Does God Care What I Eat?

I recently joined a new Facebook Group called Faith & Fitness Inspired (#FFInspired). While I always have written about both faith and fitness on this blog, my blog posts usually are about faith or fitness, and I rarely consider how faith and fitness go hand-in-hand. I hope this group will inspire me take a more holistic approach to blogging and life in general, because I do believe that being healthy can serve my faith, and vice versa.

FFInspired March 2014

The first #FFInspired blogging prompt is this: Does God care what I put in my body?

I have a few posts that touch on this topic:

In Satisfied With Good Things, I wrote about Psalm 103, and the promise that God “satisfies [our] desires with good things.”

In Not Everything Is Beneficial, I wrote about 1 Corinthians 10: 23-31, which reminds us that “Everything is permissible— but not everything is beneficial.”

In Why Do I Do What I Do Not Want To Do? I wrote about Romans 7: 15-25, and how Paul’s frustration at his inability to stop doing things he doesn’t want to do resonates with my struggles with breaking bad habits.

But it took me a while to write this post, because I am not sure whether God cares about what I eat.

I believe that God wants the best for me, and I know that some food choices are better than others, but I don’t think God really cares whether I eat an apple or a cookie for an afternoon snack. Like Paul says in 1 Corinthians, not everything is beneficial, but I think God has bigger things to worry about.

On the other hand, maybe there is a line that I could cross when God would care what I eat. The “sin” of gluttony comes to mind, but I understand that to relate more to depriving others than simply overindulging to excess. Still, when I cross the line from eating things that are not beneficial to eating things (or quantities of things) that are harmful, maybe God does care, like any Father would.

As I contemplated this topic further, I kept returning to my fundamental understanding that God is Love. What would a God whose main wish is that we love one another care about what I eat?

The answers that came to me are uncomfortable, because I don’t abide by them.

I think God cares if the people who planted, grew, harvested, transported, packaged, and sold the food I eat are treated well and compensated fairly.

I think God cares if the animals I eat were raised and slaughtered humanely.
(Is that even possible? The only way I can live with myself not being a vegetarian is not thinking about it. 🙁 )

I think God cares if the food I eat is grown in a way that is sustainable for the environment.

So, while I would like to believe that God doesn’t care what I eat, I am not sure that I can convince myself of that anymore.

What do you think?

Does God care what you eat?

Join the conversation: Link up your own post on the Faith & Fitness Inspired Facebook page here.

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16 Responses to Does God Care What I Eat?

  1. jill conyers says:

    Very interesting perspective. I love it when a post makes me think.
    jill conyers recently posted…Welcome to the New Jill ConyersMy Profile

  2. Hmmmm….you’ve got me thinking!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Meal Planning: Week of March 23My Profile

  3. I agree, Coco… I think the sustainability, the treatment of the earth and God’s creatures (animals and human laborers) are very important. There’s a great book by Wendell Berry on this topic- I think it’s called Food and Faith. These issues are ignored by a lot of people of faith, but I think they’re important and worth discussing at least!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…21 weeks pregnant workout recap + meal plan link upMy Profile

  4. Kim says:

    Interesting! I’m not sure I’ve ever thought a lot about this topic.
    I know lots of people struggle with eating meat because of the fact that animals have to be killed but even in the Old Testament they did this. I don’t know if some of my thoughts are just me trying to justify what I do or not.
    I will have to give this more thought now that I’ve started thinking about the whole topic. Great food for thought (literally!).
    Kim recently posted…Gotta Work the Legs!!My Profile

    • Coco says:

      Thanks. This is new-to-me thinking too. I come back to the idea that “everything is permissible,” but then ask, given the choices that I have today (living in a big city with lots of well-stocked grocery stores and having disposable income), what choices would best serve the commandment to love one another. I’m not answering that question for anyone else!
      Coco recently posted…Does God Care What I Eat?My Profile

  5. Scooby says:

    Great topic! I haven’t thought about this in so long but it’s a great reminder to think about what we put into our bodies and pray for everything we eat. I think each person is judged differently on this matter. Not anyone knows everything there is to know about every food out there. This is a tough question to answer.

    The basic person, who is health conscious, may buy a variety of fruits, veggies, and maybe some sort of meat and be just fine. On the other hand, say the owner of a local produce company ias aware that the grapes in a foreign country are sprayed with dangerous pesticides and banned in our country but chooses to purches them rather than local ones that are chemical free because they are much cheaper. It is likely that he is judged more strictly than most of those who purchase those grapes, but what about those who know this and choose to purchase the grapes since they are cheaper as well?

    In my opinion, eating what I think to be mostly well and not tearing up a box of little debbies i am not too worried about. But it’s not always easy to say what’s super healthy and what’s not. Washing the grapes thoroughly may take off 10% of the pesticides, 25%, 80% or maybe 100% but do we know for sure? God wants us to give thanks and ask for the blessing before we eat If we consistantly eat things we know are bad for us, is that sin? I really don’t know, I imagine each situation is different. I feel guilty often when I eat large amonts of things that I know are not good for me and have little healthy benefits, if any. Sometimes i even feel sick afterwards, and in my opinion, that is not taking care of my body, which is the temple and in fact, something God probably cares about.

  6. I am not sure I have ever thought about this before. When I pray at night I do ask good for help with my health including my eating, I am a recovering binge eater and I know that is not healthy for me and don’t want to teach that to kids when I have them, but I have not thought about it too deeply. hmmm….
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…BLT&A WrapMy Profile

    • Coco says:

      I’ve probably avoided thinking about it. 😉 I don’t think it’s helpful to pile on “sin” and religious guilt when so many people (myself included) already have enough food issues. I do think God takes a bigger view based on His love for us, and that God’s grace includes helping us in our struggles without blaming us for our failings.
      Coco recently posted…Does God Care What I Eat?My Profile

  7. Really interesting take on this subject and one I had not considered previously! But I have to agree with you…I definitely think we can serve others by ensuring that the products we purchase are from companies that treat their employees, their products, etc. in a respectful way! Great post!
    Kristen Grimes recently posted…Spring Is In The Air…My Profile

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  9. YES… I feel you on so many of these!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted…Friday Five and FavoritesMy Profile

  10. LOVE! Great post! 🙂
    rachel @RunningRachel recently posted…New Running Journey: Heart Rate Training with MAFMy Profile

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