Over the last few years, I’ve been on a spiritual journey to make the appearance of my life–my daily acts–match my inner spiritual life. One of the areas that has required the most change is self care, particularly eating habits. Two of the things that define me most are my Christian Faith and my belief that caring for God’s creatures is a core part of that Faith.
While the Gospel says that food cannot make us unclean, that does not mean that what we eat is unimportant. The same scripture states that what is in our hearts makes us clean or unclean. If we are truly transformed by the Grace of God, our behaviors will change. That includes the way we eat.
I recently read an eBook entitled The Biblical Foundation of Wellness written by Keith M. Henry N.D. Henry argues that, according to the Book of Genesis, there are 9 fundamental requirements for good health:
- Trust in the Creator
- Fresh Air
- Proper Diet
- Self Control/Temperance
- Positive Social Interaction and Companionship
Henry presents the biblical foundation along side supporting scientific evidence for the soundness of the biblical guidelines. As an eBook, it’s fairly short. I read it in under an hour. Not exactly comprehensive, but it is consistent with Jewish traditions that Jesus himself would have practiced. I definitely found myself wanting to dig deeper on the subject.
I’m also reading Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner, which devotes a chapter to intentional eating. As a Jew, Christ would have subscribed to the same intentional eating practices that traditional Jews do. When you really consider the richness of Jewish food traditions, there’s a lot of good that can easily be applied to right Christian living.
Take for example Kosher meats. Being certified Kosher means that the animals from which the meat came were humanely raised and humanely slaughtered–definitely important to someone who’s trying to live in a right relationship with God’s creation.
Ultimately, if you are really transformed by your Faith, your behavior should also change. The most fundamental thing we do is feed our body, so why wouldn’t we feed it intentionally just as we feed our soul?