I’m going to ask for forgiveness from the get-go. I have a feeling this post may cause an eyebrow or two to rise, if not some full-out protests. But I have a confession to make…I have a problem with diets. Especially those that claim to have a higher calling.
Stick with me a minute. I have a pretty sound reason. But it takes a second to explain.
Let me start with this: my son is limited in his diet. Genetically he cannot handle much protein. In fact, when we first started his “diet,” he was limited to 9 grams of protein per day. To put that into perspective, a glass of milk is about 8 grams of protein. There is protein in almost everything we eat…bread, noodles, potatoes, some veggies, dairy, and meat. The only “freebies” are sweets and fruits.
Let’s eat intentionally, instead of judging food choices that are different. Some do not have the freedom of choice…such as those that must eat what is given.
So where is my problem? I’ve had a few acquaintances come out flashing their new diets as a badge of honor. They are deciding to give up certain foods and habits, as a hardship in honor of God. Which I’m completely OK with…but I question the message it sends.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for eating healthy and being aware of what we’re putting in our mouths and our bodies, but I question what we’re telling those that have no choice.
For example, I recently read an article where a young woman claimed to give up meat as a way to be closer to God. She stated that the hardship was worth it, because she knew what Jesus had given up for her soul.
So what does this mean for my son? Since he has no choice in his diet, does that mean that he’s destined for a life of being unable to show his gratitude? If he finds himself really wishing he could enjoy “forbidden” foods, does that make him less worthy than the others?
“Diet” means something different to him than to most people.
And then there’s the ridiculousness of it all. What happened to common sense? And someone profits from this? Really? Is that a sign of righteousness? Someone being able to sell a book?
Sorry…I did get a little snarky there. But I just question a lot of the “diets” going around.
Here’s my take on it all: Imagine, if you will, someone deciding no o use he leer “T” in heir communicaion. No maer wha, hey don’ use he leer “T.” I’s no ha hey can’ use he leer, nohing is sopping hem from doing so, hey jus feel called o no use i. Now, ruh be old, i doesn’ change much abou heir life, i jus makes communicaion wih ohers a lile more difficul.
Now, for someone who may actually have a speech impediment that prohibits them from using the letter “T,” they may actually be offended, hearing someone not use the letter, just because they feel God is calling them not to…when that person has been dreaming of being able to speak with the letter “T” for their whole life.
Does that make sense?
This is how I imagine my son feeling, if he knew that someone was mimicking his diet without a medical reason to…and I am pretty sure I would feel the same way.
I have no problem with eating healthy, exercising more and becoming more intentional in our eating as a society, but I do not believe that we’ve been given dominion over all of the gifts of this land, only to judge and chastise those that enjoy the fruits of our labors.
For those that have dietary needs that severely restrict their choices, it isn’t a decision that they take lightly…and I know that many would wish nothing more than to be able to enjoy a day of not thinking about what they are craving and to enjoy those foods that are otherwise forbidden.
And what about those that can’t afford to make such decisions? Are they less worthy?
Instead of giving up desired foods as some sort of “gift,” why don’t we just eat more intentionally…and treat each item produced as food as the gift it was meant to be.
Genesis 9:3 – “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”