“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16, NKJ)
I have a relative who drives me nuts when she eats. She is on a perpetual diet and sits there through the meal counting calories and measuring her condiments to the exact teaspoon so as to not overdo it. She misunderstands the purpose of the mealtime. I, however, do not eat to avoid fatness. I eat to live.
A typical dinner time at our house may include a fresh salad, home-grown green beans, basmati rice, and a homegrown-lamb roast. When I eat, I eat. I can out eat just about anybody I know. I enjoy food. Now, I will gain weight just like the next guy, but I do not eat just to get full. I do not give in to all the donuts, coffee, and ice cream my body craves. I eat to feed my cells. Everything I listed from our meal is packed with nutrition and feeds my cells, not just my gut.
My relative tries her best to keep the weight off, and she does well with that. Frankly, I do not know why she thinks she needs to diet. I keep the weight off, too. But not because I am on a weight-loss kick. I can eat eight or more pancakes for breakfast. But they are from freshly-milled buckwheat, served with homemade blueberry sauce, organic butter, organic yogurt, and agave nectar with pineapple slices on the side. I enjoy eating because my purpose in eating is better than a dieter’s.
Living to not sin
Too many Christians think life is about not sinning, just like dieters think mealtime is about not getting fat. Like my relative with her food lists of does and don’ts and “only so much of this” and “just a dab of that,” these misguided Christians struggle through the day in fear of breaking a rule. Jesus did not live in fear of sin. He filled His life with righteousness.
Do you live to enjoy a life or righteousness? Or do you live in fear of breaking the rules? While we need to know our weaknesses and avoid danger areas (I do not keep ice cream in my home for my flesh is weak), a life focused on what you cannot do is a life of misery. God gave us His Spirit so we could experience life to its fullest. He wants us to enjoy Him every day and let our light shine, not hide it somewhere in fear of doing the wrong thing.
Enjoying life to the last drop
If you fill your plate with kind words to others, giving to those in need, listening to those in crisis, and praying for people you know, you will find life deeply meaningful. If you walk on eggshells all day, hoping not to offend someone, trying not to break “God’s laws,” or afraid that no matter how hard you try, you are going to mess up, your life will be miserable. Both the law-keeper and the freedom-liver will overcome sin just as the weight-conscious and the health-conscious will both stay thin. However, I would rather enjoy a little flavor in the moment and not just achieve some mark on a chart.
I want to enjoy life here the way God has intended it for us. If you do the work it takes to raise your own health food, you will find weight loss to be the easiest thing in the world. If we pursue righteousness, we will be so busy we will not have time to sin.
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Gal. 5:18)