God gave us a variety of food to choose from. In Genesis 9:2-3 God said, “All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.” Though this is the case, we know that because of the fall of man, humans have not been great stewards of the earth. This lack of stewardship has caused the air and soil to become contaminated with pollutants and has affected our food supply. There are even greedy companies that genetically manufacture foods to be resistant to weed killers but these created foods haven’t been proven safe for human consumption. With all these factors in mind, it is prudent for us to choose our food with care. In addition to the safety of the food, I believe Christians should choose food based on the following:
Your edification—“You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Last week I talked about choosing foods based on satisfying hunger instead of simply satisfying taste. Choosing food to satisfy hunger indeed is a way of self edification. Beets, leafy greens, beans, celery and various juicy fruits work exceptionally well in building up my body. They give me energy, mental clarity and skin clarity, but other foods don’t agree with my system. Certain foods make me bloat, increase my bad bacteria, breakout my skin and make me feel heavy. I avoid these foods. They don’t edify my body. Know what foods edify your body, eat those and stay away from the rest.
Others’ edification—“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. . . . It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. . .” (Romans 14:1, 21-22). If you are trying to be an example for someone then don’t eat foods that may tempt them to sin or otherwise cause them not to be edified in their body or spirit. The Bible says to refrain from eating foods around people that are weak in the faith. If someone doesn’t eat meat because they don’t understand that they have freedom to eat whatever God has put on this earth for us then you shouldn’t eat meat in their presence if doing so will negatively affect their faith. You can always pick up some chicken on the way home from wherever you are with them. You will be satisfied and would have contributed to their coming into spiritual strength in due season.
God’s will for your life—When the Jewish apostles were commissioned to minister to the Gentiles, they had to change their views of the Gentiles being “unclean,” and that included the Jews’ view on the food they ate (Acts 11:7-18 and Galatians 2:12-14). If you are called to minister to a certain group of people, like as a missionary to a foreign country or to the artist community that tends to have a high population of vegetarians, God may call you to eat like that group of people so you can relate to them. Remember, Paul said, “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). Change your eating if it will help you to win souls for Jesus Christ.
No one can dictate what type of foods you can eat because no one knows better than you what God has purposed you to do and what foods will help you accomplish that. Be wise in your choices and make sure whatever they are that you glorify God in the process.