Friday, August 17, 2012

Dieting for God's Purpose

"Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water," Daniel said. (Daniel 1:12 NLT)

According to an article at, one of the most important things we can do to help our overall health is to maintain a healthy diet. Eating a wide variety of foods is one of the best ways to help our bodies get the nutrition we need each day. A healthy diet should emphasize plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, salt and added sugars should be avoided.

Dieting offers many benefits and ensures good health if done properly and for a good reason. A healthy diet helps prevent buildup in our arteries and blood vessels, and reduce our risk of acquiring health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke.

"I think I was at a spot where I was mentally prepared and wanting to do stuff," said Dawn who lost 35 pounds over a year on a healthy-weight program, sharing her dieting experience at "I've been on the American Heart Association Diet. I've been on the diabetic diet. I've been on South Beach. I've had success in the past. But I needed something that was going to work and stay with me."

Over the years, Dawn followed many different weight-loss plans. Each plan worked for a while, but eventually she would go back to her old eating habits and her weight would go back up. She says that with dieting "There is a mindset that this is a diet. And when I get to my goal weight, then I don't have to do the diet anymore." So when her employer decided to offer a yearlong healthy-weight program that focused on making lasting changes, Dawn was eager to try it.

Among the first things Dawn learned from the program was setting realistic goals that she could turn into long-term habits. She identified small changes she could make, such as eating an apple instead of a doughnut for a morning snack. Then she would try that strategy for a week and if it was something easy to do, she would add it to her list of healthy eating habits. If it didn't work well for her, she would try another type of healthy eating change the next week.

Back in the days when the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families were brought to Babylon as captives, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given by the king, so he asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat the unacceptable foods (Daniel 1:1, 5, 8).

“Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see” (Daniel 1:12-13).

Daniel went on a diet for a good reason. He did it out of obedience to the law of God so as not to defile himself eating the food considered unclean. What about us? If we are dieting, is it for a good reason that we are doing it? Is it to keep ourselves healthy or is it to look good? If we are dieting for the wrong reasons or because we are in a state of emotional turmoil or stressed in life, dieting can lead to eating disorders.

While food is made for the stomach and the stomach for food, we ought to know that our bodies are made for the Lord—the temple of the Holy Spirit. What we eat and drink or do to our bodies should therefore be determined by the purpose because we do not belong to ourselves but to God, and the Lord cares about our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:13, 19-20).

Dear Lord, forgive us for sometimes neglecting to care for our own health. We know Lord our bodies is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and for this reason we ought not to defile our bodies. Help us Lord to be careful with our diet that we may stay healthy to do Your work. Keep us strong Lord that whether in sickness or in health, we will do whatever is necessary to present our very best to You.

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