So...what's in my pantry and fridge, you might ask?
Well, my tub of wheat berries for fresh-ground flour/homemade bread is right next to the box of Betty Crocker brownie mix I keep, in case of last-minute company.
And all that is right next to the big ol' package of "BALANCE" I keep in there. BALANCE...which is generated from a heart of love, which will adapt to whatever the needs of the moment are.
Sure, we all want to be balanced. Nobody wants to go overboard. I didn't want to. But I still did. Wanting balance wasn't enough for me. I had to figure out how to achieve balance inside my own head before I could have it in our pantry and on the table. So what should my be priorities be as I shop and cook and eat?
First, and ultimately, our pleasure is in God, in Jesus Christ. Psalm 16:2 says, "I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." Jesus said God's greatest commandment was to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind." (Matt. 22:39) God deserves his place. Anything that supplants our total and ultimate love toward him is…an idol.
How do I know when I've made an idol out of something?
My whole life revolves around that one thing.
I plan around it.
I obsess about it.
I freak out if it's taken away from me.
I think about it all the time.
My relationships revolve around it.
I think it makes me ok, on track.
And...(Here comes the hard part) ...When it causes me to break the second greatest commandment, "love your neighbor as yourself."
Funny how idolizing something (breaking that first commandment) makes you break the second too!
I have made an idol out of nutrition (or whatever!) when I continually elevate it as a priority above loving the people around me the way I would like to be loved.
Ouch. I would rather not leave off there, but fleshing out a good guiding principle for nutrition/health is worth saving for another post!
And I know...someone is thinking, "I am loving my family by devoting all this time, energy, and money to healthy, wholesome food!"
Not necessarily. Always cooking and eating healthy food will not make you truly healthy. Having a heart full of life-giving, generous, lay-down-your-life love will.
Who better to close with than Jesus? He said it like this:
"Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?" And he said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him." (Mark 7:18-20)
Next up: looking at some amazing examples of people who loved well and fully, and kept their own health and well-being in its proper place. Read it here.