The premise of the book is that we live in the land of plenty, and as Christians, we need to examine how we use our resources. Are we using them as God would have us use them? Do we feel entitled to XYZ? Is taking advantage of what we have readily available at our fingertips kind to our fellow man? What does having these things say about our relationship with Christ?
What happens when we cut back on (essentially; fast from) the excess? What happens when we stop and take the time to consider the source--how we get what we have here in the USA?
The 7 things that are a focus in this study (and were a focus in the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess that preceded this study) are:
This last week was on FOOD. We each chose our own methods of fasting from food. One person chose to not go to the store the whole week and eat only what was in the house, another chose to eat like a third world country and pray for that country each day of the week, another chose to abstain from dairy.
I chose to eat a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) diet in addition to my gluten-freeness. As you may already know, I have an extensive history of food allergy/intolerance issues. That is one reason I stuck with the milk and eggs, because I don't want to overdo it on corn and soy in an attempt to make complete proteins.
While I was at home or at work, I did splendidly. I was in my "zone". I had a plan.
|My leftover Dahl for lunch....part of the plan...|
But it only took one little excursion for me to completely forget about the fast. We rarely eat out, and hubby and I happened to be out of town on Saturday, alone and together, mid-day, and opted to eat out at a Chinese buffet. And.....I ate chicken. The green beans looked limp and soggy, I didn't want to overdo it on the gluten so I avoided the lo mein , and I wasn't going to waste the money on cheap salad I could get at home... ....but I forgot the vegetarian stipulation and I ate chicken!
I. Ate. Chicken.
And you know what the sad part is?
I didn't realize my mess-up until later in the afternoon after we got home.
What did I learn from this? I learned that, even when we make our own rules, we still fail to keep them. How much more do we fall short of keeping God's rules? The answer to this problem? Christ, of course. We are desperate for Him to make it possible for us to gain entry into heaven, and even to live a good and godly everyday life!
I am so very thankful for what Christ has already done for me (paid the price for my sin so that I can one day be with Him forever), and what He does for me every day (forgives, graciously, my sins, where I fall short each day). He loves me, and I want to have a relationship with Him.
That said, I felt Jen stopped the Food chapter short of showing the whole picture. She talks a lot about what God had approved for eating at various times in the Bible (Creation: plants, After the flood: Every living creature--even pork, after the Law: lots of rules to follow). She talks a lot about why, based on what we know today, these laws were probably put into place to protect the health of His people.
But she leaves it there. At the end of the chapter, I was like, "What about when Peter has the vision and God tells him all things are allowable to eat?", "What about 'we are no longer under the Law, but under Christ?'" Was she really going to leave that out?
And then I came to I Corinthians 10:23, where it says
23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (KJV)And this is in the context of a food discussion. All things are ok to eat, but all things are not the best thing we could be putting into our bodies. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so should we not take care of that temple, as much as we are given the resources to do so?
Just because we can eat something, doesn't mean we should.
God had a purpose for the Laws He made. And even now, when we are not under the Law, and all things are allowable.....they are not all good for us. And we do need to be good stewards of what He has given us...which is the main point Jen is trying to make in the study.
Something to ruminate on, for sure.....
Next week.....CLOTHES! (kind of hard in this change of seasons, and balancing life on the homestead and my library job, but we'll see how this goes!)