On the way back from Tokyo, I was talking with my friend (we drove together) about food. As moms, we both struggle with feeling guilty about the kinds of foods we feed our family — if its brocolli, its good, and if its organic, its good, and the rawer, the better. BUT if its chocolate cake, its BAD. Both of us have felt trapped and enslaved by these kinds of thinking. She shared with me the things she had been learning in this area, and as I listened, my heart longed for freedom. I thought about how I usually felt: as if God were up in the heavens, looking down upon me with displeasure, pointing His finger at me as I was tormented in my heart and feeling ‘bad’ because we had a cream of chicken casserole for dinner instead of steamed, raw veggies (three different colors, of course), homemade whole wheat bread, and meat that was baked and not fried. What a CROCK! I didn’t even know I was under such slavery to my ideas of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food, resulting in guilt upon guilt. I read this passage today..
After He (Jesus) called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, ‘Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear … Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?'” (Mark 7:14-18)
The word ‘defile’ here comes from the Greek word koinoō, meaning to defile, profane, or make common or unclean, in the sense of the Levitical laws. I’m certain this verse does not mean that no food could cause harm to our physical bodies, but I do believe it is making a distinction between what is truly important — out hearts. I’m interested in discussing the tension between feeling freedom in what we eat and feeling responsibility to take care of our ‘temple.’
Of course, I am blown away by these thoughts. I’m just not quite sure what to do with myself. I’m wondering.. what do all of you think? How do you process food, cooking, and eating? Is there a measure of guilt in your decisions, or can you make choices freely? Do you tend to seperate foods into good/bad categories? What DO you think? I’m dying to know.. let’s hear it.