God’s Diet Plan
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
For much of my life, whenever I have considered what I am going to eat, I have rarely asked what I should eat. I have primarily pursued what I want to eat. I do not ask what is healthy. I ask what I desire. Likewise, with the rest of my life, I often act without even considering what is right for me. I just do what I want to do. I am going to live how I want to live. Never mind that I have made a fine mess of things. I want what I want.
I often use food as an example for my flesh nature’s appetite as it is one of my primary addictions. It also happens to be one of Paul’s favorite metaphors as well though. In today’s passage, he used food as an example of how we are to approach our daily decision making. His audience apparently had some conflict with eating meat that had been offered to pagan idols. Some felt it was sinful and others felt it was fine to eat it. Paul gave some ground rules but then said this, Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Paul said that no matter what I do, I am to keep my eyes on God and his will. If I cannot eat a thing or do a thing without being distracted from God, then I need to change my focus or I need to change my behavior. There are simply, some activities that I am not able to do while maintaining my focus on God. Those behaviors must go.
With food, there are harmful things that I eat just to satisfy the destructive appetite of my flesh nature. I do not want to over-spiritualize eating, but for many of us, food is an addiction that robs God of our attention. Any flesh defect to which I am enslaved steals my energies away from who I was meant to be. Paul insisted that I am to continually discipline my body so that I control it and not the other way around.
With whatever I do, I am to do it for God. What does this look like? This is not specifically about donuts or food (though that may well be part of it). Excessive eating may be one of my struggles, but it is not everyone’s. One who struggles with excessive exercise or anorexia, may in fact, need to eat and relax more. This is not just about food. This is about all of life. This is about running everything I do through the filter of God’s will. I must discipline the appetites of my flesh life so that I may pursue my spirit life. While I live enslaved to my own appetite, I am paralyzed in my pursuit of God.
So many of us have lived for so long under the suffocating weight of ourselves. It is nothing other than our own nature that stands between us and God. Though Jesus went to the cross to restore us to the father, we often live isolated from him in our pursuit of self. This has become such a normal condition that we do not even notice it. To suggest otherwise, that we put every activity through the filter of God’s will, is to be a radical, religious nut.
This is absolutely radical, of course. If everything we did, we did with our eyes on God, how profoundly different would our lives be? How much joy and life would we know? What kind of shape would God’s temple and church be in if we pursued him in everything? How much good could we do and how much misery could we avoid?
Paul said that whatever I eat or do, I am to do it for God, with my eyes on him. This is God’s diet and life plan for me.