Blog » "Eating Out"
- Mar 6th, 2015 at 9:46 AM (CST)
North American culture is wonderful for so many reasons, among them freedom to move about the globe, a pretty amazing infrastructure of roads, parks, and utilities, world class medical care, and of course the freedom to worship and freedom of speech not existent in so many other places.
But several aspects of North American culture leave little to be desired. One is the obsession with food to the point of making us, and the rest of the world, sick. For the first time, in January 2015, Americans spent more on eating out than on groceries. Let that sink into your brain. People are planning and preparing less healthy meals at home and are opting for the fast or fattening meals out.
This is not surprising to me; we live nearby a large shopping complex, and the restaurants are always bulging with people from 10:30am until late at night. It was not long after the fiscal collapse of 2008 that those restaurants were filling up again, and several new ones were added, also jammed with customers. These are not cheap restaurants - a meal can set a family of four back about $50. So, who has the money to eat like this several times a week? Well, people who don't honor God with their money, for one instance. You can spend plenty on your tummy when you give crappy gifts to God. Skimp on God and stuff your face, see what you get? You get hypocritical religion, the false notion of thinking you're a "good Christian", when in fact you are not going what the Master requires, which is fiscal accountability with the gifts he has given you, and you get fatter.
North America has an obesity epidemic, especially among the young, who are fatter than ever as a generation. I won't go into all the reasons I see for it, but one stands out clearly, the infatuation with eating out. This is not a problem limited to North America; during the downturn in England a few years ago I recall reading that people were complaining they wouldn't be able to eat. Why? They ate out so regularly that they could no longer afford it, and they didn't know how to cook! Isn't that pathetic? Wow, a person can't open a can of soup or make a sandwich! They'll starve! If it were not so sickening it would be funny.
Speaking of sick, all the fast food and three times normal portion meals are bloating North Americans, all the while people around the globe are starving. I'll say one thing, if Christians are doing nothing in terms of giving to the truly poor children in other countries, they should be ashamed! We jam tons of food into our faces, and some of us do squat for the truly starving? Shame on us!
It's just, then, that we who can't seem to treat ourselves enough dietary indulgences are verging on collapse due to obesity and diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. and are kept in the game only by taking pills. How sad!
I have noticed that some of the healthiest people I have served in congregations over the years are "eat at home" types; they save restaurants for truly special occasions. Smart people, not following the herd to the trough and paying for it! We would do well to keep in mind the wisdom of the Word on this topic, " 'Everything is permissible for me,' but I will not be mastered by anything (I Corinthians 6:13)." Whether discussing diet or sexual conduct, the primary topic of this section of Scripture, the Christian is not to yield to temptation and slavery to physical impulses. Freedom in Christ, along with restraint, is not merely a spiritual concept, but becomes for the Christian an all encompassing principle yielding benefits for soul and body!
Christians should be people of moderation, treating the Temple of the Holy Spirit well, and being good stewards of the money given to us by God. Sadly, many Christians have led the charge to the buffet line, and it's time we did some self-reflection and repenting of giving our lives and money away to restaurants.