Trendy diet fads are lost on me—'Paleo' sounds like something from The Flintstones. My lack of culinary skills means I tend to opt for easy-to-cook foods, with pre-packaged meals as my go-to staples.
While some people may spend hours reading up and following on new diets, discussing various health foods and endless exercise regimes for a better, healthier body, I have always been quite happy to eat pizza and chocolate.
Until one day my dietician sister warned that Skinny Minnies like me were not immune to health scares and Asian women are more predisposed to osteoporosis.
Shocked, I promptly signed up for the gym, and began making mindful changes to my eating habits.
While the idea of a physical food diet makes my eyes glaze over I believe there is a biblical spiritual food plan everyone can adopt. Followers reap benefits such as strength, endurance, kindness, and love.
Fruit of the Spirit
The Jesus diet is not for the faint-hearted. It involves forgiving your enemies, loving your not-so-lovable neighbour, persevering during trials and tribulations, and guarding your mind from negative thoughts.
Unlike worldly diets, the Jesus diet does not come with the physical promise of a toned body or boundless energy, but the outcome is the 'fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law' (Galatians chapter 5, verses 22–23).
Following the Jesus diet can be a very trying affair, because sometimes it is just very difficult to forgive your extra prickly enemy, and to love your neighbour who seems bent on auditioning for a spot on the TV series Neighbours At War. But God has told you to forgive your enemies.
Even fad diets acknowledge the importance of keeping body, mind, and spirit healthy. The Bible does too, and we are told not to 'conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will' (Romans chapter 12, verse 2).
If all this sounds too hard, the good news is the success of the Jesus diet does not hinge on our efforts, but on the work of someone more gracious and powerful. When we follow Jesus His Spirit works in us to transform us.
A diet plan accessible to all
The good news is the Jesus diet is accessible to those who are willing to give it a go. Popular diets appeal to particular groups of individuals, but God's teachings of love, kindness, forgiveness and generosity can be applied to everyday living.
Trendy diets sometimes require buying expensive, organic foods but God's words are free to those with ears to hear. The Jesus diet is not a 40-day plan, or a five-step pointer to overnight success.
The Jesus diet requires daily obedience and lifelong learning. There will be hard times but no one comes out a loser at the end of the Jesus diet. He invites us to rest in Him when we are weary and promises to walk with us until the very end.
Michele Ong is a former regional news journalist with a passion to be a voice for the marginalised and disenfranchised. Writing is as essential to her as breathing, and believes words contain life which is to be used to inspire, inform, and influence readers. Michele attends Auckland's City Impact Church with her family on the North Shore.
Michele Ong's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michele-ong.html