Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Altering Your Intake

by Donna L. Watkins

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Ruby-throated Hummingbird Feeding on Bee Balm

When we're finished with our life on earth, our bodies will be raised to live forever, we will be spirit beings, but in the here and now, we are called to honor our bodies because it is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

In today's hectic, rushed, stressful lifestyles, we do not care for our bodies the way we should. My body is well aware of the abuse I gave it for many years growing up loving junk food more than real food; in my young 20's as I worked 2 and 3 jobs to have money for all the things my mind craved (from images of what advertising told me I had to have); and in my 30's and 40's while I began a business, raised my son, homeschooled, ran a health food co-op, and enjoyed the role of Super Woman while desiring to keep everything looking perfect.

Generally when we're stressed we don't eat well which means we don't eat the things we're supposed to eat to make our bodies healthy. It's amazing what our bodies tolerate! But there comes a time in life when you realize that things are headed down hill and it's time to heed the warning signs. I didn't heed so I had to hit the pavement at the bottom before God got my attention. It's so easy to shrug off the warning signs. There's enough drugs out there to mask the symptoms, so when we do get warning signs, we just shove them under the rug with a pill or surgery. Changing our lifestyle is a real commitment, but God calls us to honor the body He gave us.

We can respect our temples by watching what we eat and I do mean 'watch'. Keep a journal for a week or two of everything you put into your mouth. You won't get too many days into it that you begin thinking before you eat. It's a rude awakening to see large amounts of food in a journal, especially if you consider the poor and hungry around the world. God can cut your appetite as you focus on something more important than food.

As you journal what you eat, also journal the food you throw away. Wastefulness is not Biblical and America is rampant with this throw-away mentality and lifestyle. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes - that's one child every five seconds. It's easy to say, "well, we can't ship what I don't eat to Africa, so what's the difference." Actually you can ship what you don't eat to Africa and any other part of the world God lays on your heart to help provide for the poor and hungry as we are commanded to do.

There are nearly 100 Bible passages dealing with our responsibility of service to the poor and providing for the hungry. If you cut your grocery bill you can be part of this provision and reap the many blessings that come from it.

Proverbs 19:17 says, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will He pay him again."

Isn't that amazing? What you give will be given back to you, so you can spend it elsewhere and still be giving to the poor. What better financial deal can you get than that?

Many years back we decided to not waste anything and to find the best buys on the foods we ate and to eat healthy. Let me say that eating healthy is not a fix-all for health, since a stressful lifestyle will still do much damage no matter how healthy you eat. We began intentional giving to the poor by sponsoring a child. For as little as $38 a month, you will have more purpose in eating less and losing weight to make the world more balanced as we share with those who live on less than a dollar a day. It's a live and visual image before you when you have an actual child and family whose lives are changed because you simply choose to eat less.

Compassion International is the organization we chose because of their overall program of working with the child, family and community. Our cutting back on our grocery bill has not only kept our weight off, it's provided life and hope for many families over the years, and although God has surely paid us back monetarily, there is no reward greater than the words of these children who see you as a gift from Heaven. Not all of our children have been prolific in words, but we feel so well satisfied with what we know we're a part of ... and there's not many things on the shelf out there that can compare to that.

When you develop the self-discipline that comes from self-control, it spreads into other areas of life and it's easy to become debt-free because God will work with a small salary and multiply it in ways that aren't seen on paper or computer program. We chose to be debt-free in the 80's and considered every purchase no matter how small. Our hearts' desire rarely had us choose the "stuff" over the desire to be debt-free so we could provide for those who had so little.

If you only consider the interest being paid on mortgages and credit cards, families would have much to share with the poor ... and still get it all back to spend on themselves. It's one of the mysteries of God. I encourage you to step out and begin that journey today. It will fill your soul and spirit with more than you can imagine ... and definitely more than the taste of any favorite food or gadget. Consider beginning a lending program today: "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will He pay him again."

Related Article: There Is A Way Out

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