Coming to my Senses, Dying to the Flesh
June 9, 2012
People Are Trying to Kill Me
I am convinced that people are trying to kill me. Sounds like a statement from a crazy person, right? (no offense intended to crazy people, just a figure of speech) Rest assured, I’m not a paranoid person. I don’t think ‘big brother’, the ‘eye in the sky’, or Google are out to get me. So why, then, would I honestly believe that people are trying to kill me? Well, let me explain. I have been lied to. We all have. We are being lied to on a daily basis by businesses who seek to profit at the expense of our health. Our food supply has been turned into poison.
We are being marketed and sold food that has little to no nutritional value because the companies that produce processed foods can get a much higher profit margin on it. Higher profit margins come from fillers and additives that make raw produce go much further and government subsidies that keep ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils much cheaper than they should be. This all makes producing low nutrition food very attractive from a business perspective.
The first argument that has probably popped into your mind is that each person decides what to eat, and so it is nobody’s fault but our own when we eat low quality, unhealthy food. Well, wait just a second before you go down that road. Take into consideration the amount of marketing and advertising that goes into the packaged food industry. Out of all the Superbowl commercials this year, think about how many were for some type of packaged food. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Budweiser, M&M’s, Doritos, and Dannon Yogurt represented more than 25 percent of all 2012 Superbowl advertising. When was the last time you saw a TV commercial or billboard promoting fresh spinach or broccoli? Everywhere you go, packaged and processed food is there. It is fast, convenient, and it is being sold to us with a ridiculous amount of marketing effort. If there was not a crazy amount of profit in processed food, how would they afford all that advertising?
In addition to the persuasive marketing, we all have to face the addictive consumption behaviors created by eating processed food. The lack of nutrition in processed food leaves your body hungry for more. The sugars and chemicals create addictive responses in many different ways. Processed food is also extremely calorie-dense, making it seem inexpensive compared to fresh food and produce. The truth is that the lifestyle most people live requires far fewer calories than what they typically take in, which leads to the common sense conclusion that we are storing the extra calories as fat and gaining weight. America has a problem, and obesity is its name.
There is a lot more to this story, but now I want to change direction and get into the arena of spirituality. There are two specific levels (out of many) I want to focus on, about how I believe the obesity epidemic attacks us spiritually. The first is our acceptance of the lies that companies are marketing to us. A McDonald’s commercial comes on TV and displays a big, beautiful, perfectly-sculpted hamburger with crispy golden fries, so you go to McDonald’s and buy it. When you unwrap your McDonald’s burger with hunger and anticipation, you are quickly disappointed to see a soggy, smushed, sad excuse for a hamburger with cold, crummy little fries. Captial L-I-E-S…lies. Now, picture a trip down the grocery store aisle and all the beautifully packaged, glowing boxes, cans, and plastic wrappers promising such claims as ‘low fat’, ‘low sugar’, ‘low calorie’, ‘made with whole grain’, and product names with words such as ‘lite’, ‘smart’, ‘healthy’, ‘slim’, and ‘fresh’. Lies…All lies. I once heard a nutrition expert remark that the more health-focused marketing a product contains, the worse it probably is for you. Now that’s something I’m more inclined to believe.
The problem is not that we actually believe and “buy in” to all the marketing lies (although way too many of us do), it’s that we have grown accustomed to it and it has become acceptable to us. Could someone please explain to me why false advertising is OK? I just don’t get it. If you show me a picture of a burger and put a price of $4.00 on it, when I follow through on my end of the deal and pay the $4.00, I expect to get the exact burger you showed me. Seems simple enough, right? So why does it not work that way? If your employer tells you that your wages are $10.00 an hour, would you not get angry when you get your paycheck and it was only for $7.00 an hour? Lies are lies. So if a company sells food that is low fat, low sugar, and whole grain and is named ‘Healthy Commitment’ (I made that up), why shouldn’t I be angry when it makes me unhealthy and fat? Wake up people…if it is OK for companies to lie straight to our face in the way they market their products, then it is obvious they hate us. They are simply doing what it takes to get the most possible money out of us, and if selling us lies is what it takes, then that is what they are going to do. Now think about this…if we grow accustomed to buying lies all the time, what kind of opportunity does that give the enemy (Satan)? How can we differentiate truth from lies? Praise God that the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to see truth in all things, but too many Christians are still feeding the flesh and not seeking the truth (me included, but I’m working on that through prayer and reading God’s Word).
The second thing I want to focus on is how our physical health affects our spiritual life. Whether you want to admit it or not, it is the truth. God expects us to take care of our bodies. He calls the body His temple, and His Spirit dwells within us. There are plenty of Scripture verses to back up the argument that we are expected to care for our bodies. Our physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional health is all connected. If one area is out of balance it affects the others. I want to glorify God in all areas and so I want to take my health and the way I care for my body very seriously.
For this reason I have decided to drastically change my diet. Today is the first day of a three-day juice fast. I hope to cleanse my system with some potent doses of nutrients from freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, as well as a lot of focused prayer and Bible-reading time. So far, it is going great. I have had an apple-celery-carrot juice and a gespacho-inspired blend of tomato, celery, onion, carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, and parsley. The results were delicious. The drinks are filling and typically last about three hours before I am hungry again. After the three day fast I plan to have juice for breakfast, a fresh green salad for lunch and then eat a healthy dinner, and I hope that this will become a part of my lifestyle. I’m tired of buying the lies and lining the pockets of rich executives who gladly gain their wealth at the expense of America’s health. Shame on them and shame on us for allowing it to happen.
That’s it for today, but they’ll be plenty more to come. My theme for the next six months is going to be “Coming to My Senses, Dying to the Flesh”. I’ll explain later. Until then I’ll leave you with God’s Word…
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
Yours in Christ,