Lord's Day Liturgy

That Big Piece of Leftover Cheesecake

I want to address a subject where angels fear to tread: dieting. I could give an amount of qualifiers named Legion. Gluttony is a sin out of the shrink-wrapped box; maybe I’ll try to tighten a belt around that later. I’m also aware that we should be good stewards of the temple of the Holy Spirit, that nourishment and activity are important. To be disciplined is not a sin. To diet itself is not to sin, but there is a certain sin that threatens dieters more than that big piece of leftover cheesecake in the fridge. The threat is discontent.

In Genesis 1:29 we read that God told Adam and Eve to behold all the fruits and vegetables for food. After the flood He includes meat on the menu for man. And the New Testament is full of warnings about those who require abstinence from certain foods, who say do not taste, and who define righteousness by foods eaten or rejected. Those who do that are in danger of denying what God says is good.

Maybe you need to discipline your intake. Maybe. But why? Who says? Was it an afternoon television doctor? And how do you think about food during the day? How are you thinking about the One who created and provided that food? It is possible for a person to be counting calories out of contentment, but it is very difficult. To be in this ample position, we have probably not needed to pray too often, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Perhaps we’ve eaten bread from five days in the future, and there are plenty more carbs where that came from. This provision, and the need to be disciplined rather than desperate, is a blessing. This is God’s gift. Our ability to give thanks is likely to give out before our waistline.

If we are giving thanks in want and in plenty, content in all our circumstances, joyful in feasting and dieting, then we are likely living in fellowship with God. If we are grumbling (or feeling guilty) because we’ve got too much, or grumbling because we’ve have so much we must forgo, then we are likely not in fellowship with Him and good chances are that we’re not in fellowship with each other either. How we eat or drink or don’t is an opportunity to glorify God.