Back in the 1970’s, the classic film, “Animal House” famously depicted John Belushi’s character starting a food fight in the college cafeteria. It’s filled with hilarity and chaos and it got me thinking. This food fight scene can, perhaps, be symbolic for any of us struggling with disordered food and eating issues. While it’s nowhere near as fun or funny, the food fight, nevertheless, exists.
Years in to recovery, I’ve done much soul searching. The soul: the mind, the will and the emotions. That’s where we get tripped up. And it stems from a few reasons.
First, it has to do with our relationship with food. We can place inappropriate importance to it.
“Is not life more than food?”
Jesus, in Matthew 6:25
It’s meant to keep us alive and healthy. It’s not meant to entertain, console us or replace our relationship with God and other people.
Yet, for many of us with disordered eating issues, that is precisely what we do.
“But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
Yes, we’re at war. It’s partly because we have a wrong view of God-created food. We need to get His perspective on it to better help us in our own viewpoints.
Once again, we’re back to God. Simply stated, God tells us to eat:
“And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, ‘Arise and eat.’”
1 Kings 19:5
“So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD.”
2 Kings 4:44
And even in spite the Bible’s mention of fasting as a spiritual practice, He, nevertheless, still wants us healthy and prospering.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
3 John 1:2
But it’s not about food; it’s about God. And yes, as far as He’s concerned, eating is a part of life.
“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”
He created food. Ever since Genesis, He considered it good.
“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
It’s we who determine if something is a “good or bad food.”
“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.”
That’s why God instructs us to be sensitive to others who are struggling...
“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”
1 Corinthians 8:13
Nevertheless, there’s nothing off limits.
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
1 Corinthians 10:23
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
There’s varying degrees of healthy choices out there; it’s not a “good” or “bad” options. Once we know that, we can be better armed for freedom and can participate more fully in a close and healthy relationship with both God AND food. We can, indeed, “do all for the glory of God.”
“He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
It’s not a perfect process; it’s ongoing, filled with teachable moments.
And that’s inspiring and comforting. If we have engaged in any kind of “food fight,” God can help us live and win concerning it.
“The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.”
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57
But, again, we need to remind ourselves it’s not a perfect process.
And, because it is a process, it is not instantaneous. It’s about daily decisions; it’s about setbacks and triumphs. It’s about learning and discovering our unique one- on- one relationship with God. That takes work and time. And yes, sometimes it feels like a fight against ourselves and our issues.
So, the next time we catch ourselves in the middle of a food fight, let’s direct it to God and look at it through His perspective.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
And let’s not label ourselves as defeated. That is not who we are. God always sees us differently:
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
It’s time we arm ourselves for battle with THAT!
Copyright © 2015 by Sheryle Cruse