For some food is aspirational. We use it to express the image or lifestyle to which we aspire. Organic and whole-food produce–these are the things that prove you’re enlightened and politically aware. Or maybe it’s steaks and burgers–they make you feel like a true man. Or maybe it’s pot roasts and home-baked apple pie like your grandmother made–they make you a traditional, all-American mom. Or maybe it’s cordon bleu and haute cuisine–they make you an urban and urbane sophisticate. Others manipulate food to prove themselves through their looks by obsessing about their calorie intake. Other are so busy proving themselves through their work that they have little time for food. We use or misuse food to form our identity instead of finding identity in Christ. We use food to achieve identity instead of receiving it by grace.
Slimming programs can offer a kind of points-based religion. Salvation comes through being accepted by others, and a bautiful body is the means by which we save ourselves. Food is rated, so your progress toward salvation can be scored. Your life is assessed when you stand on the scales. Weight loss equals rightesousness; weight gain equals condemnation. You are weighed in the scales and found wanting.
Tim Chester, A Meal with Jesus, p. 105-106