Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thankfulness and the Teachings of Demons

When we talk about food there is a certain trap that is easy to fall into that will destroy whatever good we may produce. While it is good to strive for goodness and beauty, if we are unthankful in the process, we will defeat our efforts. Unthankfulness is a refusal to glorify God and enjoy Him. To do so is defiance in the face of God’s blessings, and is condemned in Scripture (Num. 21:5-6, 2 Tim. 3:2, etc.). Instead we should always be thankful to God (1 Thess. 5:18), as every good gift is from Him (James 1:17).

A good example of this is in church music. I and the others in my church do want to make sure that we are giving God our best when we sing praises to Him, and thus will get used to carefully examining the music styles we use. But say I’m singing at church and I start examining the hymn and spend my time critiquing the chord structure instead of worshiping God. My effort to praise God with my best has now backfired and I’m not worshiping God at all. While we ought to strive for the ideal, as we are dealing with God, at some point we have to work with what we have and be thankful for it.

There are many ways for us to be ungrateful for the food God has given us. We could over-indulge in self-serving pleasures, eating only the sugary and fatty parts of food as refined and processed pleasure foods, and then take pills and powders to “balance” our diet. We would then be ungrateful for the balance in the food God has made. Or we might think that food is only a means to survive, and the enjoyment of food because it gives physical pleasure is unbecoming to a Christian. Instead, we should praise God for giving us tasty food that is pleasing and beautiful to our God-given senses. Or we might over-emphasize nutrition and get caught up in strictly banning any food that might have anything detrimental to health. Unintentionally, we could become ungrateful for everything that is not perfectly healthy. Instead, even though we strive for health and nutrition, we should be grateful and content with what we receive. These several ways of being ungrateful are predicted and remedied in the Bible:
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”
−1 Timothy 4:1–5

The food we eat is made holy. It is set apart for righteousness by the Word of God and prayer. This is because if we are consistent as Christians, we will eat for God’s glory with thanksgiving to Him. When that is done, we will not be either health-obsessed or sensuously self-centered. We will thank God for making His food healthy and tasty in perfect balance and moderation. We will not pervert His blessings for our glory, but will stand in awe of His wisdom in His creation, and work with it humbly and joyfully.

Soli Deo gloria,

-Peter Bringe

1 comment:

  1. Peter,
    You said this all very well. You have a knack for analogies!

    Mrs. Woods