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The Battle With Appetite

Appetite. It is such a big battle to get it under control. We almost live by the idea, “I see food; therefore I eat.” Between the billboards, media advertisements and folks eating irresistible smelling foods, we are tempted in many ways and most of the time we give in to our appetite. Sometimes, all we have to do is think about a food and all of a sudden, we’ve got to eat it. But our society is not the only people who battle appetite.

There are several stories in the Bible that describe our battle with appetite. We can start with the first woman, Eve. In Genesis 3:6, she saw the forbidden fruit on the tree and thought it was good to eat. Mix that view with a deceiving thought and she lost the battle with appetite. We’ve struggled with appetite ever since the fall. But Eve is not the only one.

We can also read the story about two brothers in Genesis 25. The younger one, Jacob, liked to stick around the house and apparently he must have picked up a few cooking skills. The older brother, Esau, liked to get outdoors and do things like hunt. One day Esau came home famished and he asked his brother for some of the stew he prepared. Jacob struck up a bargain. “First sell me your birthright.”

So famished, appetite took over and dictated, “Let the birthright go!” Esau gave into his appetite and ate a delectable bowl of stew.

However, there is another Biblical story that does not show appetite the victor. Daniel could sit before some of the best food in Babylon and ask for vegetables instead. He got his wish, and rather than let his appetite rule, he chose God to be Lord over his life and his appetite.

With all of the opportunities to eat in our society, I would challenge us to re-examine what we do with our appetites. If we allow God to be Lord of our lives and our appetite, God can strengthen us to choose foods that give life rather than destroy life. And yes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain many of the ingredients we need to support life.

Our challenge is to let God be Lord over our appetites, and we can also make choices that help us to eat and live healthy.

Written by Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

is a dietitian in Southern California.

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