How Much Bread Do I Need in a Day?
Give us this day our daily bread . . . Matthew 6:11
Like most who are attempting to eat healthy these days, I’ve read much on the evils of sugar and refined carbohydrates. White flour bread is out, and donuts – with sugar, fat, and flour – are from the devil himself. Unfortunately, I crave simple carbohydrates for one reason . . . they taste really good. The destructive force that these foods have had on me though, is not the food’s fault. No, I’ve become overweight because I’ve overindulged. I need to eat some carbohydrates, but I usually eat not for sustenance, but for pleasure, consuming far more than I require in a day.
This is often the problem with many of our struggles. Some things, like the pain pills I was addicted to, have no place in my life. But some of our other struggles – food, money, and possessions – are necessary for our sustenance. Even Jesus and the disciples ate food, carried money, and owned clothing. Our problem is often not that we have these things. Our problem is overindulgence.
In today’s passage, Jesus used bread as a metaphor to teach that we must look to God for exactly what we need in a day. No more and no less. This daily bread isn’t just about refined flour. This is about learning to rely on God to sustain us physically and spiritually.
My life problem is that I’ve not looked to God, seeking to daily be satisfied only with what I need. I eat too much because I can. I eat too much because it brings me immediate gratification. Meanwhile, I often starve myself of the spiritual bread that I truly need.
Relying on God for our daily bread means being satisfied with only the food we need physically and extravagantly indulging in the bread of life – Jesus (John 6:35) – which we desperately need spiritually. We are not to be gluttonous, causing ourselves illness and misery in our overindulgence of physical food. Where we should be gluttons, is in consuming the bread of life, daily taking in as much Christ as we can. If we want to be physically and spiritually healthy, we must be satisfied with only the food we need, and we must daily do whatever it takes be filled with Christ.