You Are What You Eat
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word “eat” as:
“To take in through the mouth as food: ingest, chew, and swallow in turn”
When people hear the word “eat”, we often think of consuming food. Notice that the definition of “eat” states to take in… as food. Not, to take in… food.
The word “as” is important in this definition. Merriam-Webster notes that the word “as” is used to introduce an example. In the definition of “eat,” food is merely provided as a point of reference. So, the definition implies that we can consume substances into our bodies beyond protein, carbohydrates, fat and water.
But what is food?
Merriam-Webster provides a definition of “food” as:
“Something that nourishes, sustains or supplies”
Therefore, eating involves taking in, ingesting, chewing, and swallowing something that nourishes, sustains or supplies.
We are Three-Part Beings: Spirit, Soul and Body.
You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a physical body. The Bible addresses these three parts collectively and separately. The Bible often identifies your spirit as the “heart.”
For health, we must address each part of our being. We cannot neglect any part of our selves.
We feed our spirit, soul and body individually and collectively. There is physical food that we feed to our bodies, and spiritual food that we feed to our spirits and our souls.
Healthy food provides energy to the body, enhances the operation of the body’s complex systems, and strengthens its resilience against disease. Junk food has the opposite effect and contributes to the breaking down of the body over time.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 5:23, NKJV
Both physical and spiritual nutrition are important, because we become what we eat. Your spiritual health sets the foundation for your physical health. It is difficult to maintain a healthy body with an unhealthy soul. An unhealthy soul will undermine your efforts to maintain a healthy body.
We eat when we feel hungry and we drink when we feel thirsty. The food that we eat becomes part of us. It is compiled into our blood, bones, and tissues. If we do not eat or drink when we hunger, then eventually we will die.
Feed the soul.
The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.Proverbs 13:25, NKJV
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.Proverbs 16:24, NKJV
Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
Jesus offered himself as the spiritual food that gives eternal life and eternal satisfaction to all who eat (John 6).
48 “I am the Bread of Life [the Living Bread which gives and sustains life]. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the Bread that comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the Living Bread that came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread [believes in Me, accepts Me as Savior], he will live forever. And the Bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh (body).”John 6:48-51, AMP
How can Jesus be the “bread of life?”
Jesus says that if you eat of Him as the bread from heaven, then you will not die. Feeding on Jesus by faith is necessary for eternal life, for temporal sustenance, and for temporal and eternal satisfaction.
Eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood refer to believing in or taking possession of His death on the cross as your only hope for eternal life. When you believe in Jesus as your savior, then you will have eternal life.
If there is living bread that gives life, then there must be food that gives death. Death can manifest in pain, sickness, disease, and fear. So, what spiritual food is causing death?
6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart. 7 Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.Proverbs 31:6-7, NKJV
We can eat any food we choose, but some foods help us while others harm us.
Before God created mankind in the book of Genesis, he created plants for us to eat for food. The Creator, who understands man’s every need, gave grains, fruits, and nuts for food, from which man could choose a balanced diet.
So God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;Genesis 1:29, AMP
Later, after the fall of man and after the flood, God stated that mankind can eat all moving, living things. Presumably, all animals.
3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; I give you everything, as I gave you the green plants and vegetables. 4 But you shall not eat meat along with its life, that is, its blood.Genesis 9:3-4, AMP
As illustrated in the book of Daniel, our nutrition has a direct impact on our appearance, health, and wisdom.
8 Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief eunuch not to defile himself. 11 So Daniel said to the guard whom the chief eunuch had assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then examine our appearance and the appearance of the young men who are eating the king’s food, and deal with your servants based on what you see.” 14 He agreed with them about this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days they looked better and healthier than all the young men who were eating the king’s food. 16 So the guard continued to remove their food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables.Daniel 1:8,11-16, CSB
Many people assume that in the New Testament, the Bible advises that we can eat anything that we choose. However, we do not have a “free pass” to eat anything and everything, physically or spiritually.
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.1 Corinthians 6:12, NKJV
I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean.Romans 14:14, CSB
Our soul consumes what we watch, listen to, read, or discuss. Anything that distracts us from God is junk food for our souls. Our souls can crave junk food just as our physical bodies crave sugar, fat and salt. In the same way that we should resist eating junk food in order to maintain a healthy body, we should resist eating spiritual junk food in order to maintain a healthy soul.
When we feed harmful food to our souls, this can manifest into sickness, pain and other ailments in our physical bodies.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death.James 8:13-15, AMP
The media that we consume affects our health just as much as the physical food we eat. Media is considered entertainment. Note that the first part of entertainment is “enter.” When we consume media, we invite the contents to enter into our souls. Food for our soul is essentially what we watch, listen to, read, or discuss.
Examples of poisonous food for our souls can include engaging in gossip or watching violent, scary or traumatizing television. If we continue to consume poisonous food, then eventually this harmful intake will create sickness in our souls, manifesting as anger, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, and other ailments.
Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.2 Timothy 1:6-7, CSB
God will restore us when we enter into his presence. He is the Healer.
28 “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29 Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. 30 For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”Matthew 11:28-30, TPT
The secret to a healthy mind is the retention and meditation of Scripture. Those who feed their minds with quality literature, solid educational materials, truly relevant information, and regular Bible study become wise and sought-after leaders.
To be healthy, we must eat nutritious food often. Just as we must eat continuously to sustain our bodies, we must feed on the word of God and fellowship with Christ regularly to sustain our souls.
This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.Joshua 1:8, CSB
He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.Psalm 107:20, NKJV
When we feed on Christ by faith, we become more like Him and enjoy a close relationship with him.
Feeding on Jesus by faith will:
- Bring us eternal life
- Restore our souls
- Heal our physical bodies
The more you meditate on scripture and spend time in prayer, the healthier you will be. You are what you eat!
Amplified Bible (AMP). The Lockman Foundation (2015).
“as.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2022. https://www.merriam-webster.com (01 January 2022).
The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers.
Cole, Steven J. “Lesson 36: What Are You Eating? (John 6:48-59).” Bible.org. 2013, November 24. https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-36-what-are-you-eating-john-648-59.
“eat.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com (31 December 2021).
“food.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com (31 December 2021).
Jeremiah, David, Dr. “You Are What You Eat.” Oneplace.com. https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/read/articles/you-are-what-you-eat-16995.html.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked TPT are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018, 2020 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.