Proverbs 23:1-3 — 1When you go out to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners: 2 Don’t gobble your food, don’t talk with your mouth full. 3 And don’t stuff yourself; bridle your appetite (MSG).
I believe the message of this passage is two-fold. There is a principle here God desires us to apply to both our physical and spiritual health. Today I want to address the physical application, and tomorrow we will look at the spiritual. What you will find, though, is the two go hand-in-hand.
God sent Jesus so we may believe and have life to the full (John 10:10). After Jesus went to be with the Father, the Holy Spirit was then sent to lead us into that abundant life. The Spirit dwells on the inside of believers. In fact, the Bible says our bodies are His temple, and we should glorify Him with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). With that said, the message I want to convey to you today is not a popular one.
If you are going to live the abundant life God desires you to have on this earth, you are going to have to take care of your body. Many people argue that much of the Bible is figurative, and there is deep, hidden meaning behind certain passages. While this is true sometimes, there are also scriptures meant to be taken literally and applied practically. I believe this is one of them.
The Bible says that when we sit down to eat, we need to consider what is in front of us. Proverbs 23:2 then says to put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony (NIV). This does not mean to end your life if you have an unhealthy relationship with food. It means to practice restraint. The Message Bible says not to stuff yourself, to bridle your appetite.
If you are controlled by what you eat, you lack self-control and the abundant life God desires you to have. Overeating zaps your strength and ruins your self-image. I want to encourage you to practice healthy eating habits. It is also important that you exercise regularly. Being healthy means living a balanced life with proper nutrition, exercise, and rest.
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