Food

It’s been bothering me for a while; the attitudes we hold towards food. We use it as a tool for pleasure, punishment – there are ‘bad’ foods and ‘good’ foods. Starving the self is held up to be a sign of strength and determination – whilst overeating, or bingeing is seen as one of the great weaknesses of the flesh.We have parts of our world which are starved of food, and others that are greedily consuming more than is needed. Somewhere along the line – our attitude to food has gone badly wrong.

I was struck the other day by a verse in Luke which I don’t think I had ever noticed before – or not paid any attention to. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus is speaking about not worrying about what we wear or what we eat and this short verse leapt out from the page at me:

“Life is more than food”

Life, in its fullness -is far more than food.

It is more than starving for food. It is more than scarfing down food.

Food is there to fuel our bodies. It can be enjoyed, used to keep healthy, used as part of celebration – there is a place in life for food. But life is far more than food. Far more than not exceeding your 2000 calories a day.

John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.

If we spend our lives focussing on food, abusing food – we cannot have life to the full. I have been guilty of thinking of, and using food wrongly. I have counted calories, skipped meals, starved myself, over eaten.

It is not easy, to change our attitudes to food. When it is accompanied by illness – mental or physical – changing attitudes to food can feel near impossible. It is not an overnight change, and it might take a long time. Healing may need to happen before we can correct our attitudes. But I believe it needs to be done. Not only for our own health – but for the health of those who have little choice in their attitude to food – whether that be because of illness or poverty.

Jesus came so we could have life to the full.

Life is more than food.

It is my prayer that we are shown the true place of food in our lives, we are given the grace to change if we need to have a re-think and healing for the hurts and attitudes we hold towards food.

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1 thought on “Food

  1. suzybower

    Rach, this is really lovely, honest and insightful. Thank you.
    I’ve been thinking about this whole topic recently in relation to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

    People striving to gain things on the higher levels of the triangle (self esteem, achievement, confidence etc.) in effect skip back to the bottom level of basic needs if they restrict their food supply.

    What is the effect of this? Is it a way of almost cutting off or denying the higher needs? Does it restrict the person’s ability to connect on a spiritual level?

    Or does Maslow’s theory not really work when needs are not met by choice (which is a whole other debate about how much choice someone with disordered eating actually has over their eating).
    Fasting can be a way of connecting with God. Is it that people are not eating almost as a way of self-actualisation?

    Obviously Maslow’s model is just that – a model. It is the subject of much critique. But it’s interesting none the less when it comes to things like eating disorders. And, for that matter, spirituality growing in areas where most people are lacking basic needs.

    I don’t really have a point by the way – I’m just processing!

    Let me know if you have any thoughts. xx

    Reply

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