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How to know when food has become an idol in your life

The Bible warns us not to make idols and to have no other gods before the Lord. These days, we don't usually worry too much about creating actual physical statues to pray to, but Christians know that almost anything can become an idol in our lives if we put it before God.

Most Christians I think are blindsided to one of the biggest idols going these days, and that would be food. Junk food can be addictive, like any other drug, and a drug could definitely qualify as an idol of sorts. The question is, how do you know food has become an idol in your life?

Can you say no to food?

If you know a certain food is bad for your health and you eat it anyway, then the answer is that you can't say no. After all, what reasonably intelligent person would purposefully eat something that would harm their health and well-being unless that person was addicted?

Most folks haven't thought it through all the way, or they would have concluded that food had become an idol, or at least a subject of addiction in their lives, a long time ago. Keep in mind we all need food to survive, but we don't need junk food to live. In fact, it's just the opposite. Junk food robs us of life.

Food today has become one of the biggest idols as well as addictive substances around. Many Christians see it as the last great temptation that it's ok to indulge in, but unfortunately anything put before God has consequences, and food is no different.

So again the question is can you say no? If you know you're over weight can you say no? If the doctor has warned you to change your diet, can you say no to junk food? If you have aches and pains caused by inflammation from excess sugar in your diet, can you say no? If you feel like you're just a fast food  restaurant's greasy cheese burger away from a heart attack, can you say no? If getting out of bed is a chore because of the excess weight on your body, can you say no? If walking to the mailbox feels like running a sprint on your heart and lungs, can you say no? How about if you want to just lose a couple of pounds and get into shape, could you say no?

There are millions of Americans who can't say no to junk food, even though their very lives depend on it. We should all be honest with ourselves and evaluate just how important junk food is. Is it worth the health consequences? If you say yes, then you have yourself an idol.

We are called to be good stewards of what God has given us. As Christians we believe our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we should consider the task of taking care of our bodies at least as important as we do our homes and our vehicles.

Donít lie to yourself. There are consequences for every choice you make, which, unfortunately, includes the food you eat. One of the reasons I wrote, Common Sense Biblical Approach to Health and Fitness, a health book from a Christianís perspective, is that I fear that many Christians think that itís ok to eat and drink whatever we want as long as it isnít beer. What we eat isn't just important for our physical health, but also our spiritual health. If you put certain foods above your own health, it stands to reason you've put it before God as well.

By Tim Frady

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