What Does Jesus Think About Your Eating Habits?

The all-important question is: What would Jesus think? (Pixabay)

"Let nothing be done out of strife or conceit, but in humility let each esteem the other better than himself. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3-4).

Several years ago, a discipleship campaign with the message "What Would Jesus Do?" swept through the church. The letters WWJD adorned bracelets, bumper stickers, T-shirts, bookmarks and Bible covers.

But actions can be deceiving, and one who truly wants to be a disciple must go a step beyond simply doing what Jesus would do. Actions begin with thoughts, and followers of Christ are to set a goal of thinking the way Jesus would think. In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul said, "Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).

When our mindsets and our attitudes emulate Christ, the right actions follow.

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So with that as a backdrop, let's examine some of our attitudes pertaining to food and pose the question, "What would Jesus think?"

What would Jesus think about the amount of food produced in light of the number of people who go hungry?

Each day, our country produces 3,500 calories of food for every man, woman and child. Granted, some of these calories are for things like cooking oil and condiments--things you wouldn't make into a meal.

But nevertheless, 3,500 calories is a huge amount of food, when you consider that active men with a normal BMI require approximately 2,500 calories, and active women with a normal BMI need about 2,000. Children and the elderly need less, and the overweight and obese who are trying to lose weight should consume much less.

So if we're producing this much food each day, why is it that so many don't have enough? Remember the 5,000 Jesus fed with five loaves and two fish? He satisfied many with very little; we have abundance, yet many are left unsatisfied. What would Jesus think?

What would Jesus think about families eating in separate rooms?

The Bible gives the account of how Jesus used mealtime as a time for conversation. He engaged in dialogue to teach, admonish and correct. We're told of meals shared with special friends, as well as meals shared with Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes--those whose intents were wicked.

"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deut. 6:6-7).

Certainly mealtime--a time we "sit at home"--is the ideal time for us to fulfill this commandment.

Current trends show that families are sharing fewer meals with one another, a trend that is more pronounced in low-income households. There are proven benefits of eating together, especially for teens. Teens who regularly share meals with their families are less likely to smoke, use alcohol and drugs, get into fights or think about suicide.

Yet despite these benefits, only 40 percent of American children aged 12 to 17 eat with their families six to seven days a week. What would Jesus think?

What would Jesus think about 24-hour drive-through availability?

Just how many people really need to eat at 2 a.m.? More and more we see fast-food restaurants with drive-through lanes that are open all night long. Creating a need where none existed is a brilliant marketing strategy. But do we fall for this persuasion and eat at any time of day or night because the food is available, even to the detriment of our health?

Is that the mind of Christ?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is contingent upon not only our actions but also our thoughts. We must scrutinize the way we think about things, even subtleties we might take for granted in the way we eat and our activity level.

We are told to "[bring] every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5b). Every thought includes those things we'd consider mundane or insignificant. When we learn to do this, our actions will reflect our thinking, and we'll experience victory in our health.

This article is an excerpt from Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss: A 50-Day Renewal of Body, Mind and Spirit by Kara Davis. Copyright 2002, 2008 by Kara Davis, M.D.

Kara Davis, M.D., is a board-certified physician of internal medicine who practices in the Chicago suburbs. Dr. Davis regularly sees patients with diseases influenced by lifestyle and who suffer the many related consequences. She leads national workshops and seminars regarding health and weight loss. She is also a pastor's wife and the mother of four wonderful children.

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