure.

And last week, I realized, with a pang of humbling conviction, that I was treasuring food way too much.

If anyone can get away with gluttony, it would be me.  I'm 19, I work out, I run Spartan races, I'm careful to only eat the healthiest foods (usually, at least)- lots of people struggle with gluttony, but I can't be one of them!

And then my little brother has to go to the bathroom right as my chimichanga comes out of the kitchen at the Mexican restaurant, piping hot, and as I stand up to escort my sibling my joy stands up too... but only to walk in the opposite direction.

Gluttony really isn't about having a big belly.  That's a side-effect that we may or may not experience, but the lack of that particular side-effect doesn't mean that there aren't other fruits growing, buffet-style, off the tree of our plate-shaped sin.

It's about satisfaction; mastering the flesh; seeing food as a wonderful gift from God that is to be enjoyed, rather than seeing food as my source of joy, and becoming one of those whose god is their stomach (Phil. 3:19).

It's not a conscious thing- sin rarely is!  I certainly don't bow down, thrice a day, before a golden Vita-Mix in worship.

But that only makes it more dangerous, because it's hard to justify bowing down to blenders, but that third plate of Thanksgiving dinner- well, it is Thanksgiving, after all!  And I'll burn it off in my workout tomorrow, anyway.

And so, I pray- God, deliver me from the snare of gluttony; from the demands of my flesh; from the very snare which David prayed upon his enemies (Ps. 69:22)!

I want to be an 80% eater- not a 105% eater.  In other countries and other times, people are/were used to eating to refuel, not to gorge and satisfy themselves.  I, on the other hand, am used to eating, not until I am no longer hungry, but until I am full.

That's not really healthy; it doesn't benefit the body; it certainly doesn't benefit the soul.

Eating too much damages productivity; it results in lethargy, in discomfort, and in physical unpreparedness.

If I am mastering my flesh properly, the result should be energy and readiness for whatever tasks lie ahead.

So I've come up with an accountability question for my sisters to ask me at the end of every meal-

"Could you do burpees right now?"


Dolly Madison said...

"What is it that, if it was taken from you, would take with it your joy?
That thing is your treasure."

Ow. Ow. did I mention ow?

Thanks for this, Gabriel.

Jess Tull said...

The burpee question is such a great idea!! Thanks for sharing:)

~In Christ with Joy~

tiallarising said...

Such an incredible and convicting post. This definitely applies to other aspects of life as well - namely, whatever takes more priority - even if only for a moment - than the Lord.

A fantastic reminder. Thanks for writing it.


Kim Newhouse said...

The Japanese have a great expression concerning healthy eating habits: Hara hachi bu, which means “Eat until 80% full” (literally, stomach 80%). A great principle to live by and a phrase we use with each other when we seem to be indulging a bit too much.

The picture at the top of this sickened me because it represented the junk I gorged on often earlier in life "because I could"...slim, an athlete, seemingly healthy, what I ate didn't seem to have a negative effect on my life. But it caught up with me and I found myself sick all the time, fighting chronic pain, and now, today, in bed recovering from cancer surgery :( Do not be deceived...a man will reap what he sows!

I've been on whole foods for ten years now (no processed junk) and I believe God will restore what the locusts have eaten but there are still consequences. I praise God my children will not suffer as I have because they know the truth about the impact of healthy eating.

No, I don't worship my Vitamix, but it sure makes this way of life easier :) I don't force my beliefs on anyone, but they do call me the "whole food evangelist" because of my excitement for what God's done in my life through a focus on His real food and rejection of manufactured additives.

A key passage for me during my transition from gluttony to God-glorifying eating was from Romans 12:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Lydia said...

That is another great topic Gabriel. A sin many of us battle with too. I think in America we have it so easy in so many ways we don't see it. Sin is like a thief, sneaking up on us and stealing. Good for you that you are able to see, humbly admit, and deal with it before it masters you! Anything that holds us in it's grip is sin. (Except God of course!) I appreciate your honesty/transpareancy inorder that others can hear and recieve truth from your wise word. I will pray for you about that too. Keep up the really wonderful work in your writing, being teachable and God will bless you most certainly. He loves it when we are pliable in His hands. I hope and pray that I am being so myself. I too sometimes struggle when it comes to certain things like chocolate, or even healthy food, justifying in my mind that it is healthy after all! UGH! It is ugly, isn't it? Lord guard us all and keep us walking according to your purposes, word, and will! God Bless you young man! Loved this one too!

Anonymous said...

I like Donald Cargill's approach, who never ate so much food that he wouldn't be able to escape from the British magistrates should they arrive during a meal.

Anonymous said...

Fitness can become an idol, every bit as much as gluttony can be a sin.