A friend made this comment to me a few months ago:
(I'm realizing) how little I rely on the Lord for peace and contentment as I look to food for fulfillment. If I was getting my "upper" from smoking, drinking, sex, vandalism etc everyone would say that it was wrong. Yet few people, even my Christian friends, think much of eating as a way to feel better let alone that it is on the level of those other things.
It's true, isn't it? Most people have a list of 'bad' addictions. Yours might include things like alcohol, nicotine, pornography, sex, gambling, cocaine, prescription drugs, shoplifting. But food? That's an acceptable addiction. One we can indulge in regularly at church dinners and over fellowship with friends without anyone even batting an eyelash.
But is it really such a big deal? I believe that it IS a big deal, for several reasons, and as I think & read & pray, those reasons become clearer. . .
First, the battle between food and God is important because it is a battle for my heart. Who - or what- do I turn to for comfort? Where do I seek pleasure?
One of the most helpful books I have read on the subject of food as a spiritual issue is Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. It came out earlier this year and I am currently on my second read-through. She has so many great things to say on this topic and I'm sure I'm gonna quote her a lot in these blog posts. Here's some of what she has to say.....
I believe that God made us to crave. Now before you think this is some sort of cruel joke by God, let me assure you that the object of our craving was never supposed to be food or the other things people find themselves consumed by. . . Consider this expression of craving: 'How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God' (Psalm 84:1-2). We were made to crave - long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for - God. Only God. But Satan wants to do everything possible to replace our craving for God with something else. . . He knows where we're weak. He desires to lure us away from God. And he knows what works. (Made to Crave pp 21-22)
When I look at it in that light, I realize that the extra brownie or date with a tub of ice cream puts my relationship with God at risk!
It is NOT worth that!