When we impose on ourselves food restrictions based on some form of “law,” such as a diet plan, it feels as though we’re doing the right thing, but check out this passage of Scripture:
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:20-23 (NIV)
What?! The rules about food seem so wise! They seem so right – no pain, no gain, right? BUT, they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. The rules about foods – don’t even have those chips in your house; don’t even taste that chocolate – DO NOT help control eating!! What’s worse is that the rules actually arouse the desire to overeat (Romans 7:7b-8).
Now check out this passage and see if it doesn’t scare you a little bit about food restrictions:1
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings … forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 (NIV)
Makes you wonder who came up with dieting in the first place!
1There are, of course, very necessary dietary restrictions that some people must follow, as in the case of diabetes, hypoglycemia, or food allergies. These are not the same as restrictions imposed by weight-loss diets, which declare “bad” many foods that are not necessarily harmful for most people.