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Wednesday: What We Put in Our Mouths — 31 Comments

  1. It is true, the more we can control our appetites the more we can control our mental experience. I am from a country in Africa where young students tend to be adicted to alcohol just because they cannot control themselves. Many families in my neighbourhood are being destroyed just because of that Problem.
    it is good that this week's lesson brings this to our attention.

  2. Knowing that certain foods and drinks are harmful to the body is one thing. How do we help people who are struggles with food and drink addictions? People are longing to be free of such harmful habits, but do not have the strenght or will power to accomplish their goals. Some are victorious for a short period of time only to find themselves falling back into that same or simular trap and feeling helpless and depressed. How can we help them as we continue to pray for him/her?

    • Regina, I believe part of the problem may be that we are addressing foods and drinks in isolation from other habits. Strength of will is dependent on other factors as well, such as sufficient sleep and exercise, as well as trust in God, which is developed by spending time with God through Bible study and prayer.

      I can say for sure that vigorous exercise outdoors goes far towards strengthening the will regarding what we put in our mouths. By contrast, languishing in front of the TV is likely to lead towards putting all sorts of undesirable substances into our bodies.

  3. Why do we consume food or drink that is bad for us, or eat and drink too much of those which would be good if taken in moderation?

    As the lesson directs let us go back to the beginning. Why did Eve eat of the fruit of that tree?
    What was different about this tree’s fruit? The fruit of all the other trees in the garden were pleasing to the eyes and good for food.
    Once Eve doubted the LORD’s instruction, she only had her own reasoning to make the choice.
    I can imagine Eve saying to herself, it is like all the other trees it can’t be bad.
    Then she takes the next step and says, I desire this fruit because of the effect it will have on me (in this case – make me wise).
    Then she takes the third step and convinces her husband to do the same so she isn’t the only one eating the forbidden fruit.

    So this is why we do it: We don’t believe it will be bad for us, we think it tastes good, we like the short term effect that we feel and after all why not everyone else is doing it.

    If only Eve had trusted and believed the LORD.
    I believe the LORD and the messages He has sent us about what is good and what is bad for me.
    I trust the LORD and His promises that he will do a miracle and change my desires if I submit them to Him.

    Gen 2:9 And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. The tree of life also was in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
    Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasing to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took of its fruit, and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

  4. Prov 23
    7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.32At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.33Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

    Just like ingestion, digestion, assimilation of food (including alcohol) makes it a part of us and even visibly so thru our body build (even actions - for alcohol), it's true also that wat we allow in our thots, imaginations, visual, audio makes us who we are.

    Wine/alcohol particularly leads to wrong actions becos it controls the mind, we become slaves says Sr EGW

    4Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

    We are encouraged to observe self control in eating but also in pre occupying ourselves / working to get rich and bible points us to "worthy wisdom", to cease from "own wisdom"

    We ought therefore to put in profitable things for both now and eternity ie internalising scripture, taking healthy foods. By so doing, we will not only have control of our selves and will, but someone greater will be in control to "direct our steps" Prov 16:9. See EGW below:

    "They Have Sold Their Will Power—There is in the world a multitude of degraded human beings, who have, by yielding in their youth to the temptation to use tobacco and alcohol, poisoned the tissues of the human structure, and perverted their reasoning powers, until the result is just as Satan meant it to be.

    The faculties of thought are clouded. The victims yield to the temptation for alcohol, and they sell what reason they have for a glass of liquor.

    See that man bereft of reason. What is he? He is a slave to the will of Satan. The arch apostate imbues him with his own attributes. He is a slave to licentiousness and violence.

    There is no crime that he will not commit; for he has put into his mouth that which has intoxicated him, and made him, while under its influence, a demon."

  5. Is it normal for young people to eat more than normal? I'm 20 and, to be honest, have the habit of eating...a lot! I'm a vegetarian, rarely eat more than three times a day, never drinking liquids while eating. But I have to admit that those meals...puff..are way way way above the average. But the truth: I'm skinny; even eating that much it seems that I'll never be able to gain weight; and if I decide to reduce that amount of food (I tried a few times), could actually lose weight.

    What should I do?
    I know that overeating goes against God's will.

    • Guilherme, on the issue of food I think we have to be careful that we don't get into fanaticism either way, there are principles involved in this as in everything else.

      I was once skinny. When I went into the army in the US I weighed 121 pounds and had a 21 inch waist line. Then during my middle ages all of that went up significantly and because of my job as a freight delivery driver I usually didn't get much of a lunch so that when I came home after a 12 hour day I was famished. That got me into the habit of eating large meals and that is something that is very hard to come down from and at my present age it can be dangerous.

      There are many issues involved with how much we eat. When a person is young his or her metabolism is high something like a shrew that can eat close to its own body weight daily. As one grows older their metabolism goes down which means that their body doesn't process food like it used to so the energy gets stored in the form of fat rather than burned. This metabolism thing involves the thyroid and some people have one that is out of control while others have psychological problems and end up being bulimic or anorexic.

      Another issue is daily activity. One time when I was at camp meeting one of the speakers was a doctor discussing health issues and one of my friends asked him about the two meals a day regime because he was having trouble with it and often would develop muscular quivering. The doctor was puzzled for a while until he was eventually told that my friend was a lumber jack whose job was physically intensive all day long. The doctor told him that he wasn't getting enough energy and that he would either have to pack himself (like a pig) during those two meals or he would have to eat three meals in order to keep up the needs of his body.

      While that was true for my friend I was still struggling to have a normal weight with average activity and asked the doctor about that. He told me that he would rather have ten people trying to lose weight than having to deal with one person trying to gain. So to me it all depends on circumstances and what a person has to deal with. What I do know is that for me at this stage of life I can't afford to eat like a pig and at times that is hard to comply with because of my past eating habits. I often wish I was like one of my friends, now deceased, who never felt like eating anything and because of that his weight was constantly under control. Each person is different but the principle is the same - don't eat just to be eating - we eat to live not live to eat.

      • You made my day: "Each person is different but the principle is the same - don't eat just to be eating - we eat to live not live to eat."

        I already tried to do the 'two meal' regime but things didn't went as expected. Lost too much weight (for a very-skinny boy that's a problem) and was looking sick. You just described me. I have a very high metabolism and have to walk during work. So every time I go to the kitchen it seems that one pot of food is far from enough to make me retrieve what I lost, or even make me feel satisfied.

        But I know there's somethings that we can avoid (for people in my situation): Eating during meal-breaks, Eating our usual (a looooooooot) in front of too many people. It's really something typical for my age, at least it's what a nutritionist told the other day. I just have to remember: The middle-age is coming! xD

        Thanks for the help Tyler. A warm cheer from Brazil

        • Guilherme, I think Tyler's response is great.

          But I wonder what you mean about avoiding eating during meal breaks and eating in front of people? Surely, you aren't plannint to eat alone?

          Most people should be aware that young, skinny men tend to eat a lot. 🙂 If it gives you energy and you stay healthy, you are probably eating the right amount. And, no, two meals a day are probably not meant for you! 🙂

          My husband was very skinny when he was young. And he found that he was more likely to gain a little weight by eating a little less, rather than more. You might want to experiment. Do what works for you - eat to live. 🙂 (Oh, and my husband is no longer skinny. 😉 )

        • "Eating during meal-breaks, Eating our usual (a looooooooot) in front of too many people." This is where practical Christian wisdom comes in. Probably the hardest thing for a person in your situation to do is sitting opposite an overweight person who is that way because of a known historical lack of self-control, he is aware of the problem and is desperately trying to keep a low calorie diet in an effort to regain some semblance of control. At times doing that is just outrightly painful and for a sensitive Christian to know the struggle the other person is having while needing to eat a lot in order to maintain health presents a really difficult decision to make.

          If that is not the situation then I think the counsel Paul gives to the Corinthian church in 1 Cor 8 should probably apply. The problem that church was having didn't have anything to do with how much a person was eating but over what foods they thought was forbidden to the Christian by God. In that chapter Paul was NOT addressing unclean foods as outlined in Lev 11 but was dealing with clean foods sacrificed to idols. To the Jewish Christians doing so was sacrilegious while the gentiles thought nothing of it because it involved Paganism which to them was nothing. Paul's counsel was clear on the matter:

          However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak (1 Co. 8:7-9 NKJV).
          Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble (1 Co. 8:13 NKJV).

          Here is another principle; even though there is nothing wrong with me eating certain foods or a particular quantity of food, because of what it does to another person spiritually I should refrain from doing so - not for my sake but for the sake of the other person. That is what it means to have real self control and self sacrificing love.

          • That's true Tyler. During a lunch with the whole church community a while ago I did that. And it was really unpleasant to see some people - specially ladies who were trying for years to lose weight - giving a sad look to my huge plate. I decided not do that anymore. If my liberty causes my fellows to a low self-esteem spirit, I'll never use it again.


    • Remaining in God's will cannot be safely ignored by any of us. But as many have pointed out, God's will for one is not the same as for another, at least in some things. And we must all study out what His will is for us individually.

      My experience is similar to yours. In times past, I lacked energy when I tried two meals per day and I did lose weight. The good news is that when circumstances (i.e. schedules) forced me to stay on two meals a day, I only lost a little wt and then my weight stabilized. We are "wonderfully made", having ability to adjust our metabolism to the intake when necessary.

      About being "skinny", that's not bad or something to be much concerned about, as long as you have strength to fulfill your responsibilities. Above all, do what you know to be the best and trust God for the rest.

  6. I really agree with the heading: What we put in our mouths.
    What we put into our mouth does make a difference in our physical life. Now days people are not conscious about what they put into their mouth. As you see around lots of problem and disease. People can any one tell me which food is healthful for us to eat Store Or Garden Foods...thank you.

  7. I am sorry to make comments on eating and drinking habits that control many people in Africa. What I have observed is that in African cultures many people are cursed by the envious relatives who practise charms or satanism or magics. These put spell on their victims to have habits of overdrinking or overeating etc so that their moneys or salaries should not be accumulating in banks or they achieve nothing at the end of their working time in life. If we do not understand what makes them go astray, we need to be praying for them. Demons are clandestine and cannot be got rid of easily. We need to be watchful and prayerful for peop[le with such appetites and habits

  8. I would like to seek some clarification on the scriptures below inline with today's lesson.

    Mat 15:10 Then calling out to the crowd, he addressed them, "Listen and understand!
    Mat 15:11 It is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean. It is what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean."
    Mat 15:15 Then Peter told him, "Explain to us this parable."
    Mat 15:16 Jesus said, "Are you still so ignorant?
    Mat 15:17 Don't you know that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and then is expelled as waste?
    Mat 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and it is those things that make a person unclean.
    Mat 15:19 It is out of the heart that evil thoughts come, as well as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, stealing, false testimony, and slander.

    1. Wasn't Jesus aware of the impact of unclean foods and things like wine, tobacco especially in the words he used on v.17?
    2. Was He in the verses above insinuating that we can take in whatever foods or substances since they don't defile our bodies?

    • Jose,
      You ask was Jesus aware of good & bad food? Yes, remember it was the pre-incarnate Son of God who gave Moses the instructions in Lev 14 about what food to eat. In Matt 15:3 He said they were denying the commandments of God so we know that anything He said would not deny the commandments of God.

      Here we see Jesus addressing the real issue behind the topic the Pharisees brought up.
      The topic was rituals and the tradition of the elders, even the topic was not about food.
      The real issue was how one becomes righteous in the eyes of the LORD.

      So Jesus answers the real issue – to become righteous you need a new heart.

      • Can someone help me with the second question. Does verse 17 imply that we can eat or drink everything since passes into the stomach and then is expelled as waste?

        • Jose, you need to listen to what Shirley said because the answer to your question is in the context not a particular text in isolation from it.

        • Jose, let me be clear, the answer is NO this does not mean we can eat or drink anything and not be affected by it.

          Jesus, said in Deut 14:

          Deu 14:2-3 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (3) Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.

          Deut 14 then goes on to specify which animals the LORD's people could and could not eat.

          Jesus also said in Matt 5:

          Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:

          Jesus did not contradict what He said to the children of Israel, He was helping us understand it better.

          In the discussion in Matthew 15 he was not really focussing on which foods/drinks are good for us or not, he was focussing on the Pharisees' obsession with rituals as a means of righteousness.

  9. The dangers of humans consuming alcohol, is splattered all over our distant past and present experiences. The arguments for and against its exclusion from our diet is, in my view, moot. As new generations of humans are born the discussion must necessarily be perpetuated.
    I'd like to address the gist of Wednesday's "What We Put in Our Mouths" lesson which in essence is, stay away from alcohol and watch your appetite. A closer examination of Gen 3:1-7 doesn't just show that, "It was by being disobedient and eating of the wrong thing that brought sin and death into the world." Eve in Eden was not defiled by just "disobedience" and "eating". She became a slave to her Creator's nemesis when she permitted herself to DISBELIEVE her Creator. She KNEW and accurately restates her Creator's TRUTH (Gen 3:3). However, she PERMITS her BELIEF to run counter to her Creator's TRUTH. (Gen 3:6)

    How do we rid our tortured selves of this inherited tendency (Rom 7:18)? What "law" was Paul seeing in his "members" (Rom 7: 23? Was it the law of heredity (John 8:44; James 1: 14) (science now tell us that alcoholics can give birth to genetically at-risk offspring).

    If such is the case, then humanity NEEDS a Creator who has the power and has secured the right , by His death, to write His "laws" into our stony minds (Rom 7:24-25; Eze 36:26; Heb 10:16; 2 Cor 3:3)!! Is it possible that we might be unknowingly doing deeply flawed (Ps 51:5-6) individuals a dis-service when we tell each other to just obey and watch our appetite, when the Creator is waiting to accomplish a far more extensive work by BELIEVE HIS TRUTH about ourselves (Gen 3:3; Jer 17:9, 14)?

  10. It is my understanding that the temptation in the Garden of Eden was not over food but over ego and self worth. Quantity was never discussed, what was discussed was, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said,`You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:2-5 NKJV). It was a matter of covetously wanting what God had.

    • Sam, we know that even moderate consumption of alcohol has a host of negative effects on the body, beginning with the dulling of mental and spiritual faculties due to its effect on the frontal lobe of the brain. Thus alcohol itself is a problem.

      And it's not just eating too much that is a problem, it's also eating for taste that which is not good (which could also be a form of gluttony) even if it is eaten in moderation. The rule of thumb is to eat foods as close to how God made them to grow as possible. Then they are life and health-giving and protect us from many of the negative effects of our modern environment.

      For a study of wine in the Bible I recommend Wine in the Bible A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages (Abridged)by Samuele Bacchiocchi [Kindle Edition] . It's offered for a reasonable price on Amazon and can be downloaded most places in the world and read on computers and mobile devices.

  11. Tyler - I agree with you. The incident in the garden of Eden was lust of the eyes followed by rebellion/disobedience by both Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve wanted what God had just like Satan and the fallen angels did when they were in Heaven. Humilty is a key component in remaining in the right attitude with God and man. We must be content with what we have and never stop trusting in God. In regards to appettite we must take one day at a time and remember that as we are different in are faith so are we in our needs. Listen to your body, it will tell you what is best for it. Listen to God.

  12. Youths need be guided accordingly.They are the ones to develop this habit of drinking slowly by slowly
    which finally leads to addition. Consequently,their future is spoiled. Lets pray God to help u exercise temperance. My High school teacher once advised me "the time you start drinking write in a piece of paper that i get lost as from today"as a reminder in future.

  13. O' me, I've read all the post's above & it seems to me that most of you got off the track, the act that Eve did in the garden, was NOT about food, but about doubt in God's law, {if you want to call it that} telling them not to eat of the tree, and I bring her thoughts down to my life, as I left the church for a time, thinking maybe our church didn't have the truth, so I went church shopping. So during that time I was doubting, God's word about the Sabbath. Now if during that time I caused Jesus, to die for our sins, O' how sad. But I had the second chance to use my own brain, & decide for myself that God was right. Eve didn't have that chance, w/out involving the whole world, and Jesus' crucifixion, as her sin was so defiant, no going back & saying O' God I'm so sorry, I see I was wrong, and repent.
    I know God don't make mistakes, so how He handled it was right. What a hard lesson to learn.

  14. We as part of the body of Christ must represent Him first with our character in the fruit of the spirit and and at the same time we should also represent our church as a whole like we really meant to follow our health message. We had a problem once during our outreach program to the community to share the health message because most of our qualified presenters were quite overWeight. That picture won't have gone too far. The lesson for today only reminds us that we have the responsibility to the community and neighbors that we truly represent what we believe which were given to us by God.


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