Permissable, But Beneficial?

“‘Everything is permissible for me’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything. ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food’—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:12-13

What stood out to me the first time I read these verses is the phrase “I will not be mastered by anything.” There are times that I feel helpless in this struggle, I will admit. I heard once – and I’m thinking maybe it was Dr. Phil who said it – that an addiction to food is one of the hardest things in life because we can’t just quit eating altogether. Alcoholics and drug users can say ‘never again’ but over-eaters have to learn a life of moderation – we HAVE to eat.

I’ve tried several diets. From “lose ten pounds in ten days” to the “South Beach Diet” to the “cabbage soup diet,” I’ve been there, done that. And I’ve lost some each time…only to gain it back when I quit. Each time I’ve wondered, is this what I should be eating? Or should I be cutting out that? I lost the most on the South Beach Diet, but it’s next to impossible for me to cut carbs completely out of my diet. No fruit, no bread, no sweets, no potatoes and no pasta = cranky me (after awhile). Then during my study on the book of Daniel, I saw that he RESOLVED not to DEFILE himself by eating the king’s royal food – he chose to eat only fruits and vegetables (see Daniel chapter one). So, I wondered should I not be eating meat, which is the opposite of the South Beach plan. Then I saw these verses above and remembered the old saying “all things in moderation.”

All things are permissible for us. BUT not all things are beneficial. So, it’s important to ask ourselves (and the Holy Spirit), is this benefiting me when I eat it? Is there something beneficial about ingesting what I’m about to eat? There are many times I have to say no, other than to satisfy a craving. And I must not be mastered by anything. If I know it’s not beneficial and I’m about to eat it, am I mastered by it? Can I say no and be okay? Can I say no to eating something and not be cranky? If there is a benefit in eating it, then I think by all means we should and not feel guilty.

While I know these verses are talking about sexual immorality, I’ve seen a few times in the Bible where sexual temptation and food indulgences seem to go hand-in-hand (maybe so husbands and wives can feel together in their quest to rid themselves of impurity in their lives…who knows?). This does talk about food, our stomachs and the fact that our body is meant for the Lord. And I want my body to be the best that it can be as an offering to my Savior, who has offered His body for me.
Dear Heavenly Father, first of all, once again I’m reminded of the price You paid for us, and I can’t thank You enough! I understand that while all things are permissible for us to eat, not everything is beneficial. So, help us to make wise choices and honor You with our bodies. Please give us moderation and may You be glorified in all we say and do. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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