I recently started taking a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil. It’s as bad as it sounds. It’s flavored with cinnamon to make it “bearable”, but the cinnamon actually makes it worse. It takes a significant amount of self-control to not gag and/or possibly punch a wall when I shoot the oil down my throat. Why am I inflicting this upon myself? Because cod liver oil has numerous health benefits, including reducing anxiety, which I regularly battle. I’ve also been drinking raw milk lately. I’ve had long term sinus problems and raw milk supposedly can reduce sinus problems.
The more I’ve looked into different health remedies the more I’ve discovered that there are an infinite number of options. I could eat a raw diet, organic diet, paleo diet, founders diet, South Beach diet, and Atkins diet. I could go gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, meat free (NEVER!), or sugar free. All of these diets probably offer legitimate health benefits. But I’ve also realized that there are two significant temptations when thinking about improving my health.
Worry and Fear
There is a lot of frightening, alarmist literature out there about the dangers of processed food, sugar, beef, wheat, and just about every thing else. Some of the information may be true, some of it may be bunk, a lot of it is conflicting. That’s not my main concern here. My concern is that all the alarmist literature may cause us to forget about our sovereign God.
God has numbered the days of my life. He has my children in the palm of his hand. He cares very much about me and my family. Yes, it’s good to be concerned about the food that goes into the mouths of me and my children. But if this concern morphs into fear and worry then it has become an idol. I have begun trusting in my diet rather than in my God. My diet has become my refuge and strength, not my sovereign God.
It’s good to be concerned about health but health cannot be my God.
The Search For Everlasting Life
My other concern is that in our search for optimal health we’ll miss the big picture. We live in a fallen world. Our bodies are slowly crumbling and collapsing. Our ultimate hope is not in this world. Our ultimate goal is not perfect health in this world. We’ll never have perfect health in this life. Perfect health will come on the glorious day when we receive our resurrection bodies! On that day it won’t matter if we’re vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, wheat free, or anything else free. We’ll have new resurrection bodies that will never die! I can’t wait for that day!
Finding out which foods are “good” and which foods are “bad” can take a tremendous amount of time and energy. We need to be careful that the search for optimal health doesn’t consume so much of our time that we neglect the weightier matters of life, like our walk with the Lord, time with our family, fellowship with other believers, and serving in the church.
When we are on our death beds we won’t regret spending time with our family. We may regret that the amount of time our health research took us away from our family.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe health is important. I want to be a generally healthy guy. But I always want to make sure that I keep my priorities straight. And I want to keep that final day in mind, when all this health research won’t matter one bit.