A balanced, wholesome adequate diet is essential for good health along with sufficient quality sleep, relaxation and exercise. Many illnesses and disease are directly linked to food as ‘we are what we eat’.  While Adam and Eve ate their way out of the will of God, many today eat their way into a multitude of health issues and early death by poor eating habits, including abuse from over-eating good food as well as junk food. Dieting tries to address the problem of obesity, however self-control and wisdom are a better and healthier alternative, understanding as Christians, we are to be good stewards of our bodies which house the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19,20). Eat to live, rather than living to eat for life is more than food (Lk 12:23).

Just as we need to physically feed our bodies, the same is true with our spirits, they need input from the Bible, times of prayer and fellowship with

Do I feed my spirit as much as my body?

the Lord. Jesus instructed, “Don’t work for earthly food alone but appropriate the spiritual nourishment that I alone can give” (Jn 6:27).  Blessed are those who are hungry for righteousness (Mt 5:6). Jesus said of Himself, “My food [nourishment] is to do the will of Him who sent me” (Jn 4:34). What sustained Jesus was actively doing what God wanted Him to do. Can I say that I am empowered by the ministry He has given me?

Jesus emphasized the importance of spiritual food when He was tempted by Satan stating "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the heart of God" (Mt 4:4; Jn 6:63). After feeding the 5,000 Jesus used a food metaphor when He said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink" (Jn 6:54,55). He was inferring by devouring Him, the "Bread of life" our spirits will be nourished and grow strong and healthy just as physical food imparts sustenance to our bodies, without which we will die (Jn 6:35,48).

The OT Israelites were forbidden to eat various ‘unclean’ animals, maybe because they would have been identified too closely with the idolatrous practices of other nations, or because the meat was unsafe in the hot climate (Deut 14:3-21).  However, Jesus later declared all foods clean and the only teaching given was any meat must have the blood drained from it at the time of slaughter as “the life is in the blood” (Lev 17:11; Mk 7:18-22; Act 15:29).  Hygiene and proper storage of food is essential to maintain good health.

As each year several million people die from starvation, due to crop failures and the result of drinking unclean water, supplying food for those in desperate famine situations is pleasing to God, showing practical Christianity (Jas 2:15-17). 

See also: diet, drink, exercise, famine, fasting, health, input, self-control.


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