Recently I have been caught up in studying the nutrition of certain types of food. About a year ago, I finished writing a computer program for a missionary couple who live in South Africa and do medical work among the Zulu people. In this program, algorithms were used to calculate the vascular age of patients (as opposed to their actual age).
Eating habits, exercise, smoking, and other factors were taken into consideration and an output was given. This was combined with the measurement of the carotid arteries (due to blockage), and based off of that, the missionaries could then suggest changes in the patient’s lifestyle and, in some cases, offer them referrals to local doctors for medical attention.
Since that time, I have been looking into the amount of sodium, fat, and calorie consumption of Americans today. In fact, I saw a study last week that showed that though we only make up 6% of the world’s population, we somehow manage to also make up 33% of the world’s weight. Today, there are a higher number of heart attacks, more cases of diabetes, and the average age for an American citizen is quickly decreasing.
Trans fat is probably one of the greatest causes of this. While some trans fat is produced naturally, the overwhelming majority of it is produced chemically by heat and inserted into your food for extra flavor. Now I agree, trans fat, and salt, and extra sugar sure does make those French fries extra yummy, but look what it is doing to your body!
Now, at this point, I could venture off into talking about how we should take care of our bodies because they are a gift to us from God, but I won’t do that in this post. Instead, I want to talk to you about how this relates to the Gospel.
Hebrews 11:25 mentions the “pleasures of sin”, and to this I can relate. Lots of times sin is pleasurable, and it is gratifying to our flesh. In the fast food world, sin would be a Big Mac with fries, compared to a homemade Salad with light dressing. But at the same time, look what the effects of sin are. Romans 6:23 tells us that is it death.
Sin is pleasurable and gratifying to our flesh for a short amount of time, but like trans fat, it isn’t meant to be in our body and it only leaves us craving for more. It clogs our spiritual arteries and develops into long-term complications. Without immediate procedure or some sort of intervention, it will lead to death.
But Jesus states in Mark 2:17, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” And what a joy it is to be called by Jesus Christ!
We all are sick and we are all sinners, but Jesus calls us to Himself. What separates Jesus from the missionaries I mentioned above is that He can not only diagnose your disease, but He can also offer you healing, offering you new blood and a new life. He declares Himself to be the Bread of Life and tell us that if we come to Him we will never hunger again, or be thirsty again (John 6:35). He completely satisfies our cravings, and later He tells us again to eat His flesh and drink His blood, “for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” (John 6:55).
We were not made to eat trans fat, nor were we made to sin. But we were made to honor, and worship the only thing that can satisfy us: Jesus Christ.
So when it comes to nutrition, stop substituting that which is fake for that which is real. It is killing you!
And when it comes to Christ, do the same. Eat real food.