“Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth and wipeth her mouth and saith, I have done no wickedness.” Proverbs 30:20
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy devotes a lot of attention to food and our relationship with it. I don’t think other conditions get quite as much attention in the book as do food-related problems, except maybe tuberculosis (referred to as consumption).
Christ Jesus gave the subject a good airing in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Take no thought... saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink?” (Matthew 6:31)
How many of us have used those words as a justification for overindulging, under-eating, or making unbalanced food choices?
Interestingly Jesus spoke of food worries just after his discussion of spiritual satisfaction and completeness – in considering the lilies. (See Matthew 6:28) Even as a small seed, a lily includes everything it needs to be a fully formed flower. To me Jesus was saying that just like the lilies, our health, beauty and form are built-ins. When we “consider the lilies” we can behold within ourselves God’s expression of wholeness, of goodness, and in so doing we gain a good model for thinking about and caring for our bodies. It involves a certain mindfulness of spiritual being, and staying on topic in relation to caring for ourselves. When the discussion turns to the subject of food, I think Jesus begs the question, “Are you willing to stay awake to spiritual identification long enough to carry it into your daily routine?"
I don't think Jesus' words to "take no thought" can be used as a justification for eating in an unbalanced way. He doesn’t give an excuse for overindulging in sweets, eating unnecessarily, eating a poor quality of food, or denying oneself properly balanced nourishment.
In fact, such behavior often induces way more “food thought” by the attention given to the symptoms of reaction on the body! Don' forget, your body is an obedient little buddy. It follows to a T what influences it. Physically speaking, we can think of the body as the embodiment or expression of thought. It’s like a canvas upon which is projected the best and the worst of what we accept as influences in our lives.
So what constitutes a healthy relationship with food? We have a helpful hint in the commandment - “Thou shalt not commit adultery” Stay true to your first love, or as Jesus put it: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”.
In the Glossary of Science and Health, there are three definitions for KINGDOM OF HEAVEN that shed some light on the kingdom of God that Jesus was referring to. The 1st definition is, “The reign of harmony in divine Science”.
Harmony and balance are important to consider in relation to eating. We might ask, how is mealtime giving me an opportunity to witness more of God’s harmonious control of the body and relinquish human control? We shouldn't let food be an enemy. But it also isn’t our best or only friend!
Food is simply a human provision for expressing and experiencing the harmony and balance of God’s creation. We have every right to enjoy it in its true light.
Mealtime can be a time of engaging with the good in God’s creation.
We deal with this subject of food at least 3 times a day, everyday, if not more. So lets not make our relationship with food a curse. It shouldn't be allowed to distract you from your real job of reflecting and witnessing to God's goodness!
Do check out the wonderful comments below before continuing to Part 2 of the series.
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no