When Food Becomes an Idol


If God places something 1 and 2 on his top 10 list you better believe it’s important. He made a point of making sure we understood where he is to fall on our priority list when he wrote the 10 commandments. I am going to give you the opportunity to go look these up in Exodus 20. I suggest you do that before you continue reading.

Idols were pretty simple to define back in Moses day. An image or statue made for the express purpose of worship. When we talk about idols today the lines become a little fuzzy. I believe that anything in our life that takes precedent over our relationship with God is an idol. Even good things in life can become idols if they replace God or seek to do what only God can do in our life.

Let’s take food for example. What is the purpose of food? Look at 1 Corinthians 6:13. “Food is for the belly and the belly for food”. It was meant for physical nourishment. “God will destroy them both”, meaning this is only a temporary arrangement. That is it! Food is not to provide comfort and certainly not to be abused as is evident with the verses on gluttony (See Proverbs 23: 20-21, Deuteronomy 21:20, and Proverbs 23:2) yet here we stand as a church in the 21st century and food is one of the most abused items in God’s creation. It has become an idol in many people’s lives as they often turn to it for comfort. Take a minute to read John 14:26. That’s right the job of comforter has been given to the Holy Spirit. When you seek comfort in food you are trying to get out of it what only the Holy Spirit can deliver. When you do this you make food an idol. Sounds kind of crazy doesn’t it?

Here’s the reality, many who are reading this know exactly what I am talking about. Here’s the cycle, I feel bad about myself or something else, I seek out food for comfort, it gives me a little comfort as I eat it, I feel more guilt then I felt at the beginning when I am finished, and it eventually drives me to food again for more comfort. Everyone who has ever experienced this knows that food cannot provide the kind of comfort they need but yet they find this cycle almost impossible to break, why? My conclusion from dealing with people struggling with this is that people fail to recognize this as a spiritual battle. It’s food for heaven’s sakes! But isn’t that just like our enemy to take something good in life and pervert it into something ugly. He does it with sex, relationships, money, church, and the list goes on and on. I am here to tell you that I believe the enemy’s perversion of food is one of his greatest victories. Here is a list of how effectively the enemy has used food to damage the church: 1) He has convinced us it’s no big deal. 2) He has destroyed the self-image of millions of Christians as he whispers to them that they are worthless every time they look in the mirror. 3) He has used food to raise the obesity level in churches to epidemic proportions draining millions of the energy they need to perform ministry 4) He has perpetuated the lie that we need to eat, and eat poorly anytime we gather for meetings and this includes Sunday School or cell groups or whatever your church does. 5) He has made this an extremely sensitive subject so that we will never reach out to someone who is in obvious need for fear that we might offend them. 6) He has placed obese pastors in pulpits all across America who in most cases don’t even consider what message they are delivering to their congregations through their lifestyles.

In order to fix anything you must first realize there is a problem. This was the purpose of this blog, to help people identify a potential problem in their life. Have you identified a problem in your life? I ask you to pray about it and seek the Lord’s guidance. If you pray about it and come to the conclusion that you have a problem or maybe there is someone in your life that the Lord has laid on your heart that needs help in this area of their life I encourage you to read my next blog on overcoming food addiction by using the 3 P’s. Purpose, Plan, and Pray.

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