What's the difference between the man on the left and the man on the right? Other than blonde hair and brown hair?
(The shadow on the right is larger than the one on the left.)
It probably starts with eating habits.
Even in this picture the guy on the left is holding a piece of fruit and the guy on the right has a cheeseburger…most likely a bacon cheeseburger…maybe even a double meat, 3/4 lbs bacon cheeseburger.
Let's face it. We not only like them big but we feed our cows and chickens steroids to make them bigger.
Gary Ross told me the story of coming back to USA from Russia. In Russia he would go to the store and buy 2 lbs of chicken breast. He'd bring them home and feed his family of 6.
The first time he went to the store in USA he bought 2 lbs of chicken breast, got them home and realized he only had 2 chicken breasts.
That's the way we do things here.
· Big portions
· Lots of fat
· Lots of calories
· Lots of sugars
· And it's always better if it's fried.
We know we shouldn't be eating fried.
We know we shouldn't be eating all the fatty foods we eat.
We know we shouldn't be eating all the sweets we do.
We know we shouldn't be taking in all the calories and bad things we do…but they taste so good.
So we've come up with a solution. Walk through the grocery stores and what do you see?
· Lite this
· Low fat that
· Reduced calorie
· Fat Free
Sounds good, right?
We can still have the foods we want, the taste we want (or at least close)…we can still snack and eat sweets and not feel guilty about it. We can have the best of both worlds…
· What we want to eat
· While not doing harm to our bodies
· As one advertiser says, "All the taste, none of the guilt."
With that in mind, we should be the slimmest, most healthy nation in the world, right?
I saw an article the other day that I found interesting:
"America has been trying to follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet for 40 years, and where has it gotten us? To being one of the heaviest countries in the world," says David Ludwig, MD, Phd, obesity expert and author of "Always Hungry". Think about it, "The problem is when you cut back on calories like that, your body tries to fight back with increased hunger and a slower metabolism because it thinks it's going into starvation mode," he says. "Meanwhile you eventually eat again to satiate the hunger pangs, and likely eat more because, well, you're insanely hungry. But your metabolism is still operating on that low level, so calories don't get burned fast enough and they get stored as fat." Ludwig says this cycle continues until you feed your body regularly (he suggests at least three meals and two snacks in between) with REAL FOOD made from real ingredients. That matters more than the calories it's made up of, so repeat after us, "I will always choose an all-natural version of something over food that's labeled 'low-calorie or low-fat'.
Another article I saw…
Use natural sweeteners like raw, organic honey. Avoid products that are labeled “low calorie,” “diet,” “sugar free,” or “no sugar added” since they all likely contain sugar additives. Drink purified water instead of diet drinks. Do NOT drink tap water because our drinking water has now been contaminated with sucralose. We can’t depend on the government to protect us. It’s vital to be vigilant and actively take responsibility for yourself and your family in keeping this toxic trash out of your body and out of your life.
So why do we do this? If we know it's best to eat fruits, vegetables, and other natural foods, if it's best to avoid fatty foods and sweets, why do we try every way to 'beat the system'?
God provided us fruits, vegetables, nuts…all kinds of healthy foods. He told us it was alright to eat fish, foul, and other kinds of meats. He gives us milk, juice, water to drink…
Yet we think we can produce foods that are healthier, better than what God has provided.
Why do we think we can make things better than God? Why do we try to have it both ways? There are things we know are better to stay away from yet we try to alter them and make them okay to eat.
Instead of leaving off the butter we eat low fat butter.
Instead of not eating ice cream we eat low fat ice cream.
Low calories soft drinks.
We have low fat cookies, sugar free candies…the list goes on and on.
We eat yogurt instead of ice cream…you know, instead of 1000 calories we think we are doing good only ingesting 800 calories.
You know the system. We don't want to give up anything, we just want to find a way to keep on doing it that will make us feel less guilty…may- be even justify our bad habits.
Why can't we just give it up if it's bad for us? Why do we insist on trying to justify our bad habits?
We want to soothe our consciences about doing things we know we shouldn't be doing.
And this certainly isn't just with our diets.
***We want to justify our sins as well.
We know there are things the Bible warns us against but we try to justify them by not being so blatant with them.
Let’s look at what I’m talking about by looking at the 10 Commandments and certain ideas from the Sermon on the Mount:
From the Sermon on the Mount…
Matt 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
I have to throw this one in. We know we're supposed to forgive, no exceptions but that's so hard.
We first of all try to justify our unforgiveness, "You know what he did to me?..."
But even when we know we are supposed to forgive we give "Forgive" a 'low fat' definition.
To ‘forgive’ means we put it behind us and never bring it up again. We never try to ‘get back’ at the person.
Our 'low fat version' is, "We tolerate the other person and claim we’ve forgiven them. Something like, “I’ll let you slide this time but if you ever hint at doing that again I’ll be quick to let you know I’ll not put up with that again.”
Jesus says forgive…we agree to tolerate.
Matt 6:16 "When you fast”…Jesus said this as if it was an expected thing…’When you fast’. The closest we usually come to fasting is skipping a meal in order to lose some weight. How much do we really give up to draw closer to God?
Matt 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry… “I’m not worrying, I’m just being realistic.
Matt 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. We may look around to see what other people in the church are doing, but do we follow God and His Word no matter the cost? The church and the narrow road are not always the same.
And from the 10 Commandments:
10 You shall not covet
Covet: To want something that doesn’t belong to you. We would never do that. Or would we? Think about how we do things as a church. One church builds a gym, the next church builds a gym. One church buys a bus, the next church buys a bus.
Do any of us ever come up with original ideas anymore?
And we hesitate to do anything together with other churches because we are afraid they may end up taking some of our members.
And dare we admit our jealousy of churches who are growing? Instead of being happy for new kingdom members, we tend to criticize how they were reached.
Why don’t we pray to God and ask what He would have us do in our own churches and be happy for others who are doing well?
We say we are trying to do 'outreach' when really we are just trying to keep up with/out do another church.
9 You shall not give false testimony
Unless it’s to my advantage.
8 You shall not steal.
But if you can get more from the IRS, if you can convince someone to pay a higher price than we know something is worth…
7 You shall not commit adultery.
There’s enough blatant adultery going on in today’s society but think of the other stuff we justify.
Instead of getting married we just live together. That way if we get tired of our sex partner we just split and go find another.
Jesus said to divorce and marry again is adultery. How much do we see that today? (But it's everywhere)
We just give our own definition to adultery.
Matt 5:28 I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Jesus says this.)
I’m not condoning the lust of men, but ladies, don’t make it worse than it has to be. Think how much skin women show in their attire today.
It says not to look lustfully yet look what we choose to view on TV, in movies, etc.
Committing adultery goes a lot deeper than physically having an affair. Why don’t we just stay away from it all?
6 You shall not murder.
Again, we would never go out and kill someone, but Jesus said,
Matt 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”
We never flinch over anger. “Everybody gets angry.”
“I’m okay if I fly off the handle. If they get in my face you better believe I’m getting back.”
And think how we justify killing unborn children. We’ve even made it legal to do so.
Another 'low fat' definition.
5 Honor your father and your mother
Unless you disagree with them. After all, they’re being totally unreasonable.
Honor them unless they ask you to do something you disagree with.
4 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy
Do I really want to go there? I even get a lengthy explanation why certain businesses are open on Sunday. (It was a Christian book store by the way. Not a business who even ‘needed’ to be open on Sunday. Just wanted to make more money.)
Our 'low fat'…4th Commandment is no longer applicable.
3 You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God
As long as I don’t use certain ‘cuss words’ I’m okay.
How about slang uses of God's name, Lord, etc…but I'm not cussing.
2 You shall not make for yourself an idol
Just think the priority we place on possessions today. And can we really say we don’t make sports an idol in our lives?
We wouldn’t take our jewelry and make a golden calf, but we have plenty that we ‘worship’.
1 You shall have no other gods before me.
And can we really say God has first place in our lives? Does He guide our lives? Is His Word what guides us?
Is He really God when we disagree with what's happening? If He is God, He is God.
My point? We like to eat the foods we like, knowing they are bad for us. We just try to make them ‘fat free’, ‘reduced calorie’, etc. just because we like them.
Wouldn't it be better to give up what we know is bad for us and just eat/drink what we know is good?
We try to do the same in our Christian walk. We know what the Bible says but we try to come up with ‘justifiable’ means of getting around it. We look around us and do what everybody else seems to be doing and say "It's not so bad…"
If we are serious with our diet we will eat the foods God created.
If we are serious with our Christian walk we will do things the way the Bible says do them.
One other example, we are quick to quote passages like…
1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
We are quick to point out that adulterers, prostitutes, homosexual, etc won’t go to heaven.
Others then point out it also says jealousy and selfishness.
So instead of giving up jealousy and selfishness we end up justifying the other.
Eat your fruit and vegetables. Leave the other stuff alone.
Don’t try to justify or compromise what the Bible says to stay away from. Stay away from it!
God knows what's best. Eat/live by His word.
Don't try to justify other means…don't eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.