God Bless this Food-3 Hidden Dangers of Saying Grace

God, Bless this Food? 3 Hidden Dangers of Saying Grace4 min read

By Jon Beaty

February 12, 2015

faith, health, nutrition, obesity

Have you ever seen someone pray for God’s blessing, saying grace on a fat-filled, sugar-laced plate of processed food?

Maybe that’s person is you.

Faithful and Fat?

Do you ever wonder why Christians get fat and sick? Do you want to be healthier?

I thought I was doing well. As a vegetarian I ate healthier than omnivores. But like a lot of vegetarians, my plate and my stomach were often filled with foods that made me fat, and raised my cholesterol.

Healthier isn’t necessarily healthy. I was 30 pounds overweight.

My doctor was ready to prescribe statins to lower my cholesterol and presumably make me healthier. Read the side effects, especially the long-term effects of statins sometime. They’ll lower your cholesterol, but won’t make you healthier.

Many Christians have a habit of “saying grace.” This usually involves thanking God for the food they’re about to eat. Often they also ask God to bless it to nourish their body.

3 Dangers of Saying Grace

Unhealthy food isn’t something to be grateful for unless you’re at risk of starving. Asking God to bless something that naturally produces clogged arteries and extra inches around the waist isn’t good–it’s dangerous, unless it’s the best food you can get.

  1. It ignores our responsibility for making good food choices.
  2. It presumes God will neutralize our poor food choices.
  3. It leaves us vulnerable to disease and impaired judgement.

Don’t Separate Holiness from Healthiness

Perceived holiness doesn’t necessarily produce healthiness.

Numerous studies put Christians at the top end of the obesity scale compared to the general population. Fundamentalist views, regular church attendance, and weekly Bible study seem to equate to using up more pew space per person than persons who hold more liberal views, don’t attend church as often and allow dust to collect on their Bible.

If you value your spiritual health, you need to make your physical health a priority. God can only communicate with us when our brain is functioning. Our brain is part of our body. A poorly functioning brain is unable to effectively receive or understand God’s messages. A poorly functioning brain is also likely to exercise poor judgement and lead us down the path to self-destruction.

Our bodies are temples for God’s Spirit, and we honor God when we take care to offer His Spirit a temple worthy of His presence. We can’t achieve that under our own power, but God gives us access to information and His power. We need to tap into it.

Ask God for This

What if Christians prayed for self-control over their appetite? That would be a better use of our brain cells and God’s blessings.

1) Pray for God to produce the fruit of His Spirit in you.
This fruit includes temperance or self-control. Without it, we’re going to be controlled by appetite. That’s not a good place to be. Adam and Eve let appetite ruin their lives. Millions have gone down that path since.

If you’re afraid controlling your appetite will make your life boring or less fulfilling, don’t forget they that love, joy and peace are also part of the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is a complete package–God doesn’t give it in pieces.

2) Adopt God’s original nutrition plan.
God didn’t put a grocery in the garden of Eden. God designed humans to eat a plant-based diet of live foods. God didn’t add animals to the human diet until after the Great Flood, when edible vegetation would’ve been hard to find.

When God put animals on the menu, He only put those that He designated as “clean.” We know now that these clean animals were less likely to promote disease. But even with the lower disease risk, human lives were shortened after introducing animal foods to their diet.

Numerous studies list the health benefits of plant-based foods over animal foods. The less processed the better. It’s also better to minimize or eliminate foods that have added sugars and oils.

An important footnote: Some people will have sensitivities or allergies to some plant-based foods that make it difficult to get balanced nutrition. Consult with a trusted healthcare professional when about your diet to assure your nutritional needs are met.

I lost 30 pounds and lowered my cholesterol by changing my diet to benefit from the nutrients of a mostly plant-based diet.

Helpful Resources

Here’s a valuable book that helped me make that transition:

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss (affiliate link), by Mark Fuhrman, MD.

Here are 3 other highly recommended books to consider:

I didn’t need statins. I didn’t need medicine at all.

I didn’t need God to bless the unhealthy food on my plate.

I needed self-control, and I still do. God gives it and I use it to make my body temple suitable for His Spirit..

Has poor nutrition been a problem for you? What will you do? Or are you already doing it? Leave a comment. 

Photo Credit: Sarah Ross photography via Compfight cc
About the author

I'm a counselor, writer and believer in the power of God to help you thrive in your marriage and family. I live with my family, a small herd of Boer goats, and thousands of honeybees near Portland, Oregon.

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