If like me you're on the wrong side of 55 (OK... perhaps a bit more) you'll probably remember the joys of wrapping your gums around a bar of 'Duncan's Hazelnut' chocolate! Although only a memory now it has a special place among the many highlights of my Kirkcaldy childhood. I don't suppose it helped my cholesterol level very much and no doubt it did even less for my teeth, but back then, when a 'big, big carpet' could be cleaned 'for less than half a crown', food, as I can recall, was there to be enjoyed.
EXPLODING THE MYTH
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not such a dinosaur that I'm against greater awareness of what we're actually eating, but the assertion that 'we are what we eat' - a phrase I heard the other day and the title of a current TV programme I believe - whilst a snappy sound-bite (no pun intended), is surely not factually correct. Setting aside our physical proportions, which could well owe more to how much we eat and how little exercise we take, the rest of our personal development has its origins elsewhere.
You don't need a social science degree to know that our attitudes and values, motives, ambitions, aptitudes, abilities and aspirations are largely the interplay and outworking of 'nature' and 'nurture'... in other words, our genes and our upbringing. Therefore, our 'essential self' is certainly not simply the product of our preference for pizzas or pie suppers... far from it!
RECOGNISING THE DIAGNOSIS
Although it's important to watch what we eat – especially with Scotland's lamentable heart disease record – don't we have this round the wrong way?
Over 2,000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ said that it isn't so much what we eat that's the problem...
'...whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach...
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart... evil
thoughts... sexual immorality... false testimony, slander...'
Matthew 15: 17-19
This is because our human nature is in rebellion towards God. By nature we want to go our own way and don't want Him, or anyone else for that matter, to tell us what we should do or how we should live our lives. It's perhaps no surprise that the central letter in the word 'SIN' is 'I'. But is there ananswer?
WELCOMING THE REMEDY
Well yes, there is, but it has nothing to do with whether or not you're a vegetarian, a vegan or an anything-eater!
First of all we need to take a long, hard, honest look at ourselves and our daily living, recognising the fact that much of the time we struggle to live up to our own standards, far less those of God. Yet if we seek Him with an open heart and mind we'll discover that He's already reaching out to us!
Now, anyone know how I can lay my hands on a bar of 'Duncan's Hazelnut'?