Can Natural Living Become an Idol?

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This post is the finale of our TOP 10 CELEBRATION here at Passionate Homemaking. This post received the most general comments over the last 5 years then any other post on the blog, so I thought it fitting to republish this article for you all.
Originally published on January 21, 2010.

Please note: I want to express my heart from the outset of this post to assure my readers that these are musings that the Lord has been working in my heart lately, and I felt compelled to share them with you. I in no way desire to condemn anyone, but my motivation in sharing is to challenge us all to guard our hearts in this matter.

I recently encountered two stories that have challenged me in the motivation and out workings of my pursuit of natural living. The first account began with a friend desiring to throw a baby shower for an expectant mother in her church. This friend was expecting her first little one. The hostess simply wanted to bless and encourage this new mother in her pursuit. When she asked for gift ideas, the new mother stated that she only wanted organic baby clothing, wooden natural toys, organic cloth diapers, and the like. Half of the guests could not afford these products. One lady missed the memo and came with a few plastic toys.

How do you think this made her hostess and guests feel?

The second account took place when I heard a couple share that they had not been tithing for several months and wanted to begin again. They had not been able to afford it. I knew that this family ate all organic and natural foods. This appeared like it could not be sacrificed.

What is more important?

I have had conversations with friends or family members on various occasions when I tried to persuade them of the health consequences or benefits of a certain product. What has resulted? Relationships have been hurt. I have left others feeling condemned or inadequate. Or at a shared meal gathering, when another mom instructs her son not to eat that food item because “it’s not food”, relationships are damaged because we exalt food over fellowship.

Do I consider myself superior to others because we have adopted a more natural lifestyle?

In the past I have skimped on hospitality because I did not want to spend the money to buy good quality food for my guests or when bringing a meal to another. I made the excuse that I couldn’t afford it. In all honesty, I wanted to keep the best of our budget for my family. This is not true generosity. True generosity takes place when I joyfully give the best that I can following the Scriptural command to do unto others as you would have them do to you (Matt. 7:12).

Where is my heart?

The apostle John’s last words in 1 John are, “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts (1 John 5:21).” These last words are significant…He wants them to be remembered.

How often do I turn a good thing into a god thing?

As Tim Keller states in Counterfeit Gods, “Most people know you can make a god out of money. Most people know you can make a god out of sex. However, anything in life can serve as an idol, a God-alternative, a counterfeit god…What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

Natural living can become an idol when we willingly give our emotional and financial resources to achieve it.
Natural living can become an idol when we think that it can give us significance, security, safety and fulfillment.
Natural living can become an idol when we hoard the benefits and not freely offer it to others.

What is my motivation for eating healthy and living naturally? Because I have desired to be a good steward of creation and for the health and wholeness of our family.

Can preserving the safety of my family become an idol in my life? Yes!

When I give my money first towards the purchase of good healthy food prior to giving it back to the Lord in my worship of tithe, natural living has gone too far. When I am more concerned about the safety of my family to the extent that I sacrifice relationships, the service of my brothers and sisters, than natural living has become an idol.

Eating healthy will not guarantee my family a more peaceful longer life. It will not add a single day to my life than God has already determined. Only God knows the number of my days. (Psalms 139:16) He calls me to be faithful to care for my physical body, and this includes being wise in what I put into my body, knowing that it will affect my ability to serve the Lord; but when I raise that to a god-level, it is no longer a good thing. My security must only be found in Christ. He controls my family’s health and wellness.

Eating healthy and living naturally does not make me any more honorable in God’s eyes than any other. We are all in equal standing before Him.

Our first fruit of income should always go to tithe and not food. (Lev. 23:10; Numbers 28:26). Where your money is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:19-21) If I put more money towards my health and wholeness before God and giving unto others, than that is where my treasure lies. It will burn up at the end.

Unity in the body is more important than the safety of our family. (Rom. 14:1-3; Psalms 133)

God calls me to be generous, not to hoard the good stuff for myself. Am I only concerned about my health and not the well-being of my friends, family, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? God loves a cheerful giver. I am challenged to serve the best to my guests as I possibly can. The more you give the less hold it has on your heart. (2 Cor. 8:9)

I have seen and confess to these evidences of idolatry in my heart. Am I implying that organic food, clothing, or wooden toys are bad? In no way. It is a matter of the heart. What is my motivation? Is that a God-glorifying motivation? My challenge to you all…let’s not raise being a good steward to a god position. Let’s not make others feel guilty, discouraged, or overwhelmed because they cannot afford the natural lifestyle or only in part. It’s about relationships. Let’s keep God first, love one another, and pursue giving generously to one another as we are able. Jesus commanded in Luke 10:27 states, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” I hope you understand my heart in communicating this message. There is no condemnation here. This is just a challenge to go further up and further in in our pursuit of Christ Jesus with me.

“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.” - Romans 14:1-3

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

451 Responses to Can Natural Living Become an Idol?

  1. megan January 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    This post is exactly what I needed to read! This is a battle that was raging inside me and The Lord was speaking to me exactly what you wrote, this is great confirmation and I feel such peace. Thank you!!

  2. Halley Caldwell November 20, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Hello, I wanted to take a quick second to let you know how very poignant this post is. This gives an excellent example of truly serving God in all of our circumstances. It is so easy to fall into the trap of making everything that God has blessed us with an idol. By no coincidence I also ran across a quote today from R.C. Sproul Jr., “When I stand before God’s throne I won’t, nor would my friends, claim my commitment to homeschooling, or children as blessings. Just Jesus.

    Excellent post! Thank you for taking the time to share your heart!

    • Joy Gfeller November 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi Lindsay,

      I just finished reading your post. I stumbled onto your blog because of your pinterest post=12 days of gifts :) I am currently teaching a series on idols with our youth at church and the material has been a little dry. The crazy thing is I didn’t really predict the direction that your post took and it has really inspired my for my next lesson and I love the Romans 14:1-3 verse that you pointed out. I didn’t really believe it existed so I verified it…it’s there. Thank you for putting your faith out there in such a public way, showing compassion and understanding without being confrontational.

      Keep it up!!

  3. Kay October 6, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    My take on the article is a little different than a lot of the others’. I feel strongly in making the healthiest food that we can afford for my family. This is not always the very best available (organic), but I do organic every chance I reasonably can, and everything that is not organic is still the very healthiest that I can find. We are on a budget and can’t afford just anything that we want to buy for food. I personally feel that my family comes first before others, and I have to admit that I do not feel badly about this. The reason is this: we are already used to eating healthily and having bodies that are detoxing and getting healthier all the time. However, the majority of American families do not really care about true health, eating pretty much only processed food, restaurant food, and the cheapest non-organic foods. How is it even helping these people to serve them only one meal in my home or one side dish at a gathering, that is a very expensive, organic choice made my me, that will be their only truly healthy food in a long time? They aren’t used to already eating healthy food, so the one offering isn’t going to help their health (except possibly to make them sick due to their own detox reaction that may kick in from eating something very healthy). In my view, this is actually a waste of my family’s tightly-budgeted and hard-earned money, not an offering to God, because it isn’t even going to benefit these people to best of that particular food’s ability (that’s where I’m getting that it is a “waste”.) And they will be perfectly happy and appreciative of a lower-cost, lesser-quality meal that still tastes very good and has some good health to it but just isn’t the very best and most expensive. These foods I save for my own family who can benefit the most from them.

    And as for the woman who requested only certain healthier materials as gifts at her baby shower, if the items are expensive, why couldn’t 2 or even 3 people go in together to purchase one healthy item for the woman? Wouldn’t this be a better use of their money than buying her something she feels is dangerous or unhealthy that she will want to throw away? I feel this would be a more responsible option, being a good steward of the money that you’ve been allotted.

  4. Sue August 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Just remember this: God calls all of us to something, right? If I know what is healthy to eat, and I allow myself to eat otherwise, for whatever reason, and I end up unhealthy and unable to do what God called me to do, how is that ok?

    Of course, some are unwell for various reasons, and we are surely not called to judge them, but I know when I am not able to do something God wants me to do, because I didn’t follow the health path that I know is right for me. There is no glory for God in that.

  5. Jayne August 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read in a long time.

    My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am supposed to take care of it. I am at a loss where Jesus said to eat poison? Reference anyone?

  6. Nicole July 24, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    Amen! Just what I needed to hear right now!!

    • Pamela August 7, 2013 at 6:15 am #

      I think Natural Living connects us to the divine. Appreciating and promoting nature as it is made available to us is a daily reminder of the blessings of the Earth. There will always be extremists; I don’t think you are a bad person if you don’t eat organic at every meal, or if you give your child a plastic toy, but if you do your best to protect nature, nature will do its very best to protect you. <3

  7. Sabrina July 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Well, I have only read through the first page of comments and I probably can say, “Me, too!” to a lot of them. I am guilty of spending way too much time and energy on “healthy living” – at some point I need to just get out there and live! Our story’s like a lot of those I’ve read – my daughter had a brain tumor and surgery got out not quite all of it. She was on a healthy, natural diet previous to this – primarily breastfed, actually, and my diet was good. One of the things I’ve tucked in my heart is another parent’s quote that “Food is not magic!” It didn’t prevent this. At the same time I want to be faithful in giving her a diet that I know gives her body the best chance it has at keeping those tumor cells from reproducing.

    We walk a line as a family – people often want to give her things I’m not too keen on, and sometimes I allow it and sometimes I gratefully refuse. Tact, humility and wisdom are things I’ve had to grow in. And dependence on God – if I pray for His help and then find myself depending on the things I control to keep her well, I am ignoring His sovereignty.

    On a less personal note, one of the things that I have thought about a lot is the working conditions of those who produce our foods. I try to buy organic/natural/etc when possible, cutting certain things when necessary, but is it fair for me to eat cheap food because those who are producing it are earning low incomes and working harder than most anyone I know personally are dealing with a work environment that subjects them to much higher levels of chemicals than any of us end consumers? I see being a socially responsible consumer as part of the responsibility we bear as members of this incredibly wealthy society we live in simply by virtue of our birth (And particularly as a Christian who claims to want to help the needy as we are commanded). I balance this with my family’s needs and our planned giving (not necessarily in that order!) so it may come out looking different probably each paycheck, but it is another consideration.

    Blessings, balance, wisdom and peace to you all as you figure out your own path with this issue – and every issue that may rear its head as you go.

  8. Devin July 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Wow….The Holy Spirit brought me to this article because I was being such a fool this past year or so. I felt my family couldn’t give more,too, because of our ‘need’ to buy the healthiest food…And I’ve been laid off for awhile. I’ve only been contemplating this for only a few days because I got into passive aggressive wrestle over cleaning products with my sister in law because the smell of her Lysol and bleach drove me into a rage. (we had to move in with my brother-in-law’s, yet I still didn’t realize organic didn’t have to be in the budget)But then I thought, Isn’t God the ultimately authority over my and my family’s health? I was and am still embarrassed that I wasn’t representing my Father really well, but I am so grateful he loves me enough to correct me.

    • Parikeltias July 27, 2013 at 6:52 am #

      God is, but he also wants us to align ourselves with his creation, not with man’s. If you get ill from Lysol or perfumes and whatnot, stay away, avoid them. No one should be around them let alone use them. We aren’t meant for them at all. The trees, the plants, they’re all suffering. Mass animal deaths. God’s warning us about what we’re doing. Petroleum, cigarettes, GMOs, oil, all are negatively impacting what God has given us. We as humans are meant to be good stewards of the Earth. As a Christian, we’e meant to get back to the land and start farming as God desires us to, and live beside nature and follow in his laws and commandments. The thing is, what’s happening is a downward spiral, and as we continue down this route we lose our morals and we forget the romantic and cultural values of God and this land. It’s all alignment, and God will not be there for those whom don’t follow in him and follow in his son’s footsteps.

  9. Andrea July 8, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I love your post and the expression of your heart. You spoke the truth gently and humbly. This is so much of what I have been thinking and I believe you are right on. I had to quit reading the comments because so many of them completely ignored your point and blatantly defended the idolatry of health. How many people believe that you have to be healthy or pain-free to give glory to God? We need to remember that the apostle Paul had a thorn in his side (surely some sort of malady or discomfort) for much of his ministry and he chose to trust God and believe that it was for his good and God’s glory. We are told to rejoice in suffering! How different this teaching is from those who would say we need to avoid pain at all costs. It’s a very sad deception to think that only truly healthy people can honor God with their lives. How many people believe that we have to eat certain foods, prepared in certain ways to glorify God? We need to remember that we are not to worry about these things. After all, God provided manna from heaven for his people (not exactly a balanced diet but it sustained them). I pray that there will be more voices like this standing up for the true “heart” of these matters. The Bible says that we are like a vapor and that we shouldn’t store up treasures here on earth (surely this includes our physical bodies). Stay strong in your convictions! This view, I think, will become more and more unpopular but we know that Christ was never popular and that God’s wisdom is foolishness to those who don’t believe.Thank you for the encouragement!

  10. RMstiegler June 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    This is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. It’s so refreshing to find an honest, objective perspective on this, and I’ve been thinking along similar lines for a while. From (foolishly) reading some of the previous comments, you’ve obviously struck a nerve with some people, but it makes perfect sense to me that caring for your body and your family can indeed be idolatrous if we presume to know better how to care for ourselves than God does. As much as we know about what’s healthy nowdays, God knows so much more. Not being humble enough or willing enough to think outside of our natural lifestyles can be imprisoning, when God wants us to serve him freely, willingly, and humbly.

  11. Lauren June 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Love this article, it was almost as if they were my own thoughts incarnate! Well done Lindsay!

    I view healthy living as a hobby, not really a “necessity,” as God is the only thing, or rather the only One we need!! Christ is the only one who can sustain us!! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Not “I can do all things through health which strengthens me.” But I am so, so guilty of believing the latter…

    The people in the Bible days were not without sickness, many suffered horrible diseases and many illnesses. Yet they ate ancient grain full of nutrients, lots of fish and food straight from the earth, and the air they breathed and soil they plowed was pure and clean. It didn’t matter. We all get sick. We all die. There will always be mal-nourishment and pathogens and disease because of the fall of man, because of sin. There will always be SOMETHING, until the kingdom comes in its fullness. Ancient civilizations used to drill holes in peoples skulls to try to cure headaches. They had a virgin diet, yet they still suffered the effects of the fall of man: sickness, pain and death.

    Yet, there is Good News: Jesus conquered death and we can have a new life in Him in which we will be sustained. We will be fulfilled if we drink from the living water, and we will be nourished by the bread of life! And better yet, we will never hunger nor thirst any more! How spoiled we are to have so many options and to bicker about such petty things, all for the “name of health”?! While people are starving in third world countries, and are longing just for bread! The wheat we speak so badly about is like gold to other countries. There is a bigger world out there, and some of us are not apart of it apparently, we are just nestled in our cozy little corners. God has called us to come out of our comfort zone and to spread the gospel of the kingdom.. not the gospel of health!

    We will not be free of the physical effects of sin until Jesus comes in his fullness. Meanwhile, I try to eat God’s food, but if one day my family is in need of food and God sends some “manna,” may I swallow my pride and not complain of what its made of, nor say, “Enough of this stuff! I need meat! And make sure its organic!!” God will sustain me through sickness, and I will be able to still do His will if I am ill, maybe even MORE so! If we are sick and shining a light, how much more will you be a witness for Christ! How much more we would be able to show them Jesus through our tribulations and trials! And be a LIVING testimony!

    Never will I think when I pass on to the next life, God would ever say, “Good job taking care of your physical body!!” But I KNOW he would say, “You were more concerned for others rather than yourself. You denied yourself, and took up your cross with me, even though you could barely walk or think straight. You trusted in me to nourish you, not the world. Well done my good and faithful servant.” And if you have a thorn, please take heed of His words, “My Grace is sufficient for you.”

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

    Too many of us are looking to feel good instead of looking for what really matters. Lets rejoice in our suffering!! It will produce perseverance, patience and longsuffering! (Romans 5:3)

    Much Love, and God Bless!! <3

    • Ladonna June 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      The food eaten in Bible days was NOT full of chemicals and pesticides. Yes, people were sick and died. They, like us, lived in a sin cursed world.

      The Bible clearly indicates that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and it even says we are not to deliberately harm them. I know it is in the context of immorality in 1 Corinthians, but it is still a principle that can be carried over into what we eat and drink.

      Eating healthy, chemical free food will not prevent us from all sickness, but it will give us more vitality to serve HIM.

      Eating unhealthy, chemically laden processed food will NOT keep us from heaven, but in fact, may get us there sooner than we expected.

      When the Scripture tells us to rejoice in suffering, in context, it means when we suffer for Christ’s sake. In other words, the suffering in which we rejoice is because we took a stand for Christ. We are to rejoice when we are persecuted because of our open stand for Christ. It does not mean that we should rejoice in sickness!

      The autoimmune disorders and illnesses in general are becoming more frequent than ever. For some of us, eating healthy, chemical free foods is not an idol, it is a necessity to be able to get out of bed in the morning and serve the LORD and our families.

      I spent 20 years in chronic, constant pain and for 10 of those I could not drive more than a few blocks and had to have someone take me places. The pain in my arms and shoulders got so bad that I was unable to hold my Bible and had to have it on pillows or sit at the table to read it. The pain gave me a terrible brain fog and I could not think straight.

      Eating healthy, unprocessed foods reduced my pain and gave me back clarity of mind. It took months of healing before I could drive long distances, but I am thankful to be driving again. I am thankful to hold my Bible in my hand and be able to sit on my sofa to read it each morning.

      Eating healthy for me is a choice of whether I am able to function or not. I eat healthy for God’s glory that I can have vitality to serve Him.

      The Scripture says whatever you eat and drink, do it for the glory of God.

      • Lauren June 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

        I agree completely, maybe I’ve said what I said the wrong way. Please let me clarify.

        The purpose of this article was that one shouldn’t obsess over organic vs non-organic. Yes, we live in a chemically overwhelmed world. But where does the organic obsession end? Chemicals are everywhere, and can someone still eat healthily without going organic? I believe so. In no way was I talking about natural vs unnatural. I strongly believe in only eating natural foods and whole foods and my response was not about that. It was about organic obsession. There are millions of chemicals in our bottled natural spring water and air, too. So do we run to rural America and seclude ourselves for the sake of health? Or should one go to the city, to preach the gospel? Self health or the Gospel, what’s more important?

        I do agree that health is important, and if you can afford organic, that’s awesome. But if you can’t, then what? I eat naturally but not organic, and I feel great. I think if we have the right beneficial flora in our bodies, it can withstand much, but that is besides the point. One day I hope all farming will be organic like it was back then. However, I am not convinced that pesticides will make me ill. Maybe someone else is? In Romans 14:23, Paul says, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” So, I have faith that my non-organic eating is harmless. If someone else believes differently, faithfully, I presume that is their conviction and their obedience to God. But I think our spirituality is more important than food. Organic food is very pricey, and I see it as wasteful, as I have more important things that I have to contribute to.

        I guess it all boils down to this: What would Jesus do? Jesus went on long fasts, not for health but for spirituality, and I’m sure was a little mal-nourished. I’m sure His body was in pain and His mental clarity was not up to par. God sustained Him. If He was here on Earth today as a man like He was back then, I don’t think we would find Him at health food stores, or preaching about GMOs or organic foods. On the contrary, I don’t think we’d find Him eating cupcakes regularly either. Much of what He did was for spiritual discipline, to get closer to God and for the Glory of God. The majority, if not all, of His time would be focused on saving people’s souls.

        Many people want to do research and know everything, but knowledge puffs up. There always seems to be something wrong with everything. Too much wheat is bad. Gluten is evil. Don’t eat this fat. Do eat that fat. Citrus causes migraines. And where does that end? Must we really know about everything, and all the bad things in the world? Or can we trust in God to give us wisdom about the things that matter to Him? And where is our heart? Luke 12:33 says, “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

        So, yes, I believe that giving money is more important than eating organic. Jesus says not to worry about what we will eat or drink (Luke 12:22). In any case, correct? Because life is more important than ourselves, and way more important than food, and this is not what its about. Jesus is what its about.

        There are people in Africa that are mal-nourished, and missionaries go over there to feed them; natural food, yet non-organic. Do the Africans care? Absolutely not! They see food that will provide nourishment, not chemicals. They have no knowledge of pesticides or GMOs or anything like that. They are innocent, and knowledge has not puffed them up (made them arrogant) nor made them second-guess God’s “manna” sent to them. They are overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude just to get some food instead of eating mud-cakes day after day! They are overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude when they hear the gospel. Eating those foods gives them strength, not sickness. We all could use a day in the life of them to curb our obsession, with food and ourselves.

        1 Corinthians 10:23-33 “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.”

        The complete context of that verse implies that whatever you eat, whatever you DO, glorify God. He is talking about food sacrificed to idols. If we know it was sacrificed to idols, we should glorify God by not eating it in order to be a witness to the unbelievers. But more importantly, we should focus on seeking good for our neighbor (charity) instead of ourselves. Show them the glory of God in our loving kindness, not arrogance. So that many will see our/His peace and love and will be intrigued by it.

        And yes we do need to rejoice in sickness. By that I mean praising God. Sometimes sickness is not caused by unhealthy food, but by all-natural, organic pathogens. And sometimes it is. Even so, does not Satan attack us in sickness as well? To prevent us from being filled with joy and other fruits of the Spirit, thus quenching the Spirit? Job had his whole family taken away as a test to see if he would still praise God.

        Auto-immune disorders and illnesses are very complicated and can be caused by many things, including food I agree. One would need a doctorate in order to properly understand the causes of diseases. People with auto-immune diseases and horrible illnesses can still honor, serve and praise God fully and whole-hearted-ly; regardless of their condition, just as well if not better than healthy people. My sister does. She is amazing. She knows that the Lord will take care of her, and that He is what will prolong her life.

        Unhealthy people can function too and serve God completely and fully. I see no difference between their service and a healthy person’s service.

        Sorry for the ramblings; this is my last post. I just want to close with this: Lets focus on the important thing- spreading the gospel. Lets stop researching everything on the internet and start living like Jesus. He will give us wisdom and strength. Where is our heart and mind and soul and strength? I hope it is in the Lord and not in organic food. <3

        • Prudence Dagg July 8, 2013 at 5:57 am #

          As I’ve been learning more about health and how things affect us, I’ve become more strongly convinced about prioritizing myself. I don’t have the physical pain, but I DO have a mentally handicapped sister who greatly improved on a diet…her moods and behavior problems made my family so miserable for YEARS. (To clarify, this wasn’t primarily about eating organically…but I am sure that others have had the same experience with various dietary changes.)

          So I think for some the more-organic lifestyle is a hobby, or an ideal…for others it truly is a necessity. Praise God that Ladonna found what she needed to ease her pain!

          The beautiful thing is that GOD will provide exactly what our needs are. If I need to completely eliminate processed food, God’s able to help me do that and provide the means to buy more expensive, garden, whatever. I shouldn’t look down on someone who is faring okay NOT doing that, nor should the other person look down on me for an “extravagant” lifestyle that may in fact be the bare minimum of what I need. :)

          Also–something I’ve wrestled with lately–I feel that sometimes people “feel judged” when judgment is not taking place, just because someone is passionate about things that can ease some of the suffering in the world. Can we also (not talking about you, Lauren) let each other be passionate about things we don’t fully agree on at this point?

          Thanks so much for you wonderful posts!

          • Ladonna July 8, 2013 at 6:04 am #

            Thank you, Prudence! I am thankful that we can be passionate about the LORD and every good gift He has given us, including food and other basics of life.

          • Lauren July 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

            Yes, very true. I truly believe God will provide for all areas of our life, and thank the Lord he has directed you, Ladonna, to what you need. The Lord has also directed me, as I have had horrible digestion problems in the past, and he revealed to me that milk was the culprit. What a blessing it was to finally feel normal! God will give us wisdom if we ask Him. I just don’t want people to suffer mentally from stressing about things in life that in all reality don’t matter that much. But the most important thing in life is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. If we just take our focus off ourselves and onto others, then we will finally see clearly. God Bless!

    • Andrea July 8, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      Lauren, I love your comment just as much as I loved the original post. Well said and right on! My thoughts exactly. I just told my husband the same thing about it being a hobby. I am in agreement with everything you said!

      • Lauren July 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

        Thanks Andrea! I wrote so much, but only because I thought so much about this subject. I have struggled with making healthy living a high priority in my life, but God has revealed to me that its not as important as we make it. “Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will destroy them both.” God Bless!!

  12. Denise May 24, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I just wanted to put in my opinion here. People should be allowed to believe how they want to believe, but not putting your health in high standard is not following God’s word. Eating naturally and making sure that for the sake of preserving what you were given and not desecrating your body by consuming a ton of chemicals is one thing that we have to do. I don’t think that God wants you to shorten your life that he gave you for the sake of money to give to the church, giving your service in volunteerism and time and effort should be enough and you can’t do that if you are unhealthy.

  13. Mama of 6 April 12, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Thank you for this article. I know you will get replies of people defending their “natural” lifestyle. But I agree with you that it is an idol in many (not all maybe) people’s lives. One of my daughters has been into this a bit and I have been telling her these same things. God is sovereign over all and we will die when he has appointed us to die whether we live natural or not!

    • Ladonna April 12, 2013 at 6:40 am #

      Yes, we will all die at our appointed time, but we don’t have to have a sickly, miserable existence until God calls us home.

      My daughter and I had SERIOUS health issues. I reached the point where I could no longer drive and was living on pain pills and still had constant pain. I was unable to serve God and going to church was mostly miserable.

      Since we corrected our diet and eat more foods like they did in Bible days, more fresh food and less processed and cut out the chemicals, my pain is gone and I can drive again.

      I am serving the LORD in ways now that were totally impossible for the ten years before 2009.

      For some, maybe it is an idol, but for many of us, it is a necessary way to live, so we can function. Does God receive glory from someone incapacitated due to a processed diet? Sadly, people will even say God ordained them to be sick!

      When diet affects our health and ability to serve God, and we can make changes to that diet to improve our health, we are responsible for our bad health and it is totally a lie to blame God for it.

      It is not easy to be so restricted in what I can eat, but no one criticizes a diabetic for their dietary restrictions, so why would I be criticized when my autoimmune disorder was just as serious and painful to me?

      Just to be clear. I attend church and pay my tithes and I have had open houses and served my entire church family my natural, healthy cooking. I will not serve people food I will not eat.

      It costs me to stand up for my eating principles, but I can do no other and be right with the LORD God.

      Serving the LORD through my healthy lifestyle,
      Ladonna

  14. Coreyanne Armstrong April 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Hi! Thanks for the great post – the direction of the comments surprised me so much that I felt compelled just to send you some encouragement and tell you I agree completely with all your thoughts and didn’t find them to be at all our of line. The hospitality thing as well – I am TEMPTED to not buy organic when feeding a crowd (we have 6 kids of our own and often have 6-10 more for lunch on Sundays) but have instead moved to looking for the best deals on big organic things at Costco. Also, some of my easier “make ahead” things like what I prefer to have ready for Sundays have less expensive products in them anyway. We’ll still have the organic ground turkey for a huge taco day with guests, but I buy the biggest pack of corn tortillas I can find – just like I keep around for my own family because, hey, I haven’t found organic corn tortillas anyway – a few organic veggies for the toppings, the rBGH-free cheese, homemade refried beans, and it ends up that the turkey was the only big pricetag, so I don’t feel badly about the “splurge.” Anyway, I didn’t mean to ramble – just wanted to tell you I enjoyed the post. :)

  15. Salem April 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    This is a really great post. I must say though, I have come to realize that I can contribute to food at gatherings without breaking the budget. Depending on what event it is and who will be there, I will typically just grab something SAD if those at the gathering are pretty much eating SAD. I haven’t seen anyone be offended by it since they stock their own pantries with such items. We typically have to bring a bit of our own food anyway. I have gotten irritated when they have really sugary goodies there because my son is addicted to the stuff but can’t handle it (he’s on the spectrum). I don’t think I’m being idolatrous to expect that others respect my sanity since food effects me & my family on a deeper level health wise than most people. However, it was a source of stress & it did come across like my granola ways were my religion (but mostly because I think some in my family tried to make it a battle as if to defend eating candy– sorry but it is as addictive as cocaine). Anyway, I found out that I could curb all of our sugar cravings with amino acids. (Check out “The Diet Cure” or “The Mood Cure”- can’t remember author at the moment & mom has the book.) Anyway, along with the amino acids, we try to have more natural sweet treats with us & this has made a HUGE difference in how my son acts when he sees the other stuff. If he doesn’t crave the sugar as much & knows he can have a healthier sweet treat, he is much nicer. I hope I would never make the comment that their stuff isn’t food. (I’ve probably said that about packaged stuff, but only with those I’m pretty sure aren’t offended of that opinion.) I try to applaud people for using any real ingredients. For example, my MIL made a birthday cake from a box, but used coconut oil, so (even though we didn’t eat it) I made sure she knew I thought that was groovy. Anyway, I think there are tactics we can use. If you’re going somewhere that others eat similar to you, then it is a worthy investment to make something healthy to share. Otherwise, I’d say just grab a bag of chips or a box of cookies & tote your own food separately. If people are offended that you’re putting your health as a priority, they might need to consider why they are so defensive of their unhealthy habits. If they think they are healthy but eat differently than you, then they will most likely understand the struggle of being choosy about foods & trying to be social. All in all, this is a very timely, appropriate and well-written post. Thank you!

  16. Aaron March 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    I just wanted to say, “Thank you.” Ignore the vitriol on here; that’s usually what happens when people find their gods threatened. Keep speaking the truth in love, and you’ll receive a “well done, good and faithful servant.” Great article.

  17. Dana March 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Remember the Bible was written during a time when chemicals weren’t added to food and the only food they had to put above The Lord was “real food.” Now, we HAVE to be cautious about food because food is full of drugs and chemicals. I’m very sensitive to chemicals and so is my son. For anyone to ever tell me I need to just eat what we want and not worry and trust in God is offensive. God gives me wisdom and if I’m not utilizing that wisdom, I’m not serving him.

    • Rebecca March 26, 2013 at 4:07 am #

      I completely agree!

    • Ladonna March 26, 2013 at 5:17 am #

      Amen! Therein is the real problem. We cannot ignore our health and all those chemicals. I spent many years very sick and I know that I cannot do that any more. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I must keep it well for His glory. I was unable to do much when I was ill and am so thankful to be strong to serve Him once I found out the food connection.

    • Salem April 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      I think this article was just meant to point out that we ought to consider others feelings. I don’t think it means you need to eat something offered to you if your body is sensitive to it. Just try not to make others feel bad about being where they are. I have learned from experience (some bad & some good) that people listen better is you’re not shoving stuff in their face. I’m not saying you do this. I don’t know you. But it sounds like you are very passionate about natural living, as I am– I am extremely passionate—, and you probably come across in a strong way to some people (as I do). There is an LDS scripture from Doctrine & Covenants (an excerpt from what we call the “Word of Wisdom”) that says: “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—” (D&C 89:4)
      Anyway, this is just to show you that I strongly believe that most people are very deceived about just how damaging & harmful modern foods are. I also believe that eating a modern diet can make living righteously a lot harder. This isn’t necessarily an excuse to not follow God’s commandments, but with the levels of mental illness being at all time highs it should be obvious that our modern lifestyles & toxic world are not a source of righteousness. Anyway, I want you to know that I totally understand how this article might make you a little frustrated. Most people, even in the crunchy world, do not understand how deeply damaging certain things in our modern world are to some sensitive souls. So, you are not wrong, but it is important that you relay your message of healthy living that will not push people away. Try a little different approach anytime you get backlash to your natural lifestyle and I think you’ll start to see others come around. I do totally agree with this article about the tithes thing, but, then again, I’ve never had to really choose between eating & tithing. I have neglected every other bill, including rent, to eat healthy, but I am learning new ways to both increase my income as well as make natural living affordable. God bless you and I hope this helps!

  18. Marilyn March 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    “Eating healthy will not guarantee my family a more peaceful longer life. It will not add a single day to my life than God has already determined. Only God knows the number of my days. (Psalms 139:16) He calls me to be faithful to care for my physical body, and this includes being wise in what I put into my body, knowing that it will affect my ability to serve the Lord; but when I raise that to a god-level, it is no longer a good thing. My security must only be found in Christ. He controls my family’s health and wellness.”

    This is not only uneducated thinking, this is dangerous thinking. Do you REALLY believe that you could go out and eat whatever you want and it won’t effect a “peaceful longer life” or take any days from your life just because it is in God’s hands?

    YOU control your family’s health and wellness by what you put into their bodies and into their environment. To suggest that regardless of what you do or expose yourself to that the outcome will be the same is ludicrous.

    As for the woman with the baby shower and the folks who don’t tithe…GOOD FOR THEM. They are taking care of the bodies that God gave them. Of that I am sure he is proud. Of this article I am sure he may be shaking his head……..

    • Erin March 22, 2013 at 5:51 am #

      Marilyn,

      While it is true that we can control (to an extent) what we put into our bodies, it is not true that we control our health. I know of many real-life examples where folks ate and did all of the “right” things and still suffered from poor health – - circumstances beyond their control. We are called to be good stewards of our bodies, these temples of the Holy Spirit, but nothing we do can add one more day to the number of days that God has ordained for us.

      Matthew 6 tells us to not worry about food and clothing and shelter. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV) Should we be good stewards of our bodies and lives? Yes. Paranoid, obsessive & neglectful of more important things? No.

      Perhaps you need to take another grace-filled look at Lindsay’s post. You clearly misunderstand the point she is making and are in danger of falling prey to the very line of thinking she is discouraging. Her thinking is “uneducated” you say? Hardly.

      And perhaps you should be a bit more cautious with your blanket endorsements of those who place personal preference over love for others, and those who neglect to tithe. I’m not certain that you can say what God would and would not be proud of.

      • Marilyn March 22, 2013 at 9:09 am #

        Keep living in your world Erin and I will live in mine. And please don’t bother quoting bible verses to me. That book is FILLED with atrocities committed in the name of God. I don’t believe a word of it. As easy as it may be for you to cherry pick a few verses here and there, it isn’t so easy for those of us who choose engage our minds to swallow.

        I am falling prey to nothing. Maybe you better recheck that which controls your life? The God I believe in wouldn’t hear of this foolishness and wouldn’t think for one second that someone who requests organic for their child or buys their families healthy food instead of tithing to be any less than those of you who are living out of your archaic book of contradictions.

    • Heather March 28, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      I feel like many who have responded to this post have misunderstood what I believe her intent was. She is meerly making a point that living naturally should not be put above God as an idol. I have been struggling with some health issues recently which have directed me towards eating organic pure whole foods, and natural personal care products, as well as making my own cleaning products. It’s been very much consuming of my mind and time. It’d been brought to my mind recently that God is my first love and that these things could become idols in my heart. It’s a fragile line. I trust God for healing and believe He’s pointed me in this direction, but He’s reminded me to now allow it to be an idol in my life. He is my Lord, and wants me to take care of my body. Now that I’m aware, I will continiue to pursue these things, but will be conscious about not allowing them to become idols. I

      • Heather March 28, 2013 at 8:13 am #

        I meant “not”, not “now”

    • Salem April 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      If you’re not a believer, you probably shouldn’t be condemning this article because it isn’t even in your realm. They weren’t saying that living naturally CAN’T help one live longer or better, just that it won’t GUARANTEE it. And they are right. You could eat super healthy & live crunchy & get struck by lightning when you’re 35. A natural lifestyle is not a guarantee. Even if you don’t believe in God, you ought to recognize that you are at least susceptible to the laws of nature & chance. There is a chance you could get killed by a car or an airplane– even if you never get in one. The people that think they can’t afford to tithe cause they have to live naturally are just not being resourceful. There are so many abundant, wild edible plants & animals that they could pay tithes & then go gather their food if they had to. By not having the faith to pay tithes, they are sending an energy of scarcity out & thereby blocking themselves from receiving more. The woman with the baby shower was obviously not running a grateful script and we know that when we’re not grateful we get less of those things we think we want. Demanding something is the worst way to get it, but allowing is much more generous. Why couldn’t she just accept whatever gifts and then use them to barter for the more natural ones she wanted? She’d be showing gratitude, resourcefulness & be way less likely to offend anyone. I realize you may still disagree with this article and that’s ok. It wasn’t intended for you if it offends you. It sure helped me correct a few of my issues.

  19. Regina March 10, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    I just found your blog & I just have to tell you how much I love it… particularly this post. Thank you for sharing & for inspiring the hearts of many other women, including myself!

  20. d. odorant macker March 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    So tithing is good, but I feel like nourishment is more important. Being a socially conscious buyer, I feel it best to buy local and support the community rather than big corporation$. HFCS and hydrogenated oils are poisons created by big Ag to lower costs. I want to celebrate God’s gifts and enjoy them.

    • Gaby March 4, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Honestly, I think what you say (d. odorant macker) is a false doctrine like the book of 1 Timothy speaks of. Nourishment above tithing is an abomination. Putting our comforts and pleasures above obeying God is hypocrisy and not in the bible.
      1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

      Sister in Christ, I might also recommend this podcast series by Andy Stanley on Balance in finances: http://yourmove.is/podcasts/ I found then very encouraging and convicting myself.

      Our main goal with our finances and resources is not to make life so great for ourselves but to honor God with how we use it. We need to GIVE first, SAVE second, and Live off the rest.

      I do try to feed my family many homemade and wholesome foods so they can be healthy and have energy. However, we don’t buy organic, grass fed, etc. versions of anything simply because it’s not in our budget. I’m still grateful to have enough food to feed my family. If we decided to disobey God and not tithe our 10%… and if we decided not to sponsor our little girl in India….then we certainly could choose to buy “nicer” foods but I think that is not a fruitful lifestyle.

      Again, organic foods are not bad, but putting them above tithing or becoming a “food snob” is exactly what Lindsay warns when she says natural living can become an “idol”. I pray we will all find these idols in our lives, be aware of them, and be willing to let God break us and mold us into more like him.

      What would Jesus do?

    • Heather March 28, 2013 at 8:19 am #

      The Bible instructs us to give our tithe joyfully to the storehouse (church). A tithe is 10% of the first fruits, meaning gross pay. Also it should be given to God right after you get paid -

    • Salem April 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      There are always ways to nourish naturally and still show gratitude. If you honestly find yourself thinking that you have to choose between both of them, say a sincere prayer and you’ll know what to do. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten the answer to just pay my tithing anyway and then unexpected blessings came that allowed me to be true to my lifestyle. Speaking of which, I need to go pay my tithing…

  21. Ladonna February 20, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I DO tithe first before I buy groceries. I feed my friends the same food I eat when they come to my house. However, I have health issues that mean I cannot compromise my diet.

    Before I discovered the eating plan that I am using now, I was too sick to serve the LORD. I was miserable and unable to even drive a car to take a meal to someone.

    While I do agree that anything can become an idol, I must say that there are situations like mine where eating right is a necessity for functioning. I was of little use to God or my family when I could not drive or do my household chores.

    I resisted the move to healthier eating for years because I was addicted to sugar and just didn’t want to do it, so I DO understand how hard it is to make the change. Sure some cannot afford to eat natural or healthy, but more just choose not to make the change out of preference, stubbornness or disobedience to the LORD.

    I still socialize with others who don’t eat my way, but I bring my own food. I don’t EXPECT others to provide for my dietary needs. I have learned how to order at certain restaurants so I can be with friends without compromising my own health.

    I don’t condemn others who cannot or choose not to eat like I eat, however, I cannot, even to get along eat like others eat. This is not idolatry, but self preservation.

    So, is it idolatry for a diabetic to stick to the diabetic diet, even when it hurts someone’s feelings for them not to eat their dessert? Of course not.

    It is neither idolatry for me to refuse dessert or other foods that make me sick, even though my sickness is not one so easily diagnosed or understood as diabetes.

    It was TOUGH for me to make the changes I needed to make to overcome my health issues. It meant I could no longer just casually eat out or eat at the homes of others without careful planning and preparation. It is a whole lot easier to just eat the way every one else eats, but then, I would go back to being sick again.

    Many times people who “can’t afford” to eat healthy can actually make healthier choices by substituting produce for a packaged product at the grocery store. I do all I can to help those who ask to make better choices for themselves and their family. We even have a food buying club to help us get better prices.

    Though I hear what you are saying about not letting our natural, healthy lifestyle become an idol, it is just as dangerous for the health and well being of some to be careful not to just accept all food as equal just to get along or not be offensive.

    • NicoleW February 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      I totally agree. My children (one whom is nursing) both have corn allergies. Almost everything anyone else serves is not okay with them – - even some plastic toys are made from corn-containing plastic and is causing reactions in my son. So while, yes, you need to tithe, etc. first, it isn’t always okay to compromise. I would have two very sick children if we did that. Ever.

      • Brittany @ The Pistachio Project March 3, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        Amen.
        I would even say that even if it’s not something as serious as allergies that it is ok to have your rules. I was one of those who sent out an email to family when we went plastic free. I sent it out mostly for their sake. I did not want them wasting their money on plastic toys that I will not allow my children to play with. I don’t go as far as not allowing my kids to play with plastic if they are at someone else’s house or church (although I’d love it if everyone was plastic free) but if it comes into my house (long term..not like someone bringing over a meal) then it goes by my rules. Letting people know my rules is my way of loving that person (and my kids) because I’d rather them be able to buy something that my kids can actually play with. I don’t compromise on things like that for the sake of someone’s feelings.

  22. Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Thank you! This post beautifully expresses my own feelings on the subject. I just couldn’t put them into words like this. You’ve nailed it with such clarity. Wonderful post!

  23. Victoria February 9, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Tithing can become an idol too. :)
    Have a read of this free online book. The author sent a copy of his book to Derek Prince, who subsequently changed his mind on the matter and ordered another 20-odd copies for his staff. You will find tremendous freedom when you embrace this truth.
    http://www.tithingdebate.com/EatingSacredCowsDownload.pdf.
    Blessings – Victoria

  24. Jackie February 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Well said! Couldn’t agree more. You’ve put words to my heart on this issue. Thank you! Just shared this post to my FB page and people are going crazy over it :)

  25. valerie lafleur February 8, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    it’s hard to not lose sight of your faith.. things in everyday modern life get so hectic that you forget what is important and you begin to worship your life rather than the glory of God. we’ve been discussing something similar on http://community.bibleseries.tv – a community for the new Bible series on History Channel – we’d love to hear some of your input.

  26. Becca February 8, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I agree that natural living may be more expensive (isn’t always though)…and we shouldn’t place that as a priority over serving the Lord…but honestly, if I ate super cheaply, forgoing organics and such, eating the processed cheaper stuff, I know my health would decrease. Not to mention that I have a serious allergy to hydrogenated oils…Also, people are typically sick more when they don’t eat as healthy. Albeit, organic and natural foods don’t guarentee good health, bad foods almost always can be sourced as the reason for bad health. God wanted Daniel to eat differently than the Babylonians for a reason…He wanted His people healthy(seriously, check out all the dietary laws!) I am pretty sure that loading up on GMO’s, processed foods, and “cheaper” items, is not necessarily glorifying to God. Many of those products are damaging to the earth! GMO soy destroys the soil it is in, causes cancer and degenerative diseases, systemic pesticides are killing bees worldwide, commercial farming is really changing localized ecosystems(God told us to have dominion over the earth…not destroy it)…even if you use that minimal excess money to “help” people, perhaps, taking money out of other areas is better. Most moms get manicures, pedicures, dye their hair, get new purses, an extra pair of shoes….drink soda…have chips around the house….all of those things can be cut out of your budget….and be healthier for it! I believe it is so very important to stay as healthy as possible for the purpose of ministry. I go on missions trips, serve very actively in my church, etc….but I know that the people who do NOT eat as healthy as I do, often cancel from church commitments, can’t participate in church events, aren’t very productive on missions trips because of illness, fatigue, etc. Having a yard sale and REALLY getting rid of extra “stuff” around the house, and giving all the extra money to a local ministry, foreign missionary, etc. would be a great way to give extra money back to the service of the Lord. I am just presenting other options…I do not think there is any right way to look at this particular issue…but personally, I do not think that I will give up eating my natural foods, but perhaps other frivolities and extra time for the Lord’s service…He has blessed me with good health, and I try to use that for Him…even by coaching others in healthier lifestyles!

    • Victoria February 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      That’s a great idea about having a yard sale and coming up with some giving money that way. I love what you’ve written here!

    • Joy February 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      well said. Living our lives squandering our health is also sinful. Gluttony is a sin, idolatry is a sin, and poor stewardship is a sin.

    • Ladonna February 20, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      I so agree, Becca.

  27. Monica February 8, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    Wow, Lindsay, what a thoughtful article. I will print this out and keep it with my other encouraging articles. It’s not so much about food but it’s about putting anything, absolutely anything before God. It blessed my life just reading it. It’s like idolatry and legalism at the same time. I have had to pray myself as I have come obsessive over having a clean home that I need to stop myself from cleaning. I prayed to the Lord and asked him to show me balance and how not to have cleaning my home my God by cleaning it 24/7 putting it above my family. Thank You!

  28. Katie February 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Sisters, please use scripture in context. I say this in love. 1 Corinthians 6:19 is far too commonly used to support ‘natural’ living in the Christian community. A careful reading of the verses that precede it gives us the proper interpretation of this verse – mainly, as it pertains to keeping the body pure from sexual immorality. Our body belongs to the Lord, and whatever food He has provided for it is sufficient, organic, fast food and otherwise.

    I agree with Lindsay that if we are witholding a tithe, inflating our food budget for ‘clean’ foods while eliminating any room to reach out to others for the furtherance the kingdom we have most certainly made our food an idol. Yes, it is wise to consume the most nutrititious food that we can, but not at the expense of ministering to the needs of others. We are to store up treasures in heaven, and pouring our resources into self-preservation is counterproductive to this end. If you have found a way to still consume organic food and give freely to those in need, praise Jesus. If instead you find yourself without anything leftover to share with others because of the insistence to only eat naturally & be healthy, prayerful consideration should be given as to how Jesus wants you to use the money He has given you.

    Remember, the same principle applies to how we spend our time. Are we so consumed with being healthy – exercising, eating right, meal planning, etc. – that we neglect daily time with Jesus, studying the Word and praying? Our health is so highly esteemed in this culture, it is easy to lose perspective on the things of God. Don’t get me wrong, being sick can hinder us as we are running our race, but we worship a mighty God, and He is strong when we are weak. Trust in His perfect will and do not be distracted by the things of this world. Seek first the kingdom of God.

    • Holly February 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      I agree wholeheartedly with Katie and Gaby! As Randy Alcorn says in his book, “The Treasure Principle”: “God doesn’t prosper us to raise our standard of living, He prospers us to raise our standard of giving.” I highly recommend the book to any professing Christian. It will REALLY make you think about how you spend your – I mean GOD’S – money!!! I actually blogged just yesterday about steps we’ve taken to cut our food budget in HALF so we can give more to some missionary friends we support, our Compassion International child, and our church. I buy organic when it fits into our budget, but we give to God first, so if there isn’t enough for Organic, there isn’t enough for organic. I still make smart choices and shop simpler so I can get organic eggs and milk most of the time, but what matters most is that I give to God and recognize that even what I have left over all belongs to HIM!
      http://oregon-mama.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-cut-your-food-budget-in-halfor.html?m=0

  29. Gaby February 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Keep in mind, that organic and “natural” foods are almost always more expensive. Many families can simply not afford these luxuries. I try to feed my family as healthy as I can with the money God’s given to us but we can’t afford organic stuff and that’s OK. I’m content. I try to think globally and think of Christ followers in poor villages somewhere. They’re going to eat the food they have. They aren’t going to analyze it so much. Whole eating is great if you can manage it- but I’m not quite convinced it’s a spiritual matter. Being a proverbs 31 woman and providing for your family and loving your family is important. But it’s a huge turn off to others when some seem superior because of lifestyle choices they make which have nothing to do with the gospel. Great topic.

  30. Lolli S February 7, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Honestly, I do not see where it has become at idol. Keeping your body healthy is important. Our body is our temple, and I believe that it is important to honor God with my body first, my home second, and out in the world third. Just a thought. Helping to remind others tactfully that their body is a temple isn’t a bad thing. It is also not a bad thing to buy organic food for yourself, even if you cannot tithe, honor God with your body :)
    I do believe however that it becomes a problem when people judge others because of what they eat and force their opinions on them when unwelcomed.

    • Rebecca February 7, 2013 at 7:26 am #

      well said Lolli! I agree!

    • Erin February 7, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      Just a thought… Do you think the Lord will bless you honoring your “temple” if you’re failing to honor Him with the firstfruits of your increase? Don’t neglect the tithe. During almost a year of unemployment and great financial difficulty we still gave 10% of our income back to the Lord and trusted that He would provide the food we needed even though we couldn’t afford to purchase our own groceries. And you know what? He always did provide. And it was often organic and/or natural food that didn’t cost us a penny!

    • Gaby February 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      If you can afford organic food you can afford to tithe. Andy Stanley had a neat quote on money management: Give, Save, Live. (Meaning Tithing, Saving, and then Spending). I love it. Give the first fruits of everything to God.

    • Hannah February 9, 2013 at 12:45 am #

      I’m sorry, but to spend money on anything, even your electric or rent bill and skip paying tithe is very dangerous. You are robbing God (Malachi 3:8-11). We must always tithe on any income we receive. God promises to take care of our needs (Matt 6) and I have seen this and also heard numerous stories of those who had to choose between loosing a home or car, not buying groceries, etc and paying tithe. They gave to God FIRST, even when they couldn’t afford it and one of the previous things had to go unpaid. Guess what, a neighbor would stop by and give them food, not knowing about the situation. An unexpected monetary blessing would come in the mail, etc. God says to prove (test) Him and see what He is capable of.

  31. Rebecca February 7, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    Thank you for sharing! I am a Christian woman who is also a “natural foodie”. I completely agree with most of the blog….I wrestle with many of the same issues. But often, it is my husband that is like “do we have to feed them(guests) organic food?”…but he is willing to spend top dollar on the latest board game…money is such a tricky issues, especially when it comes to food. I truly believe that God wants His people to be healthy, but we need to educate ourselves and make time and money available to that purpose…but I can see where that can take hold and control one’s life. Thank you for your thoughts!

  32. Stormie February 7, 2013 at 4:31 am #

    OUCH!! Sometimes the truth hurts and I’m feeling a little bit of a sting :( I will definitely be watching my choices a little closer in the future. It’s amazing to me how quickly we can fall off the path to God, but, thankfully, he always lets us back on it :)

  33. Lisanna February 7, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Thank you for posting! This is such a needed post! My family and I are currently serving on the mission field. We have to take horrid malaria drugs… often cannot get vegetables or protein… and certainly nothing like raw milk, whole wheat, etc, etc. While I DO believe that we need to be wise and take care of our bodies and our families in a responsible way, I also know that God has led us here right now and I can be joyfully unconcerned about these things. After all, God didn’t call us to live as long as possible, but to bear as much fruit as we can. Humanly speaking, living here is cutting years off our lives, but spiritually speaking, we are storing riches in Heaven where we will live eternally! I have had comments from people like “I couldn’t live over there because I need (such and such) diet”. Well…. what are our priorities?

    • Erin February 7, 2013 at 8:09 am #

      Thank you, Lisanna, for sharing your thoughts, & thank you to you & your family for making sacrifices on the mission field in order to see souls saved. Praise God!

      When my husband & I began eating a vegan diet about 8 years ago due to some pressing health concerns, we were often asked by other Christians, “What will you do on the mission field if all there is to eat consists of bugs & goat brains?!” This was a valid question, as we had (and still are) committed to go to any field that the Lord calls us to. My response? “Well, then that’s what we’ll eat!” Obedience to Christ & souls saved are much more important to me than making sure I eat a certain type of food. (Although I do pray that the Lord might seriously consider sending me to a country whose main diet staple is goat brains. :] ) I believe, in all situations, that God supernaturally protects His children. I’m trusting that He will do so no matter where I am or what I eat. A missionary to India that we once knew often prayed before eating a less-than-appealing dish offered by the native people, “Lord, kill the bacteria & add the vitamins!”

      Blessings on you & your family, Lisanna, as you serve Him.

    • Alicia March 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Excellent thoughts, Lisanna. Thank you.

  34. Holly February 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Lindsay, such a great post! Your heart is so sweet and I admire how you have raised these questions in such a God-focused, non-judgemental way. You are so right. We must be vigilant to guard our hearts against anything (bad or good!) that shifts our focus or desire from God unto itself. Whether it be natural living or even our family, God must be first in our hearts. Thank you.

  35. Sara February 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    I just came across this on Pinterest. Thank you for writing something so heartfelt. It is something I have been thinking on today…..and it has helped me. Thank you. I do believe we have been given this life, these beautiful bodies, our families, our path in life by God. I do believe in caring for our body and families the best we can. But how easily we can put these things before our care of Him. Thank you for reminding me. First love God, second love our neighbor. And I believe as you do, as we follow Him first all other things will come as we need them. Thank you for reminding me not to make an idol of my desire and attempt to live naturally, and for reminding me our love of others should not be damaged because of our desire to live naturally.

  36. Jen W February 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Thank you for this honest and prayerful post!!!

    To God be the Glory Honor and Praise in ALL THINGS!!!

  37. Debbie Vail February 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    God bless you! Amen. Your words are so true.

  38. Shandra Nelsen February 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    I love the aim of not judging. Not making people feel inadequate. I also love the idea of getting to the point in our society where junk food and food-like products that are highly processed are priced appropriately and not subsidized by our taxes. Simple, organic foods should be less expensive.

    Christ doesn’t want 10% or our money, he wants all of it. He doesn’t want x amount of it to go into the offering plate while the rest goes to the beast (one aspect of the beast or empire as understood in Romans and Revelation being huge corporations who produce food-like products and market them as healthy). Buying from a farmer directly helps the needy and oppressed. Those that are oppressed by our current food system.

    Books that helped me process: “Simpler Living, Compassionate Life” edited by Schut and “Animal Vegetable Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. Devoid of judgment, full of life! Thanks for the discussion everyone. It’s so nice to process these things with other believers.

  39. Jenn February 6, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Lindsay, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts again. I was recently convicted that perhaps I’ve made our eating real food and our food budget an idol–or at least given it way more attention than it deserves. Praying that the Lord will give me wisdom to see what I need to hold onto and what I need to let go of–and that He will restore my joy in cooking, as all this focus on being frugal can suck out the joy! Grateful for your blog, sister!

  40. Terri August 11, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Thank you so much. I too have been struggling with this issue. I do tend to get somewhat judgmental as times. I also have been guilty of hoarding for my family and sometimes just for me! The Lord really spoke to my heart reading your post. I am so grateful for your honesty.

  41. Joy August 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    I think you bring up some interesting points. Anything can become an idol in our lives, even service to others. The point of living a healthy life should always be so I am better equiped in my Christian walk. However, as has already been pointed out, if someone were to ask you what you wanted for your child or a meal, they want your genuine answer. If they cant afford it there are other solutions. No one need be offended. And as for fellowshipping. As a vegetarian I can personally say that there have been plenty of times I’ve dined with people who did not prepare a special meal for me and have been fine. No one is offended if I politely tell them I chose not to eat meat and will enjoy their delicious sides. It’s all about attitude. A Christian can certainly become holier than thou about their diet, but sharing scientifically supported health facts isn’t putting anyone down. If you know something you believe can help someone else, you share it. That is exactly what they are doing by sharing their health knowledge. Just present it in a loving way. If they take it YAY if not, that’s their decision.

    We need to be careful not to swing the other way. God calls us to leave an inheritance to our grandchildren, and if we don’t live healthy enough to be productive with the appointed days God has given us then this becomes hard. As you stated, be a good steward of your health. Don’t squander it though, just because you say “Well it doesn’t make a difference, God has already determined my days.” God determines our days because of our choices. We are forgiven when we sin but we still face the consequences, so equally we face the consequences of our life choices (diet and behavior.)

    Your statement I truly disagree with it this “Natural living can become an idol when we think that it can give us significance, security, safety and fulfillment.” I think this statement needs clarification of perspective. Natural living is an idol if we think it gives us significance. period. But we need to know living naturally wont keep bad things from coming. There may be an unexpected death. But just like obstaning from sexual sins should prevent sexual diseases, so obstaining from unhealthy eating should prevent us from facing problems associated with diet. As for fulfillment, we find fulfilment in God alone. Natural living shouldnt complete us. But it should leave us satisfied we are doing the best we can to live lives that will enable to serve God.

    • Shandra Nelsen February 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. Dialogue is so important. I’ve recently been asking the question, “what is tithing?” That question leads me to, “what is the church?” A building? A specific place that I go to once a week? The whole universal body of Christ? If it is more than the once building and small community that I meet at/with once a week, if it is the whole community of Christ, couldn’t being committed to buying natural products benefit that whole and be considered giving? If everyone bought organic and natural products they price would go down. Is this not a positive thing for the whole world? Lots of questions but your response to the post really helped me to process, so thanks!

  42. Samantha August 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    As a mother with a special needs child, who is on a special diet, it is very hard to accept invitations to other’s homes as I know this puts them out. We tend to stick with other families who eat the same way we do. When we invite people over, we let them know that we eat a special diet and what we are planning on fixing, also making sure they don’t have any special dietary needs. As I was raised this is common courtesy.

    As for a mom asking for organic and natural things for her baby, my only comment to this is that this woman was asked what she would like. She has made her wishes known. If you don’t want to purchase those things, but things of your choice then don’t be offended when she returns them. I had several boxes of Pampers and generic diapers purchased for my third child and had to return them because he was allergic. I had people who were offended because I didn’t keep them. I also had to put him in clothes that were 100% natural because of being allergic.

    This doesn’t mean the mother shouldn’t be grateful, but it also doesn’t mean the giver of the gift needs to be insensitive or rude. I believe the fault lies in the pride and rudeness of both sides, not just the people who go all natural.

    Over time we have switched to being all natural. Sometimes this isn’t cheap, but it means we deal with less. This is a choice we have made as a family. There are consequences to every decision we make.

    Also we need to consider about our personal relationship with God. I am expecting baby number 5 and am considering a home birth. This will not be my first home birth, but I am older than the last time. I am hearing about it constantly from other people about how I’m denying the modern sciences that God has given us, that I am selfish and unappreciative of what God has given me. My comment about that is this, who are they to judge me and my relationship with God. How can they know I’m unappreciative of what God has given me?

    I guess it comes down to this. We each need to evaluate for ourselves where our standing is with God. We need to make sure we are meeting His standards, not those dictated to us by another human, who is as guilty of sin as we are.

  43. Sheril C August 1, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    while you have some points worth pondering, I would respectfully suggest that their are some points that might look like the other side of the coin which are also worth considering at the same time. I raised a special needs child. One of the reasons I never did the gfcf diet or something similar for him, which I now realize would have most likely been very beneficial to him was this type of opposition that I knew I would face from brothers and sisters in Christ and difficulty over how to handle dinner invitations and potlucks. We did try some dietary interventions that proved valuable for the short time we were able to do them 100%, but ended up being unable to find a good middle ground with others in order to be able to handle those situations. I look back with guilt that I never found the right way to deal with this and do the best thing for my son.

    I, myself, have numerous health issues now. And I can easily identify that I know more people with diabetes, cancer and ‘rare’ autoimmune’ disorders than ever before. If my experience is anything like representative of the general population these problems are increasing by exponential factors.

    I may not have all the answers, but I can easily identify many possible examples where our society has gone off the rails and supports and advocates a ‘normal’ lifestyle that is wasteful of our health, our money, our time and our farmland. I know that God is in favor of men being good stewards, so all this wastefulness definitely in conflict with my need to follow Him and serve Him.

    So I will continue to advocate for a wiser and more Godly lifestyle and try to move more and more in that direction for my family at every opportunity. I pray I will endeavor to help others graciously and never belittle or hurt them along the way, but also that I will be good for them physically with the meals I share with people and the cooking I can teach.

    And I am more grateful than I can express that so many Christians are coming to see these same points and make fellowship easier and more do-able for those who want to eat without poisoning their bodies without man-made chemicals that God never designed for the nourishment of our bodies or our farmland.

    • Alicia March 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

      Excellent comments.

  44. Brittany July 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. I have been wrestling in my heart about this very topic. On one hand I feel that in general our society has turned from God and has taken our general morals, standards and attitudes along with it. I believe our food is being modified and warped away from the way God intended it. I have recently entered this natural life prayerfully and slowly and I have sinful tendencies of superiority so I am asking God to lead the way in this venture and I believe he truly has been. It’s nice to see a confessed Christian sister on this path and thanks for the reminder.

  45. Vanessa June 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    This article is a blessing! Thank you for posting this! God bless you tremendously!

  46. Farrah May 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Thank you so much. Was in prayer about this some time back when I was getting all excited about my organic/natural food choices and healthy living when I very clearly heard a ‘voice’ in my head say… “Distraction”. You are so right on! Thank you for bringing more light to this issue. It is so easy to get caught up in it all. Thank you for your humility. I am a big fan of your blog!!!

  47. Gaby April 25, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    I REALLY loved this article! I think you are brave for sharing this and were right on!! I’ll admit that I even felt a little condemned by a comment of yours on your facebook page once about the difference between rapadura and organic sugar. I felt like since I “only” had organic sugar (which was a stretch to fit in our budget anyways) that it wasn’t as *good*. I’m sure that wasn’t your intention- but I think we all fall into thinking that our way of doing things is best and we do make it an idol. Thank you for these reminders.
    Definitely tithe FIRST and see what changes to your living you can make NEXT. Great words! Great scriptures too!

  48. Nicole April 25, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Thank you for your honesty; you hit the nail on the head! I am new to eating “real food” the traditional way… It is my personality to obsess about things until I can get a good understanding of it. I have been convicted about this idol of mine, the past couple days and when I read this post I was greatly convicted and at the same time greatly encouraged.

    We all need to be careful because our hearts are prone to wander… I heard someone say the other day,”our hearts are little idol factories” LOL! It is so true!

    I am trying to do and learn “one thing at time”.

  49. S. Schulz April 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Hi–I am new to your site , I was interested in the homemade deoderant… :)
    I felt led to comment on this post.
    I think it is wonderful that the Holy Spirit has prompted you to examine your heart and motives…that is wonderful.
    It really comes down to being led by the Spirit and preferring others in love.
    There is no condemnation in Christ….no matter what a person decides to do as long as they are being led by the Spirit.
    I also want to say that as far as tithing is concerned ….tithing can also become an idol….it is a very subtle idol….for SELF loves to glory in knowing that IT GIVES TO THE LORD while others don’t.
    For our family, the tithe is no longer an amount…..like 10%…..the tithe is now become our STATE OF BEING…..everything we are and have belongs to Him…..and for me to write those words is due to the inworking of His grace to come INTO this understanding and all glory belongs to Him alone.
    The peace of Christ to you as you continue seeking Him.

  50. Becky April 20, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    I see that there are already a lot of comments both supporting and disagreeing with this post, but I would like to add my voice as well:

    Amen, Sister!

    The only thing that should ever come between us and any relationship with anybody (believer or not) should be the gospel; that Christ died for us & will one day redeem this fallen creation. Let us, by all means, be good stewards with what we eat, but as Paul says in Romans, “…It is not what we put into our mouths that defiles them, but what comes out…” (I paraphrased there), meaning that our words are more important than what we eat.

    Thank you for posting such a challenging post.

    Becky

  51. TheCrunchyGemini March 22, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    This is very interesting. I didn’t have time to read the whole thing or the comments but my initial gut reaction is that I would think that by putting the focus on health we are honoring our bodies that God gave us :) With all the cancer and autism and mental health disorders and other various health problems in my genetic line – and seeing my daughter now also being sensitive and having eczema – I know that my priority in life is to protect her at any cost.

  52. Kim March 13, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    My husband has recently challenged my with the thought that the extreme focus on food, regardless of what your reason is for it… is a form of gluttony. “I should only eat what is best for me”….. I need to ponder this more, but I do think its worth considering. At some point we need to see food – all the food God provides – as Manna.. and know that He is Good and He is Faithful… even if what He provides is not all natural, whole grain, organic, grain fed, fat free, sugar free, chemical free, home grown, locally grown, etc…. There are SO MANY people in the world who have no way of knowing WHEN they will get their next meal… or WHAT it will be. Here in America (and so many other developed countries) we forget that in our trek to the Whole Foods or even the Farmer’s Market. At what point is our focus on food GLUTTONY???

    • Kami March 13, 2012 at 4:59 am #

      You said it yourself the food that HE provides. My avoiding GMOs (man made in a lab) does not make me a glutton.

      • Kami March 13, 2012 at 5:03 am #

        Also chemically sprayed imported foods KILL the workers, make them very very sick, ruin their homelands etc. I see it as another way to serve God by helping people. You may think I am crazy, but buying local organic foods can save lives and improve lives.

        • Bea April 7, 2012 at 10:12 am #

          I absolutely see where you are coming from Kami. I think it is VERY important that we do our best to provide the best for our families. With knowledge comes responsibility! I think what this post and Kim was trying to say is, there are times when we let our concerns over what is healthy and good outshine Gods ability to lead and protect. I believe whole heartedly and am very passionate about whole living. I want to buy only organic, local foods. There was a point though that I had to realize that our budget just wont allow it. I had to let go and realize that I can only do what I can do, the rest is up to God. He calls us to be responsible and we need to meet that calling to the best of our ability. I have to believe that God has my back though in all areas, especially those where I fall short. I guess what I am trying to say is, I don’t think anyone was saying organic whole living is a bad thing. It is a very very good thing! The question we all have to ask ourselves is at what point does our knowledge usurp our faith in Gods ability to provide our ultimate security. I don’t think this post was about compromising our health so as not to offend anyone so much as saying God calls us to be generous and gracious. If you go to a friends home and she has slaved over a wonderful meal but that meal doesn’t meet all of your standards, can you be gracious and eat some of it anyway, knowing that God will bless you for it in the end?

          • Kami April 8, 2012 at 8:10 am #

            Bea I would never turn down anyone’s meal! Certainly not for pesticides and what not-although my daughter has food allergies so I would have to turn it down for those.

            I think it’s very extreme for someone to refuse food from someone else based on that, but I’m sure it does happen.

            I am lucky enough that our organic local grown food is WAY cheaper than the grocers so it’s not a struggle for our low income family to eat this way. The meat is a few dollars a pound cheaper and it’s grassfed/pastured. We use benefits for produce at the farm and we get double produce b/c we are on benefits. I think a lot of people underestimate farmer’s markets and local farms and assume it is more costly or too much of a hassle. Winter is hard for us b/c the markets are not open and that is when our budget is super tight.

            We still choose to shop where GMO foods are not sold though, I will eat anything at anyone elses home but I can’t bring myself to support these biochemist and companies who think they are God and are controlling our food system. I feel very passionately against these companies. I won’t feed into evil if I can help it and Monsanto is evil for sure.

    • Yvonne March 13, 2012 at 6:34 am #

      To borrow from a book mentioned by the write of this article, written by Tim Keller (this is his quote) – “Anger is the result of love. It is energy for defense of something you love when it is threatened. If you don’t love something at all, you are not angry when it is threatened. If you love something a little, you get a little angry when it is threatened. If something you love is an ‘ultimate concern,’ if it is something that gives you meaning in life, then when it is threatened you will get uncontrollably angry. When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, is is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshiping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, ‘What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?’ It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger.”

      When ever I question the deep rooted attachment to natural living, etc, inevitably I see angry venting on me or others who may have reason to pause in the process. I question my own self over this same issue. But when I see an angry response, it makes me question what is being defended (again, in my own heart). I simply feel that the author hit a chord with this article – and Natural Living CAN Become an Idol. We all must look into our own hearts on this issue… and considering what our idols are (and I speak of myself here) is essential as we walk in relationship with God.

    • Lisa Lee April 5, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      It’s not gluttony until we begin to “worship” the creation rather than the Creator.

      • Yvonne April 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

        From another site
        “In his Summa Theologica (Part 2-2, Question 148, Article 4), St. Thomas Aquinas reiterated the list of five ways to commit gluttony:

        Laute – eating food that is too luxurious, exotic, or costly
        Nimis – eating food that is excessive in quantity
        Studiose – eating food that is too daintily or elaborately prepared
        Praepropere – eating too soon, or at an inappropriate time
        Ardenter – eating too eagerly.

        Aquinas notes that the first three ways are related to the nature of the food itself, while the last two have to do with the time or manner in which it is consumed”

  53. Kellie March 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Thank you so much for this. I always think I am trying to help others with my knowledge of what is good and what is bad to eat. This made me realize I may be making my best friend feel inadequate and I am sure to watch how I word my food advice( if giving any) from now on.

  54. Amy LaRue February 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    GREAT MESSAGE!!

  55. Lana February 8, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Wow – Thanks so much for your transparency here. Just yesterday, I felt the Lord caution me to not make natural eating an idol…and here I find a wealth of encouragement and scripture on that very topic. All I googled was “safety of Borax!” What I ended up finding, though, was a Christian sister who has been and, I believe, will be used of the Lord to sharpen & encourage me.

  56. Kristel February 6, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    So well said! Thank you for your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading. He always knows just the thing to say to touch our hearts! blessings!

  57. Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) January 23, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    This is a very sensitive issue and one which I am struggling with at the moment. I am on a very strict diet to try and restore my health (which has been holding me back for over a decade). It has put a strain on certain relationships, particularly with friends who love to cook for guests. I have been trying to steer social gatherings to a focus other than food, but this seems to cause contention, particularly when we are so accustomed to gathering around a meal. On the one hand I am desperate to get my health back (not least so that I can be of more service to the kingdom), but on the other hand I am aware of the scripture that says to “eat whatever is set before you”. I am rather torn on the matter.

  58. Jason January 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    I am torn on some of your comments. Alot of what you say is true but I think some is stereo typing. There is a tremendous push for organic’s and quite frankly I am in the midst of that push. When you talk about families affording the food or sacrificing quality for tithe I don’t agree! Daniel did not sacrifice for the king he ate what came from the ground not what the king provided, I am a firm believer in levitical law right now and lev. 19 talks about not cross breeding of crops but this is what the food industry has done to us! So I say be Daniel and stand up to the food industry king.
    Some of what you are talking about is a “popular thing to do” but for the mom that asked for all organic’s, would your statement be different if that mom had lost her first child to cancer and was possibly linked to genetically modified foods? Or is she still ruining relationships because others don’t see the importance? I think that senerio is more about respecting each other than relationships.

    • John January 19, 2012 at 5:04 am #

      Jason, 1 Timothy 4:3-5 states otherwise and this topic does go along with what this verse says. The Bible does not forbid us from eating any food. You say you are a firm believer in the levitical law but the levitical law was specifically for the Jew (not gentile) and it was for that time. James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” If we live by the law then we will be judged by the law.

      There is nothing wrong with providing whats best for your family but when it takes over and becomes your #1 focus and turns into extremism that is the sin. I have seen this movement become a crutch that keeps people from ministering to families. Our focus as Christians needs to be spreading the gospel of Christ but how many of us would rather rant on about “healthy living”, Gluten free diets, don’t eat ___ because it is not the food God intended us to eat, etc… all of that is the wood, hay and stubble that will be burned up and will be time wasted for eternity.

    • Sweetpeas January 19, 2012 at 5:39 am #

      @ Jason, the problem I see with comparing the topic of this post to Daniel, is that Daniel was asking for cheaper “peasant” food. I don’t think there is anything wrong (at least in American culture, I can’t speak to foreign cultures) with saying “no thank you, I’d prefer a glass of water” if someone offers you a soda. Or politely turning down an offer of dessert. However, if someone invites me to their house for a meal and apologetically says “we’re having lasagna, but it’s not organic”, I’m not going to say “oh, then I can’t eat your food”,

    • kami January 28, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      I am too very concerned about these man made crossbred foods. Not even in a Biblical sense per se but in the sense that these foods are horrifying man made concoctions. They do cause adverse effects. What about these mutant cross bred animals they are creating like the GMO salmon?

      Sure there is no food requirement for the Christian but IMO these are not foods! I would rather eat what God has actually provided than take the devils seed.

      That being said I do not spend more money on organic than I would conventional I actually spend less going to local farms and getting amazing prices. We are VERY low income so I have to make all of our meals from scratch. I always welcome company and I feed them to the best of my ability.

      Organic food in no way comes before God. We can not tithe on our income but our food budget is very modest as well. We don’t have cell phones or any extras either. God knows where we are at and once my husband finishes school and gets a better job we will tithe. Right now we give what we can. I have gotten money for birthdays and holidays that I have given right to God instead of getting myself something. This is good enough for now b/c well it’s just the way it is.

      I tried to shop at a grocery store a couple months ago and the meat was $2 more a pound than what we pay at the farm and the produce was WAY over budget for us. So I’m not convinced it’s an organic food dilemma.

      That being said we get cotton clothes but not organic and my child does play with mostly wooden toys but that is because we enjoy quality over quantity. Have you seen how much plastic toys cost anyway? A Thomas train set is like $40…

      I do agree it could become idol like and obsessive to live this lifestyle though, just like anything else can be.

  59. Deborah Rowden January 14, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    Lindsay, you insight for a young woman is amazing! I am 59 years old and living clean for quite sometime. I have felt heard the whispers of the Spirit telling me to be careful in this for quite sometime as well. When I read this, His voice was loud and clear!

    Thank you so very much for your honesty and faith! People are and always will be more important to our Father than our ideas of what’s right or good. He alone is only right and good and anything we elevate above that is an idol.

    Again, thank you! One more advancement in freedom for me! :o ) I am free to love!

  60. Sarah D November 14, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Thank you so much for this Lindsay. i have read it a bit later than you posted but timely enough, for me. You are a succcessful blogger because of your honesty, especially in regards to yourself! And it has convicted me. We all need to hear this and be reminded to think about WHY we are trying to have a healthy lifestyle- as you say, is it a God-orientated motivation? I particularly appreciated your comment, “are we sacrificing fellowship for food”? You have blessed my thinkings on this today and are preparing my heart for the Christmas season with family.

  61. Rachel November 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Wow, thank you sooo much for this post! I can really relate with what you said. may God bless you for your open and willing heart.

    In Christ alone,

    Rachel

  62. Rhonda August 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I just found your blog and I love it. This entry topic is one I’ve thought about alot. While I enjoy feeding my family healthy food, I’ve come to accept that we do the best we can and God can make whatever they eat nourishment to their bodies. He is in control. We ask Him to bless the food and He does.
    Thank you for your reminder.

    • Jamie October 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      I too have been thinking about this topic lately as our church is going through Tim Keller’s Gospel in Life series. The section on idols brought to light many things in my life that I was putting before God – health/nutrition being one of them. In the section on idols it talked about how we as humans are “idol factories” and I’ve realized how true it is. We take the good things in life and go too far with them only to hurt our relationship with God instead of glorify him with what we do. It is a struggle that I am trying to resolve and hope to not hurt those around me with my words/decisions, but to bring glory to God in all that I do.

  63. Sarah August 27, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    This is a fantastic article. I think many mothers in our generation are confronted with this issue and it can be such a hot button one. Thanks so much for this reminder to be full of grace and love toward one another!

  64. Nicole August 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Thank you for this! I have also felt the same way. I wish my family could do more natural things and eat more organic and all natural foods but sometimes it’s just too expensive.
    I have friends who I think go overboard with the natural living stuff sometimes and comments that they make to me make me feel like I am “less than” because we don’t do it too. It especially bothers me when people get then “holier than thou” attitude.
    Just as food can become an idol by overeating and eating too much junk it can also become an idol by obssessing over organic, all-natural, ect..

  65. Roselette August 9, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    Thanks, for the courage to write this. It has been a good reminder for me. So true, theres always some god that wants to take us from the true God.

    • Danielle August 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

      Well said, what a blessing to read right now :)

  66. Sharon July 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    It can be just as God-glofiying to have a coke as it is not to have a coke. It all goes back to your heart motive.

    I am just stepping in to natural living, for I have dear friends who are very passionate about it. I know they mean well, and quite honestly I have taken several tidbits from them and have applied them. I am so grateful for their advice and such, but what hurts my heart is when some people elevate this and make me feel less spiritual or less caring about my body because I take tylenol or something. I am not going to “grit my teeth and play haas” just to prove a point or delighting in self-abasement just to make me feel better. What matters is relationships. Thank you for pointing that out.

    God gives us all things, but it truly comes down to what is BEST for my family and me. In the end, what matters most is not what I eat or drink (that doesn’t mean that I can go out and eat whatever I want or drink what I want to the serious detriment of my body or others); what matters most is JESUS! Am I JUST as passionate about Christ and living out the living word by a quiet life (Gal 5) than I am about natural living? Only God can judge somebody’s heart. I agree with Paul in Colossians where this “don’t eat, don’t touch” mentality is nothing but asceticism. Natural living or anything can be an idol and take us captive (Colossians 2). We have to strive to “set our minds on things above” (Col 3). As Edwards put it, “Our hearts are idol making factories.” If it isn’t natural living, it will be something else.

    I appreciate your balance in this article. In the end, all that will matter will be Christ. We will be judged according to the deeds done in our bodies, and then and only then, will we see truly, in the light of His grace, see what really mattered!

    Post more articles like this! We need balance!!!

    In Christ!!!!

  67. Kara July 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! It has challenged me and encouraged me!

  68. Kristi June 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    Thank you…..

  69. Kythka June 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    This is a beautiful, tenderly written post. Thank you, I feel blessed by your words.

  70. Heather June 18, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    Thank you for your site. I just found it yesterday and then I read this post. I have had this revelation many times in the last 12 years. My parents died within 9 months of each other and after that, I changed all of my thinking concerning health and food and living. I got completely consumed with it. My husband said I wasn’t even the same person (which I thought was a good thing!). Anyways…at different times, I have had to back off and just be. Just be happy with what I have….just be ok with what I can do health wise…just be doing what God wants me to do. I add a few things every once in a while. And I had to remember exactly what you said: God knows when I’m going to go to heaven. I can do what I can do and that’s it.I am still showing people healthier ways to live, even if I don’t obsess over it. :)
    Thanks!!

  71. kellie June 14, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    thank you for this post! refreshing and so good to remember.

    after reading through the comments i think it is important to remember that the verse’s about our body being a temple, are in the context of dealing with sexual immorality. so often people throw these verse’s out to make the point that being “healthy” is biblical. i am not saying that it isn’t, just that we should be careful to use the Bible in context. i think Jesus is way more concerned about our heart (spiritually speaking) than our health. as the author said, we cannot add a day to our lives. though we have to be wise and take care of these bodies our Father has given us, we have a deeper responsibility to take care of our heart.

    • Emily June 14, 2011 at 6:37 am #

      If that were so, Kellie, you’d find Jesus in the New Testament simply forgiving sins. You are way off the mark. And this post (above) is all about TITHING and not at all natural living. Did you see the clever way it was masked?

      • kellie June 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

        i think this post is about both, but i could be wrong. natural living can become an idol, when it becomes a god to you. if it causes you not to tithe then natural living is the idol. i agree that Jesus did not simply forgive sins, and this is not what i am talking about. but, i see several places where He makes heart much more important than the physical body. i am all about natural living… but i often have to check my heart and make sure the Jesus has first place… and not just in the area of natural living, in all areas.

        • kellie June 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

          What Defiles a Person

          10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. [3] And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? [4] 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

          • kellie June 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

            sorry that was Matthew 15: 10-20

  72. ali June 10, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    WOW!!! Thank you SO much for posting this!! I can get really excited…a bit too excited with new things. This has given me the perfect perspective on how I should go about being sensitive to my friends as I go on this journey for myself. THANK YOU!!! XoXo

  73. Cindy May 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    I totally agree that we should not idolize our ideals nor judge others. But I do think it is important to share knowledge with others, whether they accept it or not. After all, this is what we do when we praise God to others, right? One way to praise God is to share the ways in which we can take better care of our bodies and planet, which are both creations of God. Usually, knowledge is more valuable and more lasting than monetary gifts.

    I believe we have a sacred obligation to share our ideals and truths, so that we can all evolve into a higher state of spirituality, thus better serving God. These can always be shared through a loving, honest, nonjudgemental attitude.

    • Lindsay May 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Agreed…in the case when it is asked for. I am passionate about educating people but it is always better received when they pursue me for input, suggestions, or recommendations for health. When I force it upon them, they are more likely not to hear it at all and cause division in the relationship. This is just not worth it.

  74. Lisa @ Bright Mama May 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    I do find it is just so easy to get wrapped up in. Sometimes I have to step back and remember why I am even chasing after these things!

  75. Amanda S April 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. I have often struggled with this as many of my friends I feel go beyond striving to be healthy & responsible to letting it become their idol. It’s just encouraging to hear someone say “yes, it can be an idol.” because many people idolize it, yet deny it and are judgemental of me.

  76. Tina March 21, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I stumbled on your blog while googling soaked flour bagels. I really appreciate this post you made, it is so true that we can make anything an idol in our life. I have been motivated for the past year or so to eat food that is “clean” and other than venision, try not to consume any meat. My motivation for this has been that I believe cancer is caused by the unhealthy, processed foods that we consume on a regular basis in the US. However, it has become an idol for me, because I have become so consumed with cancer prevention and constantly wasting time searching the net for more info that I have spent less and less time with my Heavenly Father, whose hands my life is in anyways! So, thank you again for this post, I really appreciated it!

    Tina

  77. Julie March 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Thank you for this. God, at times, has clever ways of removing idols–I used cloth diapers with my first two kids. I started using them with my third, but then the city where we live (in Mexico) stopped sending us water. We had enough to skimpingly do everything but laundry. No more cloth diapers!

  78. Sarah Mendenhall February 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I absolutely agree with this post. Very well written and convicting! My family eats mostly raw, vegan, gluten free, and organic. It can be difficult when going out to eat or over to someones house. Because I don’t have any health issues I am gracious and I try not to overdo it if I’m eating something we wouldn’t serve at home. I do think that sharing knowledge about health in a gracious way is something that God would want us to do. I do have a question though, I am not a mom yet but I have wondered how to handle wedding or baby showers. I know that the gracious thing to do would probably be just having the shower and be grateful for the gifts received. I just cringe at the thought of dressing my baby in polyester or giving them plastic toys but at the same time my heart would break if I made someone feel bad if they gave those things as gifts. I know health is holistic, it’s not just one thing, but at the same time if God has shown us truth and given us knowledge about a certain topic, shouldn’t we honor that?

    • Emily February 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

      When dealing with others, it is of utmost importance to be aware of God’s calling on your heart — is this person receptive? is this the right time? do I have the right words to speak? is God really calling me to have a conversation with this person about this issue?

      Everyone’s journey and struggles are unique, because God brings things into our lives for special reasons. Not everyone is going to get the same lessons at the same time. Just because I learned something new doesn’t mean it’s now my job to correct those around me who haven’t “got there” yet. It may be that God will never bring that particular test upon that family. I don’t need to play ‘Holy Spirit.’ Isn’t God mighty to save? Doth not the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avail much?

      At the same time, however, there is a season for everything. If God truly is calling upon my heart to speak out, I will likely feel a serious hesitance to do the work and a genuine inadequacy for the task, meaning I will lean on him and trust him to do the work in me and through me. And I will leave the consequences up to God.

    • Sweetpeas February 20, 2011 at 7:46 am #

      I dealt with this to some extent when I was pregnant with my youngest. Not only did I want to avoid most of the “mainstream baby stuff”, but I had kept the things I did need/use from my older children so I truly didn’t NEED anything for the baby, and the things on my “wish list” were things like cloth diapers that are only available online. When some women from church wanted to give me a shower, I was honest with them, that I greatly appreciated the thought, but really didn’t need anything, and we live in a small house so space is an issue as well. They decided to throw me a “book shower” and asked each person to bring a favorite children’s book. It worked out GREAT! I love books!

      My other plan, if this hadn’t worked out & I *had* received a bunch of things I couldn’t use, was to be appreciative, and then take most of them to a local women’s shelter. I didn’t anticipate getting much as far as clothes, because we didn’t know the gender & in my experience, people who know (& tell) baby’s gender get lots of clothes at baby showers, those of us who don’t, get very few, there’s not that much neutral baby clothes out there anymore, and it’s mostly practical sleepers & stuff, not cute (but often impractical) outfits, so people are less likely to buy them. That said, I’ve known people who, when they received clothes that weren’t their style as baby gifts, kept track of who gave it to them, put each outfit on the baby once & took a picture & sent that to the giver, then felt free to pass the clothes on to the consignment shop.

      • Encourager April 5, 2011 at 8:02 am #

        What a great idea to take a picture of the baby in the outfit and send it to the giver!
        In this economy, one must be careful not to ‘lecture’ others regarding what the lecturer thinks is best. We do not know the struggles someone else is going through. We do not know if they are on the brink of losing their home, their job, sickness in the family with no health care insurance. It is time to pray before we speak, friends! Sometimes things come out of my mouth and my brain is going ‘where did THAT come from?!’ only to have the person I am talking to say it was exactly what they needed to hear or that it was a confirmation of something God had been saying to them. I would rather have that happen then wish I had bit my tongue because I hurt, wounded or burdened someone.

    • Rachel March 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      I have struggled with your topic as well, and have been advised (by the Holy Spirit) that keeping my mouth shut is more often a blessing than is saying something. People each have to be convicted of things in their own time, and we can answer questions if people ask, but it’s not our job to be the Holy Spirit for them (or the ‘enlightener’). As for gifts, graciously accept them, and if they are totally unusable (in your opinion), pass them on to someone who would be grateful for them instead. These days very few baby things are polyester (most are 100% cotton), and baby/wedding registries help you know what to ask for and what to give. Realize the giving is more important than the gift, and that it’s not the end of the world to chew on a plastic toy. I have 3 little kids, and we strive to eat and live healthy, but we also have to just live. This post explains is perfectly about the balance.

  79. Emily January 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    First I want to say that even though I allow myself to be a little more picky at home and with what I feed my family, I take great pains to be gracious towards others. So this post certainly resounded, on one level, with an Amen from me! (“Finally!!! Someone who sees this topic like I do!”)

    Yet, it seemed like the topic of the post was not actually about idols in natural living but, rather, how much a person should sacrifice — and of what items — in order to tithe.

    We are instructed that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, and that we should glorify God in our bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:20) Considering the diet God commanded in Eden (he is the Creator after all) and the exceptions after the Flood (provided the circumstances), we are shown that God certainly does care about what we eat. Therefore, we don’t believe that it is glorifying to God to provide poorly for your family (1 Timothy 5:8) — nutrition included.

    A proper diet does more for a person’s spirituality than you may be taking into consideration. Take the valiant story of Daniel, for example, when he was offered the King’s food, which was a rich diet and offered to idols, he asked (with VERY GOOD MANNERS, I might add) that a trial might be done in which he could prove that a simple (and by even organic standards INEXPENSIVE) vegetarian diet would be healthier for him and his companions. (Daniel 1:5-17) This was done for ten days and he was fatter and fairer in flesh than all other youth compared. A healthy body provides the platform for a clear mind, which will enhance a person’s ability to hear the voice of God speaking to their conscience, and is, even by itself, a much better glory to God than a sluggish, smelly, ill-performing one. Daniel became the wisest man in the kingdom, and it was because he followed his Maker’s guidelines in everything he did. Because of his faithfulness, God gave him wisdom and understanding in all visions and dreams.

    Talk to any serious athlete today, and you will discover that our common diets are not at all meant for health, nor will they impart such to you.

    Now, I am not at all challenging the issue of tithing or how your family eats. Those are your decisions to make between you and your spouse and your Creator. And I certainly don’t want to encourage those folks who are so rude about how they live above everyone else (just think of them as the fearful ones mentioned in Romans 14 and be kind, okay).

    However, this living machinery we are given *must* be taken care of if it is to function. And “organically grown” does not simply mean no chemical fertilizers. It also means more nutrition, because the soil is allowed to operate the way God intended it to.

    So I challenge you to not give up on eating healthy, but to find ways of making your healthy eating more simple and affordable (for instance, buying in bulk and actually eating things like lentils). And to cut out things from your lifestyle that are true idols — things that take your time and attention in amounts greater than God’s work as a wife and mother.

    For me, an obvious idol might be… Facebook.

    • Cindy May 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      Beautifully put, Emily. I’d like to add that I tend to think it is equally important to God to take care of our planet (his beautiful creation) as it is to take care of our bodies (more of his creation) and each other (yet even more creation). Supporting businesses that keep the health of our planet in mind, even if it means we have to do without some luxuries, seems important to me.

      And yes, facebook has totally been my idol lately. Yikes!

  80. Heather Hammond January 28, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Thank you for posting this. A friend sent me the link and it is timely for me to read this. Thank you. Guilty, guilty, guilty. I needed that kick in the butt right now. Thanks for being courageous to write such an honest and preachy post – it spoke to me.

  81. Joanne January 1, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Reading this was such a relief for me. Over the past year I’ve dealt with an abnormal thyroid condition and the difficulty of becoming pregnant. Once I learned about more about this condition I became increasingly concerned with my diet and the ingredients in just about everything I ate. I sought out alternatives, obsessively, to avoid repercussions to my daily bread, but have lived with such fear and no joy that I’ve completely missed the bottom line that you wrote about. Thank you for putting the challenge out there. I am so thankful to have read it January 1, 2011 just as my husband (and I) have set out to follow a new financial budget this year. The timing couldn’t be any better. Thank you for pointing me to my true Daily Bread once again.

  82. Renee Stam December 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Excellent post! We need to balance things, their is nothing wrong to eat right and exercise but their is a problem when we make them a god or that we are addicted to it!!!!

  83. Nisha December 13, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks so much for sharing and being transparent! I too was reminded of how we should be busy advancing the Kingdom of God and pleasing Him in our everyday lives, and that these things don’t matter if we are not doing it with a heart that desires to do the will of God.

  84. Lonna November 27, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    I was convicted of something like this about two years ago. I was talking with a friend about all of my new found information regarding Monsanto’s GMO seeds and passionately telling of my disgust and what I new my mission was going to be – to fight for labeling and to ban the sale of these fruits and vegetables.

    She listened, then simply said, “What if you put this passion into the expansion God’s Kingdom? What more could you accomplish with this energy?”

    Well, she was right. I think that it is easy to get caught up (well I know this for sure). While, I am still passionate about the same topics, I have slowed down a little and have tried to gain more perspective and balance. Why is it so easy to get passionate about the things of the world, when our Lord God is so much more worthy of our thoughts, praise, time, efforts, money, etc.?

    As for healty eating, organic foods and the like – I have too struggled with what to do at restaurants, homes, or anywhere where I am 100% sure that the meat is full of hormones and the vegetables full of pesticides and probably GMO. I almost started having something just short of panic because it felt like I was eating poison.

    So, I have prayed about it over and over and believe to have an answer. I pray over my food everytime I eat and bless it to our bodies. We mostly eat at home or 80% of the time. At home, I make sure that at least 90% of it is organic, free of hormones, not processed, etc. I figure if 80% of the time we are eating whole healthy foods and the other 20% try to make good decisions about the non-organic foods – we should be ok and I can take my mind off of the poison in the food.

    My biggest issue in life is balance and I strive for it everyday – God help me.

    Thank you for your blog. :)

    • Emily January 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

      @Lonna: Amen, sister! I’ve heard of this as being called, “Chasing Satan’s rabbits,” or, in other words, getting really off-track on things that God has not placed in our path. Good thoughts!

  85. Carrie November 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I appreciate your insight – I too have struggled with this at times. I would like to encourage you all though, that there have also been times when my pursuit of natural living has better enabled me to serve God. For instance, I have found that using natural beauty care options (going shampoo/conditioner and antiperspirant-free and using natural options like baking soda and vinegar in their place) can leave you with more time and money available. I have also found that at times, this type of lifestyle can lead to further open doors for sharing of God’s care for His people and His commands for us to care for our bodies and the environment. Sometimes the trappings of modern culture can just as likely lead to idols as a natural lifestyle. We need to be careful to be always putting God at the forefront regardless of our other lifestyle choices. Thanks for this great reminder.

  86. Kate {The Parchment Girl} November 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing what God placed on your heart. This is something I battle, especially because I have a serious chronic illness and must eat the healthiest food if I am to ever get better and function on a daily basis. I’m also aware that even if I get to the point where I have no symptoms, this disease will always be at my back, and I will have to be extremely vigilant about my diet and lifestyle if I am to prevent a relapse. On the one hand, I want to be healthy and whole physically so that I can serve the body of Christ as I so want to–and am unable to do now in my sickness. On the other hand, I know that my situation, and someday my history with a chronic illness will make fighting this battle against health idolatry extremely difficult at times. Putting my tithe first is the easy part. The hard part will be handling situations where I am faced with a decision to eat the bad food . . . or avoid it and risk hurting someone. Now I don’t have the luxury of choosing. Food affects me in some scary ways and I have to avoid sugar, white flour, etc. at all costs . . . but when I’m better, that will be something I’ll have to make judgement calls on.

    When it comes to doing unto others what you would have them do unto you, your story of the mother who only wanted organic products given to her at the baby shower resonated with me. If I ever had kids, while I probably wouldn’t voice my desire for organic products, I would probably be thinking it in my heart and cringing at every plastic toy passed my way. I know that’s not right either, and I know that I idolize the health of my family–especially because my health is so poor. It’s so hard to recognize the line where the good thing becomes bad.

    • Lothelena November 11, 2011 at 1:24 am #

      Don’t feel obliged to eat the food at someone else’s house if it is health related. I have many food allergies and recently traveled to speak at a church, staying with strangers. I talked to them beforehand and acknowledged how frustrating it is for someone who values and enjoys giving hospitality but I have to travel with my own food, my own pan and utensils. I think it would make someone feel a lot worse knowing that eating their food had made me so sick I couldn’t fulfill my speaking engagement. In your case, people who care about you aren’t going to mind cooking a special dish for you or allowing you to bring your own food, just be honest about it.

  87. Mitzi Fountain November 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    I thought I was the only one who suspected this was happening in the body of Christ. Thank you for writing what I have been feeling. Wonderfully said! Just discovered your website too! I will be visiting often.

  88. Christy C. November 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    So SPOT ON! Thank you for sharing!

  89. Kelly November 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Lindsay, Thank you so much for these thoughts. It has really encouraged me tonight and pushed me to make God my #1 priority. I have put so much time and effort into my natural lifestyle and not nearly as much in my love and relationship with Christ – especially lately. I am so grateful for the reminder of things being idols. Thank you.

  90. Linda November 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Amen to your post!! This exact subject has been on my mind in recent months. You did an excellent job expressing your thoughts on this subject and have challenged me to think and pray on it more. While I don’t go too far with natural living most of the time, it can easily become an idol and an obsession.

    God bless you
    Linda

  91. Heather Johnson November 1, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    I’ve thought about this before. Thanks for posting. It stinks that idols are usually good things elevated instead of actual bad things. Pray we all find the balance. . . .

  92. Gina October 29, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    I have just learned an incredible amount about food and have realized what I thought was healthy really wasn’t. I have been so filled with excitement about all of this new information that it has consumed all of my free time in the past week. This post was right on time for me tonight, as God always is! Thank you for this gentle reminder!

  93. Debrah Boho October 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Solid information here. Still looking for more knowledge on natural health and would be thankful any advice. Thanks!

  94. Leah October 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder. Food is something I struggle with a lot-even God wants me to lighten up.

  95. Rachel October 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Thank you so much for this very truthful, heartfelt and eye-opening post. It’s always good to remember what matters most in life!!!

  96. Jessie V. October 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    This was amazing. Thank you!!!!!

  97. TK October 4, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    I am guilty of this. Thank you for your post. Just last night at my parents house I got very uptight about my mom giving our two year old desert after they had been so gracious to have us over in the first place, and I have been rather pretentious to others about the “whole” foods. Not a charitable heart and mind, huh? Thank you very much for the wake up call.

  98. sheena September 29, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    thanks so much for your thoughts on this…I enjoyed reading them so much.

    so happy to have found your blog:)

  99. Nonie September 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    I have been thinking about this very subject yesterday and today, and just now stumbled across your blog. Meant to be, I’m sure. Thank you for your encouragement. I will visit your site again. :)

  100. Anie September 27, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Hi, you don’t know me, but I found your blog while searching for a recipe… and then I saw this post.. which I read… and I wanted to say I really really appreciate it!
    Being a Christian mom who seeks the natural lifestyle, I have started to feel that I too had taken it too far. Though I hadn’t gone completely extreme, I was over-exceeding our budget, complaining silently about food others provided, and judging others for not seeking the same natural way.
    Recently, I was just starting to think along the same lines as what you expressed in your post. At one point I was reading in Isaiah 2 and found this scripture: (Isaiah 2:8) ” Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made”
    I started realizing how so much of my focus in life had been on things other than God… especially food and health and I was missing the whole point of life. Yes, our health is important, but it isn’t the most important. I started asking myself, do I spend this much time thinking and talking with my God, my creator?? I say I worship God, but do I really?
    I have now truly started seeking to put the Lord first in my life, and by doing so I have realized that I feel so much happier and healthier than I would have been if health was my entire focus. I do still continue to try and eat as healthy as possible, but I don’t think about it as much and I am trying to keep it simple and in balance and not let myself get extreme. I have seen that while physical health can help improve clarity of mind & body, I think most of it is actually attributed to spiritual health.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your post!

  101. Macrina September 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    I just read this post and I totally agree. I do try to eat healthy and organic foods but when we visit, I eat whatever they give me or have without making comments. I think what comes out of our mouths is more important then what goes in it. Not everyone eats like that and can afford to, so I don’t talk about it with people. I keep what I do to myself unless the conversations comes up with other people. I think as Christians, our love for others and concern should trump anything else. Remembering that some people in the world are starving and would love to have anything to eat whether it is organic or not, is important. I’m of the Orthodox Christian Faith, the oldest Christian religion in the world, and we fast Wednesdays and Fridays and on certain days throughout the year eating just one and half meals a day and abstaining from meat and wine on those days. We do this not because it is healthy for us, though it is, but because it purifies are souls. We have saints and monks that we commemorate in our church that have lived all their lives on bread and water alone, and have lived a life in prayer, and have had very long lives because it is Christ who sustains us. I enjoy reading your blog by the way. It is nice to see Christians living out their faith.

    In Christ,
    Macrina

  102. Janine September 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Lindsay, I rarely see blog posts, but this caught my attention and found its way to me. I am thankful for the Lord’s work in your heart! Praise Jesus. One more verse that has also shaped my understanding about food and its place of importance in the Christians’ life has been
    1 Timothy 4: 1-5. I will share it here. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by DEVOTING THEMSELVES TO DECEITFUL SPIRITS AND TEACHINGS OF DEMONS, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and REQUIRE ABSTINENCE FROM FOODS THAT GOD CREATED TO BE RECEIVED WITH THANKSGIVING BY THOSE WHO BELIEVE AND KNOW THE TRUTH. For EVERYTHING CREATED BY GOD IS GOOD, AND NOTHING IS TO BE REJECTED IF IT IS RECEIVED WITH THANKSGIVING, FOR IT IS MADE HOLY BY THE WORD OF GOD AND PRAYER.” love to you Lindsay

  103. Becky September 1, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    I’m so glad I read this. I am just now starting to get serious about eating healthy for me and my family and sharing my findings with friends and family. When I get into something I REALLY get into something so I’m glad to hear from someone who has found a balance :) .

  104. Kay August 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Anything can become an idol (no matter how good it seems) if it takes precedence over the Lord in your daily life.

  105. Autumn August 3, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Thank you so much for this post! This is something that has also been a weight on my heart as well.

  106. Richard August 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Well stated! It is unfortunate that we live in a society in which we are forced to make these choices between “bad and good health” – between God’s created design and mankind’s corrupted by-products.

    We have found in our family that it is a delicate matter, among Christians in particular, as to how one eats or adheres to a healthy lifestyle. It seems daily we have conversations with fellow Christians explaining our rationale for healthy living (stewardship) and our continual prayer is that we always maintain an heart of love, seasoned with grace and understanding of each persons individual circumstances and experiences. We definitely don’t ever want our healthy passions to be offensive to the church body, however, I do believe there is a tremendous ministry opportunity here.

    Rich Smith
    http://www.onebodyforchrist.com

  107. Kelly August 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Right on! Praise God for your heart in reminding us to not make healthy living an idol. Have you read IDOLS OF THE HEART by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It’s an excellent read, which I highly recommend. Thank you so much for this great article. I plan to post to my FB page! God bless you!

  108. Carolyn July 24, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    You have validated some thoughts that I have had, but I have never seen anyone articulate it as you have. Thank you! I have health issues which have lead me to a more natural wholefood livestyle, but I have concluded that the Lord is the one who holds life and death. We can even be gulity of embracing this way of living out of fear. There is a dear saint which passed away a few weeks ago who truly loved the Lord and sought wholeheartedly to serve Him and love Him with all her heary mind soul and strength. When she became ill many we surprised because she was so health conscience and so forth. I think that perpahs God was ready to have her with Him. There are not guarantees for a long life here on this earth, we are only passing through. Bless you.

  109. Kari July 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    WOW!!! Timely!!
    Thanks!!

  110. Nichole July 9, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    I found your link while reading at heavenly homemakers site and was so intriqued by it that I began to read some old posts. So many similarities in my own home life. I have to say that I have been challenged from this article. The Lord has been dealing with my heart in some of the same ways and yet here is an article written to give me so much more clarity. I am sure that I have alienated people because of the way that I live. God help me. I want to serve and reach out and help, but sometimes it may be seen in a different way. I have 7 children and we often eat at church and I will make them skip the sweets and only drink water, etc… So, I am battling thru what I really should and shouldn’t do with them in regard to eating out publicly with others. It is probably true that many are afraid to have us over to eat. Well, one of those being the fact that we are nine bellies to fill, but the other is simply not knowing what to feed us. I am sure that I have made many feel inadaquate. I am a stay at home, homeschooling, grinding your own wheat, organic eating, natural living mom. So many of our church goers are not. I don’t feel like any of this is bad in and of itself. I strongly desire to fulfill these roles in the quest for giving my family the best that I can in God’s strength, but how do I relate better with those who do not fall into these roles? So, thank you for great insight and for your quest to ultimately obey and glorify the Father.

  111. Lois July 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Wow! Excellent post! Good points to think about. Thank-you for sharing this!

  112. Lydia Krupinski June 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Thank you for this post – what a challenge and warning that we are always to guard our hearts.

    =)

  113. Kirsten June 27, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Gosh, I would say that healthy and natural living can (and does, too often) become an idol.

    My other thought is that I’m sure people in third world countries would love to be having this conversation. I realize that while I strive to feed my family healthy and sustaining foods I try to keep in mind our boundless blessings – and to keep it in perspective. I am able to feed my family three meals a day plus snacks. How many African mother’s can say that?

    And, honestly, if I would have received an invite to the baby shower in question I would have responded with a “no, thanks”.

  114. Becky June 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    I can’t afford organic food. I hate having to buy non-organic pasteurized milk and non-organic caged eggs. My husband offered to let me buy these things organic for myself and for our son. I prayed to Jesus’s mother to provide these things for us (what mother doesn’t want the best for her children? The mother of our Lord always provides me with what I need). A lady at Church suddenly offered me raw goat milk and eggs for free from her little farm. She told me once the weather heated up the animals would stop producing. It has been unbearably hot here and yet her goats and chickens are producing more then ever. She says our prayers are blessing her farm but I think God is rewarding her generosity. She gives eggs and milk to as many families as she can and she refuses any form of payment.

    I enjoyed this article. God is the best nourishment for our body and souls. Our relationship with Him is more important than anything else. We may spend our whole life healthy and well nourished but what does it matter if we have neglected our relationship with Our Lord.

  115. Carrie June 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    My neighbor buys all conventional produce and another neighbor buys all organic. (We buy a some of both because I do have fear for the effect of it on my body when I bless my food). There has been a falling out between the two of them when the organic mother approached the conventional mother explaining that she didn’t want her daughter eating ‘that’ food. I tell my daughter that relationships are more important than the food we eat.

    But I have to say that although I understand your point, the fact that you used the example of others in your church sort of takes away the importance of you explaining that these are things that God is working on in *your* heart. It sounds judging to me.

    If you agree that God speaks to each of us on a personal level than you may not know what the couple who wanted to begin tithing again was praying about or had been praying about. And I have not always been called to give 10%. Personally, I think if people stick to the 10% they more often than not are doing it out of habit or for the idea that they will ‘receive more’ like some of the previous commentors implied.

    Also, agriculture didn’t exist in the Bible like it does today. We have a completely different world that we live in and there is not instruction manual. Only individual prayer. And the Lord has different things for each of us because He is creative and imaginative.

    I do agree that all things have the potential to become an idol, even our husbands. I would just be careful to not use others’ relationships with the Lord or their faults in your writings to speak about being godly because it lessens the value of what you are sharing.

  116. Rachel June 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Such a very convicting topic. It has certainly made me think. I can be very critical of others who do not think the way I do. Also, I have probably been worrying about how to pay for it and have my husband like it too much instead of resting in the Lord. We have a special needs son who has some food allergies and sensitivities. I feel that if I could cook the perfect way then a lot of his problems would go away. So I worry away instead of remembering to seek God’s kingdom first and then resting in the promist that “all these other things shall be added”. Thanks again for sharing your heart.

  117. Rachel May 29, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    I find this so facinating and refreshing! While I don’t believe there is anything wrong with going “all natural”(it definitely has it’s benefits!), I know too many people who take it to such an extreme! I know someone whose husband works long hours and they don’t have any money because she spends it all on organic health foods(many of which are not the greatest anyway). That is not a good way for her to spend her husbands hard earned money! Also, her husband and children really dislike the food they eat in their house. She even tries to dictate what her husband eats outside of the home!
    My oldest sister(married, with kids)is also very into this as well. She does not take it to such an extreme, in fact, she is very sensible about it, however, she tends to be very judgmental of those who are not into it as she is. She is very critical of those who don’t agree with her, which is just as wrong.
    As yet, I am not into it myself, but then, I am still a highschool student (homeschooled) living with my family, so, I eat and cook what my mom buys! Who knows what my opinion will be on the subject by the time I have my own home and family!
    So much, we tend to take a good thing to an extreme until it is no longer good, instead it can be blocking out our need for God in our lives.
    Anyway, thanks for some interesting thoughts! I just found your blog today and have not had time to see much else, but I do enjoy your good and balanced views. =]

  118. mandy May 26, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    I love this post, and I posted about something very similar a couple of weeks ago. How we can fill our “holes” with false idols such as alcohol,drugs,sex or even putting ourselves on a higher plain for our life choices. It is all about how we choose to pave over these holes in healthier non-judgemental ways that matter. That may be by cultivating new relationships, taking care of current ones, and remaining in the present…for it is the ultimate gift. The here and NOW.

    Love Love Love this blog…so great!
    Blessings,
    Mandy

  119. MaryAnne May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    A friend on Facebook linked this post-I found it thought provoking and refreshing. Another Facebook friend had once posted after lunching at a friends that she and her son had been offered a sandwich on white bread and cheetos-and she couldn’t believe people actually ate that way. Ouch. Eating organic and playing with only wooden toys is not holiness, and the lack of grace toward each other over lifestyle neither glorifies God or helps our sisters as wives and moms.

    • Danielle May 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

      Amen! My goodness… one lunch… how horrifying.

      What IF God didn’t give us grace? What IF God didn’t fee like dying on the cross for us? God gave us grace, so we should extend it likewise, w/o judgment.

  120. Angela May 13, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    This is a truly thought provoking blog. I believe we need to consider all things that we do of great importance and service onto God. Food is a vital part of our lives. I do not put down people who don’t eat healthily, but in the parable three servants were given talents and the lazy one did not do anything with his one talent. When the master came back he was angry with him and that servant would not be trusted with anything else. A lot of people must be encouraged to be more zealous for the Lord. If we do it in love they wont be offended.
    I have a very frugal husband who does not appreciate organic food yet I managed to save up to feed the chidlren best quality products when possible. I believe I affect others around me and it could be done! Balance is the key whatever we do. My family is much healthier and I have the energy to look after all the chidlren that the Lord has given us with more energy and desire. We also show hospitality often and it is possible to budget for better more natural products.
    People in general, especially Christians should be encouraged to do their best for the Lord. Yes, He did number our days – we can be sick and ineffective or give Him much more. I possibly could not give much when I was animic (constantly tired). The Lord works with the people individually, so time given they will realise what they are doing wrong. We all need a bit more GRACE!

  121. Rebecca May 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    A friend just told me about your blog today and I found this article very timely.
    Thank you.

  122. Kate May 10, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Another great chapter to look at is Acts 17.

  123. Jess May 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Thanks so much, this is something God has been drawing my heart to as well over the last while.

  124. rachel crosse March 6, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    I totally agree with what you posted. I have seen this carried out very subtly and also to the utmost extremes(natural living,eating healthy etc.). Idolatry is far more sneakier in America than just statues and foriegn “gods”. Keep up the good work. Just thought I would share something that I learned about people who are causght up in idolatry…. They are really good at making excuses. And an excuse is a well planned lie. So i guess they are caught up in lying too. Well, my advice to those is…. Repent. That is what I did when I was caught up in all kinds of idolatry and my life has been better for it. God bless.

  125. Trina March 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    I had a natural living friend chastise me recently for allowing my inlaws (who care for my children while I work) to feed my children McDonalds once a week. That didn’t feel good.

    I have to admit I stopped reading your blog over a year ago because it did make me feel very inadequate and less of a woman. I have to work outside the home therefore do not have the time SAHMs do to devote to such a lifestyle. However, I know there are areas I could improve in.

    What lead me back here today was a comment posted on post you did almost 2 years ago regarding taking less showers. Somehow I had subscribed to the comments via email and was notified of a new one today.

    I’m glad I ran into this post. It is most true that anything can become an idol and far too many Christians don’t realize it.

    • Lindsay March 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

      Trina, thank you for sharing! I apologize that you felt inadequate reading my blog. That was never my intention. My heart has always been to encourage and edify and serve woman of all seasons of life. I appreciate that you found these lessons that God has been working in my heart beneficial to you. I cannot do it all either…and that is what God has really been working lately through a season of insomnia. May God richly bless you!

  126. Jean February 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Lindsay, I would have loved the encouragement provided in this wonderful post when I was a “younger” earth mama 30 years ago. Then again, home computers weren’t typically found in households either :-)

    Your writing is beautifully inspired and uplifting. Your message is timely and excellent.

  127. Cherie February 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Excellent points, I’ve certainly been guilty of making the you can’t have it because “it’s not food” comment. It’s always a struggle silently watching your children eat things you know are detrimental to their health at gatherings, thanks for the reminder about why this is so important.
    And on the point about providing your guests, etc. with the same quality food you would want. I think it helps to think of them as extended family whom we want the best for. I try to come up with food that will make them happy and that I feel is also healthy. Sometimes a challenge, and if I can’t do it, I go with what will make them happy. For instance if you’re making dinner for someone you want then to be able to enjoy it, if that can happen in a healthy way great, but if not, be sure to put their desires into the decision.

  128. Michelle February 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Thank you Lindsey! Your post was very convicting and encouraging for me. I appreciate you honesty and boldness to speak up for the sake of the gospel!

    It has been a struggle for me to want to “hoard” all the good food for my husband and I, but not spend our budget on others. I love hospitality and it has certainly declined on my desirable list since introducing organics to our family. This is definitely something I need to work on!

  129. rachel garlinghouse February 6, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Excellent post! I am a person with type I diabetes who is food and healthy living crazy….and getting more so every single day. I spend a lot of time, energy, and money on natural living and not very much time reading my Bible, praying, or serving others. :( Thanks for your convictions. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

  130. Val February 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Thank you for this post. You have managed to put into words quite a serious issue that has been largely left unsaid. Hopefully others will find their security in the Lord instead of in belonging to a “group”.

  131. Kelli February 4, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Your post completely sums up my feelings from the last few days… thank you! This was such a good reminder for me!

  132. [email protected] in Iowa February 4, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Linday, Thank you for this post! This very subject has always been important to me. Although I choose a more natural lifestyle than others and blog about it, I never force what I do onto others. I’ve known people to do this within the body and it only causes division and hurt, and your right feelings of inadequacy and a need to carry a burden we were never meant to carry. When I go out and fellowship, I eat WHATEVER is placed in front of me and give my children the free reign to do so as well. Organic or not, local or not, we eat and we fellowship as I truly believe that only Christ knows the number of my days and nothing I do for myself will change that. What a great reflection and I am definitely going to share this!

  133. Elizabeth February 2, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting such a challenging note to us all. I appreciate it on many levels. I have been given much to consider and pray about. Thank you! I am actually quite speechless, but feel relieved that you have said what I feel so much of the time.

  134. Linds February 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    i have been following your blog for a little while now, but this is the first time i have felt so moved to comment – THANK YOU for this post!
    i truly appreciate your honesty in writing this post. you have a gift for writing in a way that encourages self-examination in the reader.
    from your examples and explanations, it is clear to me that i need to check myself some idols that i have been harboring for a long time.
    thank you for being such a resource.

  135. Laura February 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Thank you for this excellent post. Today is the first time visiting your blog, but I will definitely be back. I whole-heartedly agree with what you posted and the follow up comments from your followers. There is a balance to everything. I love how Kitchen Stewardship approaches this delimma, as well. I want God’s best for my family. We are in desparate need of an overhaul in our attempt at healthy living. However, the time and resources are limited, so balance is a neccessity. Thanks for your generous encouragement.

  136. Jassica February 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi, this is my first time visiting your blog. I found this post linked from Catholic Mommy Brain, which I found from Kitchen Stewardship. Anyway, you very clearly and eloquently described a question that has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking about this, and that you’re sharing these thoughts with others. I know it can be hard to share something so personal and not sound like you’re pointing the finger. I think you did it perfectly! Also, I love finding women who weave natural living into their Christian lifestyle so well. I will be back!!

  137. Samantha January 31, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Yes it can become an idol, (and is very detrimental to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle), me being on the not so healthy end knowing people who I always thought were a bit condescending in their “green” cosmos, I am happy to say I have grown up and realized that everyone is at risk for creating idols of many kinds, including myself. And since then have started making decisions for a better way of life, including forgiveness and patience :-)

  138. Susan McCurdy January 31, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Thanks for a great post. I received a Christmas card this year with the following line: May we all stand before the Father in glory some day…worn out and looking a mess from all the work we have done on this earth. And hear Him say “Well Done!” What a great way to look at life! Your post has the same sweet spirit… May you hear him say “Well Done!”

  139. Sara M. January 30, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Thank you for this post, Lindsay. I am realizing my fault of not always offering the best to my guests and my “preaching” to others about the natural and organic lifestyle. I think sometimes we can come off as self-righteous, which we should not be. Raises some great questions to think about. Thanks again!

  140. Emie January 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    I have stumbled upon your blog through a friend of mine who follows you. I have really enjoyed your posts and suggestions to healthy living. As a missionary of sorts with a family of 6 (four kiddos ages 2 to 10), I long to be able to eat more naturally and more healthy. There was a period of time recently when we had a steady paycheck and I was able to do more of what I’m longing to do. But within the last few weeks, we are back to waiting on God for the next day! For a couple days, I was really wrestling with God about not being able to eat healthy (as we are down to eating what we can simply afford). But He gently reassured me that he knows my heart and that He can take care of us, even if we are eating rice and beans for the rest of our lives! All that to say, your post was incredibly encouraging as most blogs I read on healthy living leave me feeling very inadequate, and missing the mark if I can’t be eating healthy, budgeting it all precisely and getting it right! I appreciate your honesty and how you allow the Lord to work through your struggles transparently. It ministers to many! Thank you. Blessings in your family and your journey.
    emie

  141. Sheralun January 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Wow, that is great. I am re-evaluating many things right now. I really appreciate this writing. I wish I could adaquatly express my gratitude for your time to this website. Thankyou so much.

  142. Erin January 29, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Painful for me to read because it is so convicting…especially the avoiding hospitality aspect. Ouch. Money is very tight and I most certainly keep the “best” for my family alone. Thank you for sharing this.

  143. Heather S. January 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Thank you for this post, Lindsey. I really appreciated it, and it has really given me pause to think over the last week or so.

  144. Debbie January 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    As Christians in this world this is certainly the topic of our day, along with a few others I won’t mention. :-) Lindsay, thanks for pointing us to Romans 14…very clearly addresses the subject matter. As I have journeyed through this issue the last several years, it has been a struggle to speak and act in a gracious way towards those who (I think) need to hear and accept and live in this way. I have decided that “being convinced in your own mind” is the best advise. I began the natural/whole food lifestyle with one product….peanut butter. There was a steady and slow progression over years of “being convinced in my own mind” with studying and learning, changing, and then giving that grace to others. I also watched my mother die from a preventable cancer of the breast and became convinced that it was environmentally caused.

    I do not believe that giving large amounts of time to this is necessarily a bad thing….it’s what I do as a stay at home mom, part of my job description you might say. My husband doesn’t feel guilty for focusing on his job 8-10 hours a day….it’s what he’s supposed to do.

    For those who have commented about the high cost of eating organically. It doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t spend much more than we did before….and I have adolescent boys! :-) There are many ways to significantly reduce costs in this area. Food co-ops and buying clubs (United Natural Foods and Assure Standard) are increasing in number, damaged/surplus freight stores are starting to offer organics. There are many online sources as well (Amazon), not to mention Wal-Mart *gasp* and Target. As a stay-at-home mom I have determined that I bring economic value to my family in the area of food, not to mention reduced doctor visits…but that requires a sacrifice of time. Time to shop at different stores searching high and low and time to make whole meals from scratch. Now, we haven’t had our last meal at McDonald’s and we haven’t eaten our last doughnut or drank our last coke, but I do know we can’t live that way day in and day out. Balance and consistency go hand in hand.

  145. Jessica January 28, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    I do believe we should not make food an idol, but I also think we should eat “Rea; Food” Food the way God designed it to be. He did not make artificial foods nor made our bodies to handle them long term. Yes if someone has us over we can eat it & be kind, but long term our bodies will break down from it. If one can’t afford all organic..we can’t either we should still try Real food…If that means growing it ourselves, eating simple meals, & so on. I am struggling w thyroid issues from eating bad growing up & I don’t want that for my kids. We just try to eat food the way God created it, but on a budget. Not to make it an idol though or put it above the Lord but have it part of our lives as Christians taking care of the body He gave us.

  146. Liliana January 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Lindsay,
    I visit you blog often and it blesses my life tremendously. Thanks for posting this topic;thanks for being an instrument in God’s hands.

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family,
    Liliana

  147. LS January 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I think this is the best post you have ever written. I had tears in my eyes reading it. I have often struggled with wondering how far to go into the natural lifestyle because sometimes it seems like the emphasis is on preserving the body rather than focusing on eternal things like people and evangelism and loving the lost. I have often had a heart check in thinking about how so many around the world have nothing and here I think I need to throw out all my stuff that’s not BPA-free, etc. or spend twice the amount on organic milk when some people would just be happy to have any kind of milk. It’s definitely a heart matter!

  148. Loreen January 27, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Thank you for this post. This is something I often struggle with and I appreciate your sharing what God has put on your heart.

  149. Jody January 27, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Oh my, I’m so glad that you wrote this post! I have many friends who are firm believers in one way of life or another (raw foods only, organic only, vegetarian, etc), and it does not seem to be bearing good spiritual fruit in their lives.

    Jesus said in Matthew 15, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

    Dear friends, let us be known not for how we eat (or don’t eat), but for how we love God and His people. We are Christians.

    If you choose a specific lifestyle fine but keep it to yourself and do all you can to minimize it in the body of Christ. We want unity around the gospel not division around our distinctive or preferences.

    with sincere love!

  150. Kristin January 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Anything we spend a lot of time doing, such as putting in all the time and effort we do in our homes, can easily start to take up too much time. Idols pop up everywhere in our lives and often sneak up on us. Thank you for your post! It’s a great reminder for us to check our hearts! Thank you for the honest reminder, and giving us a glimpse into the real struggles you face.

  151. Natalie January 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Wow Lindsay! What a balanced perspective! Thank you for being so honest and real. I think almost anyone who is into natural living can relate to what you are saying. It really is all about the kingdom and eternity rather than the here and now. I so admire your humble, sweet spirit!

  152. Kari January 26, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post! Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your heart, as well as your own mistakes! I have been thinking alot of this lately, as we transition to eating healthier again on a budget 1/2 of what I was using a few months ago. I struggle and worry and fret over how to make it work, then I pray and pray for God to help me find a balance in it all. I know what would be best, I also know what we can (and cannot) afford right now. For me, it’s just resting in the Lord and eating to His glory the best we can in each season of life. God bless you! Can’t wait to read more of your blog.

  153. G January 26, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    One last comment about food.

    As with everything in our lives, we have to put it all in His hands. We ask him to bless our food, sanctify it and use it to the nourishment of our bodies. If we trust him with our whole lives then he will take care of our bodies. If we seek out the truth through Holy Spirit (who speaks on our behalf) to guide us, show us the way he will take care of us.

    Seek the Truth in everything. There is only ONE way to heaven. Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, That if you confess with your mouth, ” Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

  154. jeanne January 26, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    What an honest post. I have to comment that we should not be considering our use of food dollars as tithe just because we are suppporting local farmers.

  155. Ben W. January 25, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    OK, so normally I don’t post, but this is something that I have seen many people VERY dear to me dearing with lately…and wanted to comment.

    I have been thinking about this particular issue a lot lately…trying to logically apply Biblical principle to it. While I haven’t come to any solid conclusions yet….here are some things that have come to mind (many of which are just logical conclusions of things that Lindsay mentioned):

    1) Would I really die for the gospel? If I knew that God was calling me to to take my family to a country full of dangerous illnesses, lack of safety codes, etc, for the cause of advancing the gospel? I think I would (and in fact plan to, when finished with seminary)….but how can I really mean that if I’m not willing to occationally “brave” non-organic (or non-whole…or even processed) foods so that I can afford to have non-Christian neighbors over for a meal? If I really believe that the advancing of gospel is more important than even my own life….then how does that play into this?

    2) Is this issue important enough to be a stumbling block to others…possibly to the point of seroiusly offending a brother or sister…or aleinating a non-believer (by denying food offered for the sake of its health value)? Paul was willing to endure stonings, beatings, and even execution for the sake of the gospel…am I willing to endure insistently offered “cheese flavored product” on an overly processed cracker (if I know that denying the hospitality would be seen as an insult)?

    3) If my wife has to leave the church service 15 min early to prepare “real” food for us for the after service meal instead of staying to hear the Word preached…what does that show of our value of the Word (not with our family…but have actually seen this happen in our church).

    4) If I know their is a family next door going without a meal (or heat, etc.) due to money issues…but can’t ever invite them over or meet their need in the name of Christ because the budget is going towards “real food” while they have none…how can I reconcile that with the love of Christ? Even if it means doing it indefinitly….forever even…sharing the gospel each time…even if I die ten years younger…is it better to have those extra ten years….or see another family of six bowing their knee in adoration to my Lord?

    I promise….none of this is meant as an attack…and I hope its not seen as such….but I have been doing this recently…with a lot of things in my life.

    I suddenly realized that…while I had learned and applied SO much wonderful doctrine to my life in the last few years…I had forgotten the primacy of the gospel in my actions (although I extolled it in word).

    Just some “food” for thought.

    -Ben

    • LS January 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

      Great thoughts Ben! As we think about those in Haiti who have lost so much, I feel that we should give sacrificially, even if that means we eat cheaper for a while so we can share with others for the sake of the gospel.

  156. Heather H. January 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    God has been whispering to me about this issue also. My husband and I actually had an arguement about raw milk. Every since then, I’ve been very convicted about this. I think this post was very helpful, and I applaude you for being so candid. Keep up the good work!

  157. Amber January 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh, dear Lindsay, thank you so much for this post! I hope the people who read it see the point you are trying to make and not misunderstand what you are saying here. That verse from Romans at the end pretty much sums it up. Obviously we are all called to be good stewards of the gifts God has given us, including our bodies, children, and relationships, but God would never judge us for living naturally or not. Is natural living wise? Yes, emphatically. Some of us just can’t afford it, and some of us value it so much that we would disdain food that He accepts and blesses to fill and nourish (though maybe not as well) those who eat it (I’m thinking particularly of America’s working poor here, and those in Haiti, India, Africa, and Mexico who would be glad to have our packaged food). Does natural living make us more righteous in God’s sight? No. Christ did that for us! It has no bearing on our standing before Him. He is far more concerned with our relationship with Him. Should we put natural living before Him and His commands to love Him and one another? Never. The call to love is far greater. Perhaps we may love Him by caring for what He’s given us, and perhaps we love others by providing good nourishing meals for them, but I agree, Lindsay, it should never be the other way around. May Jesus continue to bless you, friend, as you seek to love and honor Him first. “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?…And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?…But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:25, 27, 33

  158. Amber January 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Thanks for writing this post! Much of what you said echoed my own heart. :) :)

  159. Nikki January 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    What a great post! I really needed to hear this! It is a perspective that I have never considered. I also love some of the comments. Like what Sarah said… that our identity should be in Christ and nothing else. I totally agree! Thinking of that really helps when it is tough to avoid the ways of the world.

    Great post in every way!

  160. Lisa January 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    This was a good post, and true…to a certain extent. I agree with all my heart that God must come before anything in our lives, or that “thing,” even a good thing such as eating healthfully, is an idol.

    However, I don’t agree that our relationships with others come before keeping our family safe. As parents, our number one responsibility, after God, is providing for the spiritual and physical well-being of our family. In fact, the Bible says that whoever doesn’t provide for his own family is worse than an infidel (I Tim 5:8). My husband and I suffered from 5 years of primary infertility and 2 miscarriages before we were blessed with our 2 children. In all my research to try to find out what was wrong with me, I kept coming across research showing a link between chemical consumption, both by eating and using chemical laden body and cleaning products, and hormone in . One research article I read said that moms who used standard cosmetics and body care products had sons with 40% lower sperm counts than moms who used natural products. There is no way on earth I’m going to knowingly do anything that would possibly submit my children to the agony of infertility when they are older. No, we can’t protect our children from everything, but I am doing my part to protect them in the way I can.

    That being said, I would never be rude, and I am always gracious. Fortunately for us, I and my children are celiacs, so bringing my own food with me isn’t offensive to my friends because they wouldn’t want us to get sick from eating their food, but still want to fellowship with us at meals.

    So if you can be healthy without being obsessive, kudos to you. I’m not quite there yet, especially where my children are concerned. Your post was a good reminder to help keep things in perspective. I enjoy your blog.

    • Lisa January 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

      Oops. Didn’t finish a sentence. Supposed to say “hormone imbalances and infertility.”

  161. M.I.A in Minnesota January 25, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Your best post yet!!!

  162. Jane January 25, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    LOVED this.

  163. Vicki January 25, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    Thank you for writing this! While I love the direction life has taken and all that I have learned here and on other blogs, some days it is overwhelming. Every time I think I’ve learned it all, I find out there is more and it almost breaks me. Some days I just need to feed hungry kids, who can blow through a meal that took hours to prepare in a matter of minutes and then ask for more. There is a limit to what I can do and the energy I have. I just have to trust God that I am doing enough for now and He can fill in the blanks.

  164. Mary January 24, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    This was a beautiful post! You are absolutely right when stating that anything can become a God in our life. I recently read a wonderful book by Debbie Macomber called “One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity”. It has had a powerful affect on me. We are to build up the body of Christ one simple act of love at a time.

    Thank you for your gentle reminder that God should come first always. He will provide what is needed when it is needed.

    Blessings and Grace to you…

  165. Katie January 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this! It’s so important to realize that while healthy living is good, there are so many other things that are MORE important to God!!! Bless you for posting this!

  166. E.E. January 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Lindsay, God has used you once again to get me thinking about where my priorities are at and how I can best live for Him in ALL areas. Thank you sincerely.

  167. Sarah January 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Lindsey, this has been my favorite post of yours ever. I started frequenting your blog a few months ago when a friend of mine sent me a link about making cloth wipes. As I perused your posts, I found myself feeling overwhelmed because you were already so far in your natural living journey, and I was really just in the beginning stages. However, having dealt with extreme behavior and thought patterns in myself in the past (eating disorders and legalism), I knew that I would do the little bitty steps that I felt the Lord leading our family to do and not worry about comparing myself to others who were completely all-natural. In fact, it would be safe to say our family will probably never be completely all-natural/organic, but that’s okay.

    I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve been guilty of idolatry (as I said before–eating disorder and legalism), and I’ve been hurt by those who have been so extreme in their natural-living pursuits (although I think most of the time those who offended me did so unintentionally). When my daughter was born, I naturally thought I would breastfeed her. That was the logical, sensible thing to do. It was natural, it was free, and there were so many benefits that I heard about (day in and day out–pumped into my brain constantly–”Breast is Best!”). When she lost enough weight within the first 4 days of her life to cause concern (and start supplementing), I was absolutely heartbroken. After a month of trying to boost my very low milk supply to no avail, I chose to stop nursing and give her only formula. I cried almost every day for the next several months, feeling like a total failure as a mom. How could I not give her what she needed? I even struggled in my relationship with the Lord. While I knew He was sovereignly allowing this to happen, I questioned Him all the time. I live in a seminary community and am surrounded my nursing moms. In fact, I only know of 2 moms who bottle-feed their babies (out of hundreds!). This only added to my pain and disappointment. God gently reminded me that my identity was not to be in anything (including being a mom) other than HIM. I have a friend that many times posted things on her Facebook account about how important breastfeeding was, and the detrimental effects on the relationship between mother and baby when the mother chose not to (or could not) breastfeed. These were always reminders of my “failure.” Well-intentioned moms would look at my little Gerber baby girl and say, “Good job, Mom!” Inside I was silently screaming, “At what? Mixing a bottle of formula??” I have had to confess resentment and envy and thankfully, the Lord has brought be to a much better place (although there are days I still struggle). All that to say, I think so much emphasis can be placed on living naturally that people who WANT to do things (such as breastfeed) and simply CAN’T for whatever reason end up feeling like they are less than acceptable. But as you pointed out, God looks at the heart, and our right-standing with Christ is based on what He did, not at our own efforts.

    Thanks again for this post. What an encouragement.

    • Angie January 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

      Sarah,
      I just had to reply to your post. I strugglled with the EXACT same problem. My diffuculty with breastfeeding came more from post-partum depression with my first child, and with my second child, I was extremely ill due to advanced kidney disease. It was a miracle that I even got pregnant! My friends were never “unknind” but I constantly felt like a failure as a mom. I, too, had to realize that my “identity” as a person came from God, not from what I did or didn’t do. The Christian’s relationship with God is not about a “list” of what to do or don’t do. It is about knowing God so intimately (through His Word) that we exemplify His Son through everything that we do.
      As my daughter gets older (she just turned 8!), this concept reconstantly in my mind. I see the potential for her to become such a talented, loving woman of God, and I want her to see that woman in me. Lindsey’s original post was so good. It’s all about OUR relationship with Him. If that relationship is where it should be then we can’t help but display Christ’s love and compassion to EVERYONE, no matter what their personal convictions are.

  168. Anna January 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    I love your web site, and this post really made me step back and evaluate my own thinking patterns. I am someone who was graciously healed by God from a painful disorder that lasted for four years. However, through that process God taught me many things about eating HIS food as opposed to man-made food. I agree that it can become an obsession…as our deceiver will take anything God made and try to create a sinful situation with it. I guess where I struggle is questioning what is actually obsession and what is actually just sticking to what’s right. It’s easy to say we will never smoke because that is obviously harmful and a sin because of the harm it brings to our bodies. Choosing to never smoke under any circumstance isn’t an obsession, it’s a willingness to honor God with my body…but how does that translate to food? Our food supply here is so adulterated due to greed (needing to produce more), that our grocery stores are filled with items that aren’t really “food.” Yet, unfortunately, that is what is affordable to most people. We wouldn’t feed our children dirt, which has no nutritional value, yet someone might feed their child some boxed prepared food that is filled with ingredients that can’t even be pronounced. The only nutritional value in it is through *added* vitamins so that it’s marketable to busy parents. It’s so frustrating. I guess what I’m getting at is that I think it is OK to be willing to stick to real food items and sacrifice in other areas for the sake of upkeep of this wonderful temple. For example, I would rather not have extra of one thing in order to purchase brown rice over white rice…because that’s how my Lord meant for it to be. I want to take care of my body to make sure I can serve my Lord to the best of my ability…because I know firsthand what it is like to be so sick that you are literally a prisoner in your own body. I do realize our days are numbered and that there is an appointed time to die, but I think our willingness to take the best care possible of these bodies is a good thing (when for His great glory), because I know so many people who are sick and dying due to life decisions they made regarding not caring for their bodies. I don’t consider those particular problems a part of God’s plan (although He has allowed it to happen). Last, I think we have to be careful how we interpret certain verses (such as the one in Romans that says one believes it’s right to eat anything.) In context, this of course refered to those that still struggled with clean and unclean foods. In our modern day American food supply, I’m not sure the Lord would not consider it OK for us to eat the literal equivalent of chemicals, just as He wouldn’t want us to smoke.
    I hope this is not taken as critical in any way…I believe the Lord is ministering through you…I’m just stating what’s going on in my head when I think of issues about eating. And btw, I am not one to judge my friends who choose to eat other foods. Again, as one who was rescued from a disabling illness, the issues of eating real food just hit a little close to home. :) And I guess what I’m wondering is how other people feel about the fact that we consider it a sin to do certain things that are obviously harmful (smoking), yet we don’t consider it a sin to eat foods that are obviously harmful. I would love input, but please don’t *yell* at me!! :) The internet can be a tricky place to communicate, and I so don’t mean any of this in a hurtful way.

  169. homeclynn January 24, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    God’s Blessings on you and yours.

  170. Ashley January 23, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Great post! I completely agree. Thanks for sharing in such a humble and helpful way :)

  171. Gloria January 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Very well said. Unjudgemental, humble, and full of love. Thanks again for what you do. You are such a blessing to read!

  172. Katie January 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    Thank you for having the courage to write this! It was something that I needed to hear!

  173. Felicia January 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Wow, what a timely post! This is a very important topic. I’m about to make some major dietary changes to support a loved one who is dealing with significant health issues. However, it is also important to maintain a healthy balance in all areas of our life. Thank you for pouring out your heart here and letting us all benefit.

  174. Rita Joiner January 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    I found your blog recently, and love it! This is a lovely post.

  175. katherine January 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Well said.

  176. Karilee January 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Wow, Lindsay, you definitely struck a chord on this one! This is something I have also considered and what a blessing to see your post. I so much appreciate your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Our family is so blessed to live in a part of the country where hunting is encouraged, so our red meat is all healthy, and we live out of town and have clean well water, and we have chickens and goats to provide eggs and milk, but the produce and other things are where it become challenging. I purchase as much bulk as I can from Azure Standard and Costco, but it can still be quite expensive inbetween times. The things I am the most concerned about are the hormones in meat and dairy, so those are the things I try to be most careful about.

    As far as eating at other people’s house or when others give us food, I have taken Paul’s words, which are to eat what is put before us, not asking questions. Some friends of ours have also reminded me of the words in the Matthew 15:11 “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Those same friends have also reminded me that eating naturally can be a form of worshiping the body. I think each person has to have a clean conscience before the Lord regarding their own financial situation, the issue of pride and their motivation for eating naturally. None of us will live one day longer than God ordained for us, regardless of how we eat. On the other hand, the extreme of eating all prepared food filled with preservatives is not wise stewardship either. I love this discussion. I am gleaning so many wonderful insights from everyone!

  177. Ann January 23, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    I’ve thought often that I’m a more vocal witness to the benefits of natural living than for Jesus Christ, perhaps another symptom that it’s become my idol. I agree with your comments wholeheartedly.

    • E.E. January 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

      Wow… Great insight, Anne. I hadn’t thought about that when reading Lindsay’s blog, but you are right. Totally convicted on that myself…

      • E.E. January 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

        Oops. *Ann* :)

    • Carrie June 3, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

      Often times it is the way we live that best shows the life of Christ. Not the words we speak. :)

  178. Rebekah January 23, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Lindsey, I am soooooo proud of you for having the guts to post something this honest! This same idea has been rolling around in my head for months now, but I never made the connection to idolatry … I just have been thinking how easy it is to get a superiority complex about natural living. I especially appreciated your insight into how too much of a good thing can damage relationships and lead to selfish behavior.

    The first time these thoughts occured to me I was listening a well-known health expert extolling the benefits of things like fish oil supplements, raw foods, sleep routines etc. This person stated that based on his incredibly complex health routine, he expected to live to age 115 and possibly longer. I tried to imagine following his advice and realized that it would completely dominate my life until I had no time for anything other than looking after my personal health. I also realized how foolish it is for anyone to proclaim themselves invincible.

    There’s NOTHING wrong with making healthy choices – I buy as much good, wholesome, organic food for my family as I possibly can afford – but it is so, so easy to be tempted by the idea of worshipping our created bodies instead of the God who made them.

  179. Shannon January 23, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Thank you! I really needed to read this, however humbling it was.
    I really enjoy your site and I am so glad that God has called you to this ministry.
    God Bless!
    Your sister in Christ, Shannon

  180. Sherrin January 23, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    Thanks for taking the time to remind us of these things!

  181. Sarah A. January 23, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Amen, preach it sister! I have been reading your blog over the past couple of months and it has been such a blessing to me. It has opened my eyes and challenged me to think about what food I am buying for my family and what changes I can and need to make. This is especially timely because my husband and I are praying about starting a family in the near future. I can see that slowly this idea of natural living has become an idol and obsession. It hasn’t distanced me from giving to the Lord or hospitality (yet), but I need to be aware that Satan is crafty and if I don’t check my heart daily in this area that deeper sin can creep in. Please keep speaking the truth in love, it brings the Lord such glory!

  182. KGR's Mom January 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Fabulous…I needed to hear this! Can you do a post of ideas on training children in healthy eating while also maintaining respect and love for others? I want my children to know why we make the decisions we do but yet my 5 year old son recently spend a weekend with my mom and was judgmental and ungrateful for the food he was given. I have talked with him about it, but I would be grateful for any other ideas to explain this to young children. Thanks!

  183. joanna January 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. I would love to feed my family only organic food but we can’t afford it. Reading your blog has often made me feel less of a mom because not only can I not afford to live the way you espouse, I have health limitations where I can’t even barely take care of my home and family. I am in the midst of trying very hard to believe that God loves me but circumstances seem so much to the contrary.
    I confess if I lived nearby, I would not dare to invite you for dinner because the meal would not be organic and my house would not be up to your standards. Maybe I would now after this post but I know I would feel self-conscious the entire time.
    I appreciate your honesty though.

    • Aaron January 24, 2010 at 9:49 am #

      Joanna, I don’t get on here to comment that much but your comment stood out to me. I’m truly sorry you feel this way. My wife has worked very hard to encourage women in those exact circumstances on this blog. That is one of the reasons she is still blogging. Please hear my wife’s heart in her writing and don’t misinterpret her words. Eating healthy food and taking care of your body is important but your relationship with the Lord should come first before all things and from that relationship and the circumstances that the Lord has you in, you are simply called to love Him and others around you. Anything that gets in the way of that should be questioned thoroughly and tested against the Bible.

      While you may not have the courage to invite us over if you lived in the area, we would love to have you over to our home, regardless of whatever is for dinner. :)

      • Kate January 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

        And you know what? I do believe The Edmonds’ family would come over for dinner, (if you lived close by). For it’s not about what’s being served but the love behind it. I don’t think they would forsake the assembly of Saints because you would serve unorganic food, white bread, and some sugary dessert. One meal, once in a great while is not going to prevent them from showing the love of Christ.

        As for your home, no home is going to spotless, super organized, I know mine isn’t. But I still have people over. My friends like the “lived-in” look anyways. My bathrooms are always clean, and I try and do a quick pick-up or vacuum before they come. but you know what? Even if I didn’t they would still love me anyways.

        As the saying goes, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. no one is perfect, be encouraged! And invite some people over.

  184. kim January 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Thank you for these thoughts. We are all in the process of sanctification. Something I have been reminded of even this afternoon. If we point out the god in someone else’s life – more than likely there is another god that they could point to in our lives. Rest assured that the Holy Spirit will continue His work in our life to make us more like Christ and to make the gospel BIG!

  185. Anne January 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    While I think your main point of not allowing anything to become an idol in your life is great, I think some things are not as bad as you made out in your article. When someone asks a person (expectant mom) what type of gifts she would like for her baby, I think it is good for her to be honest. If someone gets something else, then of course she should be grateful. If it is something expensive, several friends could go in together for the purchase, etc. I would not fault this mom for expressing her preferences when asked. My children also do not eat certain foods. They can always graciously decline a food offered by a hostess. That’s not idolatry.As Christians, we live in the new covenant sealed with the Blood of Jesus. The tithe is not mandated. Of course it is a good guide for us, but not a condition for salvation. We should be led by God in this area as well as all other areas. I don’t want to be too negative. Just some thoughts…

    • Mrs. Taft January 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

      I was also thinking…what about vegetarians or vegans? What about people with food allergies? My daughter is allergic to peanut butter, but if the hostess is serving peanut butter cookies I’m not setting it up as an idol if I decline them.

      • Girl :) From Europe January 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

        Hey Mrs. Taft :)

        Being allergic or vegetarian / vegan is something different, I think.
        I’m a vegetarian, but I choose not to hurt my friends and family because of it.
        So I say I don’t choose, buy or cook animals. If someone serves them to me however, I will eat them. I know my mum tries her best to make me vegetarian meals when she can, so I won’t grumble when she makes only meat or fish one day. My grandma has never cooked vegetarian, and I won’t bother her at her age.
        My friend’s way of making it easier for others is to only cut the meat, not the fish. That way, people will always make him fish if they are unsure about their vegetarian cooking.
        My way is that I will not eat animals, but accept them if someone has done their best to serve me a beautiful dish. I think wasting the meat is even worse!

  186. Becky January 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this timely post. I’ve friends who felt depressed and anxious reading my blog about organic living so I’ve also reevaluated my priorities. I am trying to keep in mind what Jesus would do. I think he wants mothers to be wise and try to protect our kids from toxins, but at the same time, I can imagine Jesus hanging out and sharing a burger at McDonald’s, you know?

  187. Atlanta Teltoe January 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    I don’t think it was wrong for the baby shower girl to ask for organic things. Doing otherwise would have been a waste of money, since the mom probably wouldn’t use the non-organic items. There are lots of inexpensive organic items, and their prices are almost the same. You can find wooden toys for very cheap at ikea for example. I am pretty sure the pregnant mom wouldn’t mistreat the girl who brought the plastic stuff. I feel judgement comes from the other side as well. Most of the time I feel like people who are not into “healthy/organic” judge me for doing so. I have received many “unkind” comments from sisters in Christ regarding my choices to take care of the body God has entrusted me with. We should all accept each other and leave the judging up to God.

  188. atlanta teltoe January 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    I think the point she was trying to come across was very valid but some of her statements are not totally true. Because God knows the number of my days doesn’t mean that the choices I make won’t influence the number of my days. If I overdose on drugs, I will die, not because God intended for me to die, but because I chose to be unwise. The author also mentioned that God controls my family’s health and wellness. Yes, but we are stewards of our bodies. God gives us control over what we eat and we reap the consequences of what we choose. If you eat donuts for breakfast over many years, you are controlling the size of your belly, not God. We shouldn’t put food as a priority in our lives, but God wants us to make wise eating decisions according to our capabilities and resources.

  189. Janet Reynolds January 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Thank you, Lyndsay! Being on the receiving end of this ungracious attitude kept me from practicing many healthy habits for many years. The urgency with which people speak of it shows that it is their god, and I wanted no part of it. Blogs such as yours, where Jesus is first, have educated and motivated me to do the best I can while still respecting others’ health choices as their own and not mine to make.
    I especially appreciate your insights into tithing, and want to respond to those who have commented that our choices in feeding our families are more important than tithing. It is true that tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament, and that the Old Testament tithe went to support priests who had no other income, but God said through Malachi that those who did not tithe and give offerings were robbing HIM. And His words to them, that He would throw open the floodgates of heaven with so much blessing, if they would put Him first financially, have been true in my life and many of my friends. I would agree that we are not under law to give 10%, because we are not under law, but under grace. In my mind, though, that means I don’t give 10%, but everything I possibly can, beginning with the kingdom (Mt. 6:33). For many years, the early Christians shared literally everything they had with one another – because of love there was no need for a tithe in those days! I might have a hard time giving a tithe to a church in whose leadership I did not have confidence, but in that case I would be even more concerned about the teaching and example. With only one exception, the paid ministers at the churches we have been at have been the hardest workers I’ve ever met WHILE being exemplary at loving their own family as they should.

    • Kate January 23, 2010 at 5:55 am #

      Actually it is in the New Testament, check out Hebrews 7:1-10.

      Tithing was never under the law. It was before the law. So we are bound to it.

      We have never had any need unmet, as long as we have tithed. I would tithe the last 1,000 knowing I had nothing, because I KNEW God would supply all our needs. it takes great faith to tithe, but His ways are higher than our, and I’d want His blessings.

      • Janet Reynolds February 4, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

        Amen, Kate! Thanks for pointing out the verses in Hebrews – I obviously had forgotten about those.

  190. Pam January 22, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Thank you for such fresh insight into a problem I believe is more common than most would like to think. I believe this spills over into many areas of our lives that seem to be in these interest of body, mind or spirit. Church ministry comes to mind…this is a clear reminder that whatever we are doing should be done to fulfill the ministry that God has given to each of us which should not be causing us or others to stumble, coming before our relationship with the Lord, interfering in the quality of our family relationships or reinforcing a false sense of security which is exactly what we were delivered from when we came to Jesus. Thank you!

  191. Kate January 22, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    I find this difficult…because you are right. It’s a hard standard to live up to, hard to examine yourself sometimes. I have trouble giving (beyond our tithe, which we do) the best. I am trying to do better at that. Like, bringing a good part of a meal to our small group gathering, a meal to a friend who’s recently had a baby, sewing diapers for those who can’t afford it, etc. I’m working on it everyday.

    But I also want to say, to some of the others who read here, that sometimes what God is laying on your heart is not the same as what He’s laying on another’s heart. Right now God is laying it on my heart to learn more grace and humility. We can’t be perfect and we can’t work on every area of our lives at once. So, for those who were maybe upset by this post, perhaps God is working on you in a different way right now. And that’s okay too. :)

  192. April January 22, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Wow, thank you for this post! A few of my friendships are hurting right now due to this very topic. I am amazed at the direction God is taking me and how he is taking me there. I realize that many people have related to this post, but I feel it was written just for me. How humbling to read this, it is so hard to be the one who is in need of an attitude adjustment!

  193. bethany canfield January 22, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    I love this post.Your transparency blessed me so much. I would love to go completely and 100% organic at all times and all natural, but like you said the more I do that the more stingy I get with our food. I want to hoard it and keep it and that is not what Christ would do at all.

    Recently to me this whole natural food thing has become more of a sometimes thing. When I can I do, and I trust God that He has our days numbered and our lives in His hands. It can get sooo crazy, almost our whole obsession and thus our idol.

    I have been thinking of writing a post somewhat like this for a while, maybe now I will just link to yours as you worded it all perfectly. Thanks for being vulnerable and honest.

  194. Larissa January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Christians forget that tithing (10%-what it means)results in greater blessing for the giver. It seems like all (or many) of the followers and commentors on this blog love and consider their families and their health. Good, quality food is so important today and so is taking care of the family but God above all things will result in blessing. It’s not up to us to decide what people do with the money we give-if a large church swindles it away they will be held accountable for the usage of what was given to them. Let us not judge what others do with our giving, we’re only accountable and should only be concerned with what we know we should do (because it’s already written for us in scripture) and for what the Holy Spirit instructs us to do…be it giving above and beyond the 10%
    I’ve seen it time after time, people who don’t tithe and money seems tight they begin to give to the “church” and become generous (in other ways) and the Lord starts blessing them and giving more peace in their finances.
    I didn’t intend to comment about tithing at all until I read some of the comments after Lindsay’s post and felt compelled. In all these matters God is concerned with relationships, peace among brotheren, and true worshipers of Him.
    As far as Lindsay’s convictions about natural living, I couldn’t agree more! Don’t let others steer you away from what the Lord is teaching you-it’s beautiful and will be beneficial.

  195. Shelby January 22, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    beautifully put!!!

  196. Dad January 22, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Great Post Lindsay, it is obvious that the Holy Spirit is working in your heart. In this great country we have many benefits. The problem is that when security and comfort are so easy to get, we forget that – including health issues – the only security and comfort that is of any substance can only come from God. We consume in order to receive comfort and security while the rest of God’s world suffers without… Love, Dad

  197. Jerri January 22, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    Good post. Having never been able to afford all natural and/or organic products and food, I have certainly been on the looked down on end of this spectrum. Living on one income and blessed to raise and homeschool 13 children leaves many things we can’t afford that some families can. I wouldn’t trade though. I am happy to do the best I can with the income God has provided and be so blessed by God’s gift of many children in our home.

    Thanks for gently pointing out how feelings can be hurt and relationships damaged by putting organic/natural above everything else and leave the rest of us feeling very “judged”. Let it be that we all strive for the middle ground and live with each other in an understanding and loving way.

  198. Jenn B January 22, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Thanks for the reminder! this is something i have to come back to again & again & re-evaluate. I certainly think things pertaining to “natural living” are important, but it’s so easy for my idol factory of a heart to give it precedence over the source of everything. I appreciate the call to evaluate my heart on the issue again.

  199. Debbie January 22, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  200. Shannon January 22, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    Number 153! :-D I, too, have found this very convicting. Thank you for being so straight-forward…

  201. Jessica January 22, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    I’ve been in this boat as well. Now I am careful what I say and how I say it, so others don’t feel like I’m a know-it-all. It’s my choice how we eat and live and I don’t need to feel superior over someone else. It’s what I want to do and feel led to do. There have been times when I’ve felt the Lord telling me to back off with ‘health’ because of various things.

    Ultimately, He is our source. If all we had to eat was junk, with God all things are possible and He can preserve us. Everything we are blessed with comes from Him, so we always tithe the first of what we have, because it’s showing Him we know He takes care of us. We are dependent on Him.

    Even now I’m trying to decide what to do regarding food. It’s sort of becoming a burden to do Nourishing Traditions, but I’m praying about the best direction for our family. I am so thankful that I have the Holy Spirit to direct me.

    Great thoughts Lindsay.

  202. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home January 22, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    Absolutely, Lindsay! I have felt some of those same challenges and struggles in my own heart, and I most certainly agree that natural living or pursuing health can become an idol! This is a message that we need to be discussing over and over again, as Christians who also desire to live naturally and healthfully. Thanks for being faithful to share what’s most important!

  203. Trish January 22, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    Thanks for writing this post. Over the past few years, I’ve been taking baby steps into healthier eating. I definitely plan to continue to do so, but am beginning to feel more and more overwhelmed with it. I want to be a good steward and be careful where I put my money and who I support, but I do not have the time to research every single item I purchase. And so often I felt that many people who are farther down this path than I am, had it all figured out. But husband continues to encourage me to be balanced and not going overboard with natural living. At the mom’s group at our church this week I was talking to some moms about some of the food decisions I make and someone said how she doesn’t have the time or money to go organic, even though she would like to, and relies on her prayers that she and her family would be healthy, even when she knows what they are eating is not the healthiest. I appreciate you being real and admitting your struggles. It’s helpful to know I am not the only one feeling this way.

    • Shelby January 22, 2010 at 9:14 am #

      I too struggle with this Trish. I recently embarked upon this natural/healthier eating lifestyle, and often times find myself overwhelmed too. My husband, like yours, is also very supportive and he reminds me to take one day at a time. It is nice to know that I too am not the only one out there who feels like this. Thank you Trish for your honesty, and I wish you luck.

  204. lizzykristine January 22, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    This is an excellent post!

    I have come to the conclusion that when I’d consistently rather spend free moments researching something health-related than worshiping God, there’s a problem with me… Am I seriously more interested in food than its Creator?? Every so often I pull back entirely and “fast” from all things health-related to regain/retain perspective. I did this again in December of last year, and it was so helpful.

    Really, what we put in & on our bodies is extremely temporary. Time, energy, and finances spent to further the gospel is so eternal! I want to be much more enthused about people’s souls than about my body, which will only last another few decades, regardless of what I put in it. :)

    I have personally been offended by people who refused to eat food offered, just because it wasn’t organic. As I have come to better understand how strongly connected all parts of our being are (spirit, soul & body), I really wonder if the relational tension that sprung from that situation wasn’t significantly more damaging to the health of both of us than one meal of non-organic produce. Fear and stress will kill us faster than just about any diet habits!

    Good food choices are good. Thankfulness, trusting God, relationships with people around me, and the spread of the gospel are way better. I don’t want to lose the best in the pursuit of the merely good. :)

  205. Janelle January 22, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    Wow! This is something I’ve been sort of struggling with lately. Not exactly about making it a god…but about feeling a bit superior. All this natural stuff is relatively new to me and I’m not quite ALL in yet…but I talk about it a lot and I’ve felt that some of my friends think it’s stupid and useless since we’re all gonna die anyways. I’ve realized that I can chose to live this way, but I don’t need to push it on others…or even discuss it with people who don’t care.

    Thanks! This was very encouraging!

  206. Amanda Welton January 22, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    I greatly appreciate your heart and pursuit of the Lord! I am encouraged to continually ask myself these hard questions and keep an eye on the idol factory of my heart particularly in this area. Thank you for your example!

  207. Shannon Hazleton January 22, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    Very well written, Lindsey. I agree, and have fallen prey to many of the same errors. Thank you for sharing your struggle, and for challenging others in the process, keeping the focus on the Lord. Bless you!
    Shannon

  208. Cheryl January 22, 2010 at 5:09 am #

    Excellent post! The Lord has already shown me that this was an idol for me. It took my husband hurling a full gallon of raw milk out the back door one day. Thankfully the Lord brought to mind the “golden calf” situation as I was anguishing over the loss and time spent driving to get it and money spent for it. I’m glad it happened, He changed my heart that day. I constantly need encouragement in this area though, because of the temptation to “save the health” of my family, teach others to “save” them, always talking about it (vs. the Lord). He wants us tell about Him and proclaim His power…(Psalm 71: 15-24). Thank You!

  209. Brandi-Lee January 21, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    A challenging post. I can definitely learn from this! Thank you!

  210. annachristie January 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Thanks for your transparency, Lindsay! I really appreciated what good thoughts and insights you had to share.

  211. Nancy January 21, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Wow – this struck a chord with me as I was just contemplating this very issue today. We did our two week major food shopping trip today, and I went a bit over budget. I was thinking about the passage that says we should not worry about what we eat or drink, and I wondered if I am getting too caught up in the whole organic/natural lifestyle. I spend a lot of time researching and reading about it, probably more than I should. And definitely more time is spent there than on my time with God. Thank you for this post. It really helps keep things in perspective. Once again I am reminded why yours is my favorite blog!

  212. Celeste January 21, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Good words! God did an amazing thing in my life 4 years ago by showing me how my body can be healed by changing my food. I have gone back and forth with the pride thing over these 4 years and he continually reminds me that this was a work that HE did in my life, not one that I could have done or even would have done on my own.

    The children of Israel ate what God provided them in the desert and it was enough. There have been times over the past four years when we have had plenty and spent a lot of money on real food and times when all we could afford was beans. Our health remained intact and it gave us a thankful heart for what God provides.

    We must also remember that the enemy has a very strong foothold in the natural health movement that is fear based and draws people into heathen worship such as hinduism and buddhism, taoism and all of their american copy cats.

    We cannot get so wrapped up in the worship of nature and natural things that we allow these vain philosophies to infiltrate our faith.

    Thank you for sharing this and thank you Cammie for posting it.

    • Patty Hicks January 22, 2010 at 9:34 am #

      AMEN! It has been a long standing conviction of mine to trust God when I cannot afford to purchase “organic”. What is not done in faith is done in fear. That which you fear you serve. God cannot bless that which is done in fear. Remember Job.

  213. K January 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Wonderful post Lindsey! As a new mom, I have noticed a “Who’s more organic/natural” competitive spirit at times, and it can be hard not to get caught up in it and feel discouraged, judging yourself and/or others, so I really appreciate this priority check blog post!!

  214. Tasha January 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Wow, wow, WOW!!!

    THANK YOU for such an amazing post! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now , but I’m pretty sure I haven’t commented yet. I think you have just hit (slammed!!) the nail on the head.

    I have often been made to feel guilty or “lesser” because I could not adhere to the type of green living that I would love to have, normally due to financial reasons. I remember once having to leave a mommy group for this very reason. They simply could not stand me going against their grain and using disposable diapers and other minor “unhealthy” living choices. Trust me, I knew how bad these things could be for us. But, I had 3 kids in diapers. I was alone most of the time as my husband was military and gone all the time. I had an itty bitty washing machine and had 3 kids under 3, one a preemie. We had very limited finances. I simple couldn’t do it all.

    Thank you for how you so graciously and humbly put this out there. If more Christians followed such a logic (meaning, CHRIST centered in ALL things) I think more people would be able to see the love of Jesus, instead of a holier than thou complex that runs rampant through the Church…

    I respect you deeply for this post…

    Tasha

  215. Tina January 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Excellent post!

  216. Missy R January 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    You are right on in your post. I hear your heart in this matter and agree it is important for us to keep “balance” in our lives and to remember that it is more important to Love God and Love People.

    Blessings,

  217. Kim January 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Good word!!!! Let Jesus be glorified in every part of our lives!!!

  218. Andrea @ The Train to Crazy January 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    What a wonderful post! I myself have felt this in different areas of my life, particular some areas of natural living and have actually backed off my expectations of myself and my family. It is truly freeing to let go of these things we hold on to dearer than the commands of God.

  219. Jennifer January 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I can tell you are speaking from your heart and your own experiences. I also love your application of scripture to this issue because I believe the first thing to do in any circumstance is to see what God has to say through the Bible.

    I confess I can unfortunately relate to many of the things you mentioned. It was definitely good for me to look at my attitude and ask God to change my heart. I think Matthew 15:11 addresses this question well. Jesus says, “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ ” So even more important than the nourishment we put into our bodies is the “nourishment” that comes out of our mouths with kind and gracious speech.

  220. Annie January 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    Your post spoke to my heart. I, too, struggle with these things. We eat this way to keep our family healthy, and yet is is hurtful to decline a food made with love at a family or friend’s gathering.
    Thank you Lindsay!

  221. alissa January 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    This was an excellent post. I have struggled in this area as well. The part about not tithing because we can’t afford it but buying organic foods hit home for me. It is so hard to strike a balance between doing what we feel is best for our families and making an idol out of it — which, in the end, doesn’t benefit our families at all. I specifically struggle with issues of pride and arrogance with my parenting choices. How many times have I put up walls or made someone feel bad by being a Miss Know-It-All?

    I recently wrote about my struggles on my blog. http://birkelfamilylife.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/in-which-i-leave-the-cult-of-attachment-parenting/

    I really enjoy your blog and admire your heart.

  222. Nicole January 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Thanks for this post, Lindsey. It is very thought provoking. I appreciate that you share what the spirit has led you to share. I needed this!

  223. Heather January 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Way to go Lindsay!!!! This is your best post yet. It’s so funny, I have been having a tithe discussion in my online class at Liberty, and your post could not be more timely. I appreciate your candor and the confessions of your heart. I appreciate your points, which are stated elegantly and backed by scripture. I have been struggling over the practice of tithing, and your post is encouraging. Thanks!

  224. Heather January 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Thank you for posting this, Lindsay. I have seen many of the same things at our church in the past. Thankfully (by God’s grace) the issue of food and natural living has not ever become completely divisive, but I know that fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ who have made slightly different lifestyle choices has been negatively affected, even breached at times. It is so refreshing to hear someone in the natural living camp speak out with a balanced viewpoint about God’s sovereignty over our days and man’s responsibility. We can strive to be diligent stewards of our bodies and the world around us without setting our hope on those things. Every breath that we have is a merciful gift from the Lord and it is tempting to become presumptuous that we can control something like our personal health (or that of our family) and forget that He is the one who sustains us every moment.

  225. Jessica January 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I felt the spirit as I read it and know that putting Heavenly Father first is what matters most. He will guide us in finding the right balance for our families. I loved everything you said! Thank you again!

  226. Michelle January 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  227. Julie January 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Thanks for a thoughtful and gracious post. All of life is worship… what or whom are we worshipping? May the Lord bless you, Lindsay!

  228. amy January 21, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    beautiful post, Lindsay. a much needed balance and warning.

  229. Genevieve January 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Beautiful….
    Good Job!

  230. Melissa January 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Amen! Amen! Amen! Thank you for this encouraging reminder. I’m posting a link to this on my blog and Facebook!

  231. Deanna January 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I think this post has struck a chord in just about every reader’s heart. It’s kind of funny you should write about this since my husband and my mom (who lives with us right now) were talking about this and deciding what our dietary goals are. We decided that we really want to eat organic and eat real foods as much as possible. But realizing 2 of us are unemployed in the family and the 1 who is employed doesn’t earn all that much, we knew we would be limited… and we are.
    We decided that we will eat whatever the Lord sets before us. Whatever He provides for us is good and is what He intended to nourish us with and we are to give thanks to him, healthful and organic or not (1 Timothy 4:4-5).

    P.S. – AS FOR PICKY MOMS AT BABY SHOWERS (because I have run into a few): This may be a little O.T. but I have decided that if I can’t afford a certain item on their list I will either buy them a book that I saw about feeding your baby naturally OR in a real budget crunch, print off and put into a nice, decorated binder all the natural mother and baby care tips and recipes and ideas I have researched or found from other people’s research. That to me would be a wonderful gift (if it’s not to them, then they’re not a friend or grateful person :-) )

    • Mrs. Taft January 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

      As one of those picky moms, I think your idea is great. I think it’s a far greater travesty to just buy me something for the sake of buying a gift, and if it’s not something I would use or enjoy, then your money is wasted. I’d rather NOT receive a gift than one I couldn’t use. So for those on a tight budget who want to give a little something, I hope they see your advice and take it to heart because that is awesome :)

  232. alexis January 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    I agree…very well-said!

  233. Kendra January 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Well said, i have had some of those same thoughts and feelings myself. We need to always put God first. For us that means “paying” him first in our tithing. But what made me thoughtful was in regard to sharing what we have with others. I have had those same feelings, like sometimes I can’t afford it. But with adjustments and thinking ahead it is not out of reach to provide healthy and frugal meals to others. My husband was a missionary in a very poor country. he was always impressed by these very poor families who desired to feed them their best….and were offended if he did not have seconds! We should all strive to be that generous!
    Is there is a needy family and we bring them our best and come home to peanut butter and jelly, where is the harm? There is none and I think the blessings we would receive would amaze us.

    • Jessica January 22, 2010 at 9:39 am #

      good point!

    • G January 26, 2010 at 9:59 am #

      “. For us that means “paying” him first in our tithing.”

      No where is scripture does it say he needs anything from us. HE is the provider.

  234. Amanda January 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Excellent post!

  235. Josette January 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Well, written post and very thoughtful. I agree with you heartily. Thankfully, my husband keeps me in check or I could go a bit loopy for organic.

    I say do your best, but always God first.

  236. Andrea January 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    I totally agree with you!

  237. Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS January 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    At 110 comments, I can’t possibly read them all, but I have read some. And I absorbed your whole post and loved every bit of its challenge! In particular, I was challenged by the idea of giving our best. I do not always do that. :( So that was really good to read.

    Regarding the tithe issue, though, I would like to suggest that we might consider our food dollars – no matter how they are spent – as a tithe. We spend money on food no matter what. Where does it go? We choose. Those dollars support someone. I would rather put my funds in the pocket of someone in my community, even if they’re outside of the Church, rather than see them go to a big corporation. If this leaves less of our budget leftover for official giving, so be it and glory to God for allowing us to bless real people that we know by supporting their livelihood! Frankly, they need our support. Walmart (or ______ insert any big chain grocery store) does not.

    God bless you, Lindsey, for asking challenging questions.

    • Jessica January 22, 2010 at 9:37 am #

      this is what i was getting at in my comment (earlier up) as well…

    • Mrs. Taft January 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

      Yes, I agree.

    • Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS January 26, 2010 at 8:24 am #

      I would like to repent of my use of the words “so be it.” If we know anything of God it is that He cares more for the heart than the actions. I did not mean to suggest it is okay not to give to God’s people – any I mean giving without strings attached (how the money gets used, etc.) Of course we should do that giving, generously.

      The point I was trying to make was that outside of tithing, we shouldn’t forget that we vote with our food dollars. If what we spend can have a local or personal impact, I’m in favor of choosing that direction rather than the other less personal approach. And, if someone doesn’t have extra money to spend (if this would cost them more) then obviously, they can’t do that.

  238. Cammie January 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Thanks for your honesty and for this post…I think, I know I have also been guilty of giving my time into researching health and nutrition issues, when I should have been caring for my husband, my kids or my home. It is so important to keep Jesus first and then all else will fall into place.

  239. ashley January 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Amen sister! well put!

  240. Lannah Bernard January 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Thank you so much for your post….agreed!!! Your honesty and transparency are wonderful. We must keep our eyes on HIM!!!! Thanks too for your ministry, encouragement, support and AWESOME recipes! We keep you and your family in our prayers.

  241. Ginger January 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Thank you for your thoughtfulness and gentleness in this post. I hope you don’t mind that I put a link to it on my blog. (if so just let me know!)
    I went through a season when eating as healthy as possible was an idol and I’m so grateful that the Lord brought me out of it gently and continues to speak to my heart about what’s important for my family (Like you said, ultimately it’s Luke 10:27, not what kind of veggies we eat).

  242. Mommy January 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    I really enjoy reading your posts Lindsey! I realized I was going over the board with this organic stuff when I started thinking about going organic with pads and toilet paper. The lady who stopped tithe because she went all organic got me thinking. We don’t know what her motives were behind all this, but just lets give her the benefit of the doubt. Some have to go organic because of their families health issues. Some are allergic to practically everything. When someone is in this situation you want to buy the best food possible. My daughter is allergic to wheat,milk,eggs,nuts, and soy. One box of cereal is $8.00. I have my own opinion about tithe. God gave us a family, so we should take care of them first before anyone else. Some don’t have anything to give after their basic expenses. I never been in a financial situation where I had to give up the way I eat in order to “tithe”. If we have a clean conscious, God will let us know when it is wrong to buy organic over giving “tithe”. Please don’t get me wrong, but I don’t believe in “tithe”. Where does it say in the bible that we have to give a certain amount? I do believe in helping the poor and personally I do every month. Before we start saying anything about giving “tithe” we should research what it is. God did not want the priest to work and own land. He strictly wanted them to teach the law therefore they were dependent on donations. Read Numbers 18:31 and Numbers 18:20-21. Today it is different. I don’t mind supporting a pastor who needs to pay his bills and who does not work, but when you look at the Mega churches today, who knows where the money is going. The point is we should take care of our family first then start helping others. Lets say someone is a choir director or a deacon and spends a lot of time away from his own family and his own kids are going a stray. Although he is doing good, but at the expense of his family. I’m not saying you can’t work in the church. Since when it is wrong to serve family first over others? Food is a necessity. Organic food is a way of life and it is normal. I personally would feel worse about going into debt and borrowing money and driving Mercedes over Toyota Camry even if you can afford it, but that’s different topic. I enjoy your blog Lindsey even if I don’t agree with all the way!

    • CultivateMom January 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

      Mommy,
      As to your question about where in the Bible does it say to give a certain amount- the word “tithe” literally means “one-tenth”.

      • G January 26, 2010 at 9:49 am #

        This was also in the Old Testament and of the Old Covenant. We also have to look at churches today. Are we building the church as we are the “arms” “legs” “the body” as he is the head?, or are we tithing to pay for a building. To look at the tithe in this manner we really need to dig deeper into what the church is really supposed to be. Not a building, with bills of electricity payments and ties to the government. Seek out the 501C3 and see how every church who gets a tax credit is under the governments laws and preaching the true gospel has certain choke holds and is restricted on certain subjects and topics of the Bible. It is truly eye opening.

    • Jennifer January 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

      I just wanted to add my thoughts on this. I appreciate your comment and know that you are doing what you feel is best for your family and in line with scripture. Tithing is not a “requirement” at all, it is a heart attitude. The pharisees tithed everything, but their heart was not in it. In Matthew 15:8 Jesus says, “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me”. So the letter of the law is not as important as the heart. In that I agree with you very much. However, I just want to leave you with this thought, EVERYTHING you have was given to you by God, all he asks for is 10%, I personally feel like I owe him at least that much in gratitude for everything he has done for me.

      • Mommy January 22, 2010 at 9:34 am #

        Jennifer,
        I totally agree with you that everything we do have is from God. He is the one that gives my husband health so that he is able to go to work and provide and I am grateful for that. I don’t want people to think that I am against giving to others. I want to know how many of us get out our checkbooks in the beginning of the month and the first check we write is a donation check before paying rent,putting money away for food, health care, etc. I just don’t believe we have to give 10%. People should give what they can from their heart. How can you say that the letter of the law is not as important as the heart? For today it’s like saying the ten commandments is not important as the heart. What will happen to your heart if you don’t even try to follow the commandments. Personally I give what is on my heart and although I can give more I will wait for the lord to let me know when it is time and where it should go.

      • Jessica January 22, 2010 at 9:35 am #

        I too have questions about the tithing issue and commented on it earlier up (“Jessica”)One lady responded graciously with one verse from the NT that does mention tithing…i encourage you to read my comment and her reply, if you want more food for thought…and i think this is really a great topic.

    • Lauren January 22, 2010 at 11:07 am #

      Mommy wrote: “I have my own opinion about tithe. God gave us a family, so we should take care of them first before anyone else.”

      There is no opinion to have about tithe. It is our reasonable service as we are commanded of God. God did not give us a family so that we would put them before Him. God is to be placed before EVERYTHING in our lives. The 10% that he asks is the LEAST that we can do because tithe is a requirement, different from an offering. He sent His only son for us and we would have the nerve to have an “opinion” about what He’s asked that we do?? How dare we act so mighty? We don’t deserve a thing God has blessed us with – not even the job that He’s blessed us with so that we can have that 10% to give. Tithing is an ordinance. The scripture begins with the words “thou shalt”. In the book of Leviticus 27:30, the Lord claims all the tithe and fruit of the land as His in the first place. These are of the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses.
      You also wrote that “Some don’t have anything to give after their basic expenses”. I think you missed the point. God has given us the strength to obtain wealth in the first place, and requires only 10% of that FIRST so that the other 90% would be blessed. Would you rather give 10% so that 90% would be blessed, or give nothing and have all 100% would be cursed. Maybe you’ll have some time to read Deuteronomy 14:22, that should help you understand where in the Bible we are instructed to give a certain amount. I say this in love and only to help you, so I do hope you take the time to learn.

      • E.E. January 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

        Lauren, my husband and I did not tithe for over five years. It is clear to me now that as a result, God’s hand of blessing was not on our finances. We have tithed faithfully for the past five years and I can’t begin to tell you all of the ways that He has blessed and stretched each dollar (and seemingly given us even more to share). How could we dare not give when He has given us EVERYTHING?! He is SO good! The LEAST I can give Him in return is 10%. In addition, if God’s people do not tithe, what will keep the work of the church going? Where will the faithful men of God receive the “double honour” (I Tim. 5:17) due them if not from those they are faithfully serving? Perhaps those who are not tithing need to reassess whether their monetary focus is where it should be. I appreciate Lindsay being bold in this regard.

    • Lauren January 22, 2010 at 11:21 am #

      I’d also love to bless you with my own testimony of tithing and giving. I did not always understand tithing, and just did it in the past because my mom “said so”. After getting married I realized I was FREE (lol) and could do what I want with my money. My husband started talking to me about how he tithes, and I decided to study tithing on my own. God completely changed my tithing. I didn’t feel bound to just giving my money to the church when I had no idea what they were going to use it for in the first place; rather, I felt instructed by my loving father in heaven to do what He told me to do because He has blessed me so much and will continue to do so through my obedience.

      A year down the road my husband lost his job and I was unable to return to mine. Although our tithing was nonexistent, our giving never changed!! Our financial advisor thought we were crazy – as a matter of fact she asked my husband several times whether or not he meant to add that extra “0″ on some of our checks. [Now, mind you, I know this giving is totally separate from tithe, but I'm going somewhere]. We continued to give and any time we were blessed with some increase I would tithe in the form of a meal to the first family of my church. Now I know that everyone can’t do something like this in their own church, but it was such a blessing for me to take time out of my schedule and prepare a full course meal to take to our Pastor, his wife, and 3 (hungry) boys. That was my way of giving of my own increase. I even spent more money on them than I was able to do for myself. We had no money coming in, but 3 times as much going out and I still don’t know how I’m sitting here today in a sound mind because the economy has not worked in the favor of either of us.

      In the end I learned (and am still learning) that God will supply all our needs. I didn’t have to hoard everything to myself. I can give and still be obedient to His word and He will make a way for us. Right now we are living on what I can only call “manna” from heaven. There’s nothing in the bank at times, and then, miraculously, I am able to carry my debit card on over to whole foods and leave with the nutritious meals that I desire for my beautiful family.

  243. Nicole January 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    There is a lot of truth to what you say. I also believe the state of the world today has a big role with this issue too. Population, economics, corporatism, politics, war, energy, society, the list could go on, and I could explain how each one of those plays into it, but it’s such a deep subject. Could you imagine going back in time and feeling superior because you grew your own food, or that you bought it whole/raw? Or that you used more simple self-reliant practices….like cleaning with baking soda and vinegar? Isn’t it strange how the tables have turned? I’ve never really felt better or smarter than anyone else because I choose to live my life more naturally. Although, nor am I so picky that I wouldn’t accept/allow something that wasn’t green/natural/organic enter my life, house or body. It’s all about finding the perfect balance between manners, patience, tolerance, and morals. For me, natural living is one way I’m helping myself broaden my knowledge and understanding, and most importantly self-reliancy and independence. This was a very good post Lindsay, I hope you have more like it in the future.

  244. Kim January 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    I have found that when I am spending more TIME washing cloth diapers than I am with people, that it is going to far. A natural life-style needs to be FLEXIBLE, or God’s most important commandment to “Love your neighbor” gets ignored. I have been thinking about this a lot lately too. Thanks!

  245. Rachel Watters January 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Thanks for the encouragement! It’s great to see the Lord at work. My husband and I also became convicted about our eating preferences. We chose to be vegetarian, occasionally vegan, for health, budget, and well, *preference* purposes.

    But as we came to see, people who found out what our preferences were placed labels on us or tried to go out of there way to cater to us. This made us pretty uncomfortable.

    Then, we got introduced to being “freegan.” If it’s given to us, we receive it with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:4-5)! We’re not out to offend our brothers and sisters in Christ, or those who don’t know Christ just because of our preferences. How selfish of us! It has brought a lot of freedom to walk in our conviction about food and natural living and be able to serve others as well.

    • Girl :) From Europe January 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

      Thank you for offering me the word “freegan”! I always have so many explanations to do on why I am a vegetarian but will it what others serve me.

  246. Heidi January 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    I appreciated this post very much. Thank you for writing it.

  247. Kim January 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    What a terrific post. Thank you. So RIGHT ON! It is a struggle to know what God’s will is for my life, family and our budget. With so many people in dire need and us being richly blessed of the Lord I seek to hear the Lord’s voice for how we spend our/His money. For us as of now that looks like organic grain and coconut oil, and anything organic on good sale but almost all our produce is not organic. I want it to be but at this point even though I’d love to I can’t justify us buying all organic with our budget. We live in Georgia in an area where it can be hard to find organic produce at good prices (if that is anywhere) but during the summer and fall I buy as much as I can from the local farmers market. SEEK THE LORD. DO WHAT YOU CAN. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. AT $35K we are RICH compared to most of the world! Let’s have thankful hearts that seek our Father’s will!

  248. Courtney January 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    I appreciate your post so much! There have been so many times (this post included) that God has been working in my heart about something, and then I read your latest post and it completely sums up what He has been saying. We have been seeking to eat more “natural, real foods” as well as to stay away from foods that have caused sinus or digestive issues in our family. The issue for me has been fear that creeps in…fear that I’ll forever mess up their immune systems (or whatever) with food or too many antibiotics or whatever it is. God also does not want us to live in fear. I have become educated on the health issues we face and how diet plays a huge role in that. But, the bottom line is that God is in control. I cannot heal (or prevent illnesses) just as health issues they do have are not my fault :) But, it’s easy to give into fear and to let the knowledge and the pursuit of healthy living rule over my life instead of completely trusting God and allowing Him to guide me.

  249. Christie January 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    This post is so encouraging! We are not a full-on organic family (mostly for financial reasons) but we eat healthy and maintain a budget. There have been many times when we eat at someone else’s home where I allow my child to eat something we would not normally eat at home (hot dogs, certain desserts, etc) but I remind myself of Romans 12: 17-18 which tells us to “do what is right in the sight of all men” and to “be at peace with all men”. I think you are so right, Ms. Lindsey, that our relationships with other people are more important than what is on the dinner table that night. My daughter also has received toys I did not care for (“Princess” themed stuff, lol) but they were given to her in love and she plays with them happily. Thanks for encouraging us all!

  250. Tammy January 21, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    This is so true. Something that has helped me is to have a reasonable limit for groceries/household items (that both spouses agree on). Then my job as homemaker is to see how “well” I can do staying within that limit. Making certain items a priority works. Is raw milk more important to you or is organic produce? What are the big things you want to avoid in your home? (For us it’s GMOs, prepackaged food, corn syrup, white flour and sweets, and hydrogenated fats.) Getting the most “bang for your buck”, and NOT feeling guilty for the rest. (Also not feeling guilty for spending more on those special items, because you have truly stayed in the budget you and your husband have agreed on.) A budget is so freeing! Asking the Lord to give you freedom from obsessing over a perfectly natural life style helps too. Thank you so much for this post!

  251. April January 21, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    What a wonderful and thoughtful post.

  252. Camille January 21, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Beautiful post! The Lord is so Gracious with us isn’t HE?? ANYTHING can become an idol…we must not allow that ~ EVER! Thanks for sharing your heart with us here…may the Lord bless you as you seek to honour HIM.

    Blessings,
    Camille

  253. Melissa January 21, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    I have to be honest, when I saw that you were taking a hiatus from the blog, I wondered if God was putting this very issue on your heart. I appreciate your honesty and your determination to do what GOD wants you to do. Keep it up, and keep listening…He is surely working through you!

  254. Heather January 21, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Very well said! I NEVER want to put anything before my relationship with my Lord! (And also my relationships with people!) This is why we must be in His Word daily & before Him continually in prayer!

  255. Sarah January 21, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Thank You Lindsay! I needed that reminder.

  256. Melissa January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Thank you for this great post. As a believer, I whole heartedly agree with everything you’ve said – from making idols of things we treat more importantly than God to living naturally is a part of being a good steward of our world and the resources God has given us.

    I am not as far down the path of natural living as you are, but I am taking little steps. Your blog and especially this post (what a great reminder!!) has helped me a lot. Thank you, thank you.

  257. Lara January 21, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Lindsay,
    Thank you so much for this post. I do often feel guilty for not plugging into the green movement more. This is such a good reminder to seek the Lord first! Anything other priority but Him is lousy and empty. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I think this is a message we need to hear!

  258. Beth January 21, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Excellent post. Our goals and ideals in any area can easily take the place of what is truly important if we are not mindful.

  259. Amber January 21, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    I absolutey LOVE this article. It spoke to my heart because I used to struggle with this. I think it is so important to remember what is most important. I, personally, had gotten so caught up in making everything in my life natural/organic, especially after I had my first child, that I lost sight of what my purpose in being a mother, wife and woman of God was. I found myself feeling guilty when I couldn’t afford all organic. I even had a friendship that became unhealthy due to feelings of inadequacy and rivalry that came about due to the “green” lifestyle goals. I had to pray, seek the Lord and find peace knowing that the Lord is in control.
    After that I realized that while my motives for being healthy were good, ultimately I needed to be thankful for what I have, what the Lord has blessed us with, and give back to Him first and foremost. It’s hard sometimes, and I continue to have to relinquish control to the Lord and trust in Him. We do our best to be healthy, sometimes organic, but now I just praise God that we have food on our table, and a roof over our heads.

    I really like how you said that doing these things does not add a single day to our lives. So true! God knows our needs, meets our needs, and He alone deserves our best. Thank you again for such an honest and informative post. It is so wonderfu to know that others struggle with this as well. :0)

  260. Lauren January 21, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    God bless you so much for this post! A new friend told me about this blog about 6 months ago, and since then, I have kept this as my homepage so that I can have something positive and influential as the first thing I look at when I open my computer to do work – or research something. I don’t always read the posts because I’m usually on a mission (which reminds me, what was I about to do?), but today I read everything. Today is actually the first day of a Daniel fast that my husband and I are embarking upon for a week. It is the first time we have ever done it this way – one meal prior to 6pm, no meals following, and a diet of fruits, veggies, legumes, & nuts with water and juice. This post represents an immense blessing for me on this day. I find that I am guilty of some of the negative and idolatrous actions listen on this post. I thank God for leading me to read this page and do some introspection. I thank God for allowing us the means to eat more healthfully but that in doing so I seek that He will teach me to be pure and unselfish in my goal for the natural way of life – the way He intends. I pray this post touches someone else also

  261. Jenny January 21, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    This is a wonderful post. When I first became more aware of “real food”, it quickly became an obsession. I was like a mad woman, throwing products away, and of course spending piles of money for substitutions. About two months ago, I realized that it is just impossible to eat real food, buy organic, and use natural cleaning products 100% of the time. It was becoming an idol in my life, and taking up thoughts that should have been focused on God.

    I quickly realized that I just need to do what I can, when I can do it, and that God comes first. It’s more important to tithe than to spend money on groceries that I don’t really need.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  262. Amy January 21, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Lindsey, This post is like you read my mind and heart. I found your site a few months ago, and have been consumed with making changes for our family and forming new habits for some time now. Instead of simplifying and bringing peace to my family, I have become an alarmist who is the watchdog for consumerism and gluttony. The Lord revealed to me, as He has to you, that I was not trusting Him with our health and future. I am still committed to making the right choices for my husband and children, but only as our budget and resources allow. I had started into a spiral of panic, and was becoming overwhelmed. Thanks for the post, and God’s blessings to you!

  263. Crystal January 21, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    I have to admit that this is a refreshing read for me. I have been thoroughly frustrated and almost to the point of despair several times over the past year. This has come mostly from the fact that I would love to, ideally, transition our family to living a radically more natural lifestyle. The more I read, the more I want that for us. BUT I have also seen that there is no way we can do that and still live out the gospel in many of the ways my husband and I feel our family has been called to live it out. It would most certainly damage relationships and put up walls. It would drain money from other pursuits. It would prevent us from growing our family. It would take time away from nurturing my family, educating my children, and serving others.

    At times I have had to restrict myself from reading certain blogs and sites because they caused me to give more of my heart’s attention to things other than living out my highest call…to know Him and make Him known. It’s been a struggle not to feel inferior because I recognize that I cannot do it all and that our family is called to do what we can while placing our trust ultimately in God’s sovereignty and pursuing those things to which he has specifically called us. Thank you for sharing what He’s placed on your heart and know that (for anyone who might mistakenly be sensing it in my comments) there is no condemnation from my perspective, either. I applaud your efforts!

    • Amber January 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

      Really well said. :0)

  264. Jessica January 21, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    I want to send along my thanks for this articulate, and God-centered post. This was a blessing and encouragement to me. Pursuing natural living seems to be a generational thing that can divide us from our elders too. My mom recently commented that she has trouble inviting “my generation” over to her home for dinner because she experienced ungratefulness due to her lack of organic, all-natural food options. And these responses came from a group of Christian young women! And my mom is a wonderful cook! I think so often our values get out of whack from what God desires. We need Him so desperately every day, otherwise we can be so easily led astray by the things of this world.

  265. Joy January 21, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Thanks for sharing. I have had many of the same thoughts and have often wondered where we should draw the line. As usual there is no line, as God wants us constantly seeking after him for direction, not the line. It is encouraging to hear someone else’s thoughts on the matter, and putting it in the perspective of relationships has been helpful.

    thank you for listening and sharing with the community your best food from God!

  266. [email protected] Crew January 21, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    There are so many ways to look at this. I know that for our family the thought of all natural foods etc is a great thought but in our everyday life many things are put in front of that. EAch person must follow the path they are on and hope that they have not strayed. It is also important for us all to remember that even when we stray there is always a provided path back. Thanks for the thought provoking post

  267. Jodie January 21, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can totally relate. I have come to the same conclusion! We do the best with what God has provided and then trust Him with the rest! Sometime we do mostly organic, and sometimes we just can’t afford to so we don’t. This is a rising trend in Christian circles and there have been things I can’t bring food to because I just can’t do it “right”. They have requested ALL organic and very expensive things. I really appreciate this post!

  268. Karen January 21, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Great post – thanks for the encouragement and exhortation! :)

  269. Lynne January 21, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Well done Lindsay! I want to encourage you after you have put all this out there. We need to hear this! Thank you for making your concerns known through showing us sound scripture. You are listening to the Holy Spirit. YAY!

  270. shannon January 21, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Such a great post! Anytime that we feel that we are “better” than others because of our actions, morals, etc. we shift our trust from our righteousness in Christ, to righteousness of our own accord. This is so easy to fall into on so many levels… people who “court” rather than “date”, natural living, home/ house church models and so on. All of these things on their own are good, but when we idolize them, and let them not only divide us, but become a point of contention between us and our brothers and sisters then that is a problem! We need to purify our hearts, humbly consider others as better than ourselves, and boast only in Christ. Sin is a filthy thing, and the deciever is great at getting us to take a good thing, and twist it so that it becomes a stumbling block to us.

  271. [email protected] January 21, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Amen. So important to remember, as CJ Mahaney likes to say, to keep the main thing the main thing.

  272. AEdmonds January 21, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Great post Linds. Oh that what people would see first in us is Jesus, not natural living. A cry of my heart too, even though I still choose natural choices for my family. Love Tim Keller’s book!

  273. Alison @ Hospitality Haven January 21, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Thank you for this post. You’re right. I appreciate the words you’ve shared.

  274. Lauren January 21, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Amen! Thank you, Lindsay!

  275. Lisa January 21, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    So helpful! I have sometimes thought about this and what a bad witness it is for us Christians to elevate some of these issues above what God has called us to do. In one situation, a family was receiving public assistance (husband trying to learn a profitable skill, wife at home with a child- neither looking for a paying job) as well as racking up credit card debt to pay for organic food. For people seeing that, it easily leads you to believe that the food is more important than being wise with your money. It’s hard to know what to say in such situations. We do buy healthy whole and organic foods most of the time, but we are careful with our money and spend less in other areas to cover the difference.

  276. Danielle January 21, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Very interesting food for thought. There are definitely some things in this post that spoke loudly to me. Thank you so much for your honesty.

  277. Beth C January 21, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Thank you for the encouragement! I could really see your heart in this post!

  278. Cori January 21, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Thank you for bringing this up. I wonder/think about this often. For me, it can become as idol through my constant thoughts and obsessions. When I am more fixated on natural living than I am on serving the Lord that is a problem. May the Lord direct our hearts and thoughts on Him first, and may our desire for natural living be an act of service to Him and our families!

  279. Laura Cooper January 21, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    This is very encouraging. I too, share the same concern as I interact with other ladies on the practices they keep in caring for their families and homes. The principle is that we love our husbands and children and care for our homes. But, our practices will look different. When we elevate our practices to the place of a principle – we create another gospel. Thank you for taking your soul to task and sharing with us what the Lord is doing in your life.

  280. Stephanie January 21, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Wow! This was a great post! I am so glad that I found this (through Crystal Paine’s twitter link). This was very challenging, as well as encouraging to me.

  281. shannon January 21, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    Thank you for this, It has helped me as I sometimes fall short. I appreciate everything you shared today.
    Sincerely,
    Shannon :)

  282. Stephanie Broersma January 21, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Thanks for a great reminder. I very much enjoy your blog.

  283. Allegra January 21, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    I, too, have struggled with this. It was so encouraging to read your post and know I’m not the only one. Thank you for sharing. May Christ be glorified through your heart and actions.

  284. YW January 21, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Wow, I admire your honesty here, and saw some of myself in this post. I think this is a particularly difficult thing for many of us, as we feel we are striving to act in an ethical way, living by our beliefs, and yet, when those beliefs cause us problems with others, or when we hoard…it can become something negative.

    One of the things I find most difficult is that we are taught to stick to our beliefs, and that strong convictions are prized in a person. And yet…as we evolve, we realize that our strong convictions can often lead to a closed heart, which can cause our spiritual lives to suffer. I once heard a Buddhist lecture in which the speaker said that we should be careful of becoming too rigid in our beliefs and that we should always remain curious to the beliefs and convictions of others.

  285. Midwest mom January 21, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    This is lovely. I have a sweet friend who offends me every time she comes to my house. She and her family eat quite healthfully, but what I have to offer is never suitable for her children. If I offer peanut butter sandwiches and ham sandwiches on store-bought bread, she asks me to make their sandwiches on her homemade wheat rolls. Ugh.

  286. The Local Cook January 21, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I think you are placing the emphasis on the wrong place. In the first example, why is it that gifts of any sort are placed above people? Have we become so materialistic that something small, a handmade token of appreciation, would have been looked down upon as opposed to something expensive? And in the second example, I find it hard to believe that the ONLY reason for not tithing was eating good foods. Americans spend a lower percentage of their income on food than any other country in the world.

  287. Sarah January 21, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this. This was incredibly good for me to hear, as it has been all too easy for me to put way too much focus onto all-natural, organic living, and less focus on the Lord.

  288. Kristy Howard January 21, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Lindsay, this is a very timely post (for me anyway!)… I so appreciate you sharing your heart. I’ve been reading your blog for a year or two now, and I’ve always found your humble and sweet spirit very encouraging. Thank you for letting the Lord use you.

  289. Val January 21, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Thank-you for this post and sharing truth and your heart. I appreciated it greatly and was a good reminder for me. Thankful for you allowing God to use you in this manner.

  290. Amy blogs @ River Rock Cottage January 21, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Well said!! Many of these same thoughts have been running around in my head, but I do not think I could express them so clearly and succinctly! If we are honest with ourselves, this article should touch each of us on some level or some point. Thank you for sharing!

  291. Erica January 21, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    Loved this post, Lindsay. It actually made be click over from Google Reader to comment…something I rarely do anymore as the Mom of 4. This is just such a timely topic. I am asking myself some hard questions in this area and others. Thanks for sharing from your heart!

  292. Janice @ SAHMville January 21, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you for such an honest, thought-provoking post. I’d like to link to it from my site if that’s ok.

  293. Kathy Days January 21, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    You are so very real! I love your honesty. Everything you write comes off as encouraging. Thank you for sharing!!!!!!

  294. Barb January 21, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    What a great post! I really enjoyed reading it, and the best part was the sciptures you provided. Luke 10:27 is actually the header for my blog. I think you did a wonderful job on this post!!!!

  295. Jessica B January 21, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Thanks you SO much for sharing this! What a great reminder!

  296. Jackie January 21, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    You bring up so many good points. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know we could do more natural things than we already do, but I have tried to find a balance. While I do use cloth diapers, cloth napkins, breastfeed, grow as much organic produce as possible there are some things that I financially haven’t been able to do. I have made peace with what we can’t do and have been thankful for what we can do. I never want to offend people with comments about natural things, but I am sure I have. You have given me some things to ponder. I don’t comment often, but I want to encourage you because I think you are a strong witness.

  297. Heather January 21, 2010 at 7:59 am #

    AMEN to this post!! I recently was going through the same exact situation. With healthy eating choices/excerising. The Lord put it on my heart he gave us food to enjoy. I shouldnt be overly concerned about the resource. God is in control of our health, not us! As much as we eat correctly + excerise it is the Lords hand that gives + takes away!

  298. Cassie January 21, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    I really needed to hear this. Thank you.

  299. Eryn January 21, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    There are alot of kudos in the comments…and I will add one more. Thank you for staying true to the word, and “confessing to one another” You have a beautiful and strong ministry…stay the course friend.

  300. Julie January 21, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    Excellent reminder, Lindsay. It is so easy to become unbalanced… especially when our initial intentions were good. This is something I have struggled with, and God continues to challenge me to make HIM my priority!

  301. DarcyLee January 21, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing this with us. As an older mom and new grandma, I’m learning that relationships are so much more important than what we put into our mouths. I didn’t raise my girls the natural way and my two sons-in-law weren’t raised that way either, so when they are at my house to eat, I try to give them what I know they will like and still keep true to my new way of eating. Most of the time I must compromise, and you know what? That’s okay. I would rather they enjoyed their time here rather than dread coming to my house because I refuse to “give in” to the way they like to eat. I have gently shared some things I’ve learned about healthy eating but it’s something they must decide for themselves. I will never be able to fully embrace complete natural eating (organic, grass-fed, etc.) but I can do the best I can with the resources God provides and trust Him for the rest. Great post.

  302. Debbie January 21, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    EXCELLENT post, Lindsay. Thank you for your transparency. You are so right on here and I think we can all relate in one way or another. It is so easy for something good to be turned into sin if we’re not going at it with a Godly heart.

  303. Heather January 21, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    God bless you for your honesty and balance.
    I have greatly enjoyed your site the past couple of months. Thanks!

  304. jeanna January 21, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    What a wonderful post Lindsay! You are such a good person. Down deep into your soul! God is speaking through you to all of us! I thank you!

    At some point in your life when you have more time on your hands, you should definitely think about becoming a minister! Although you already have a large “ministry” (to us).

    I have been caught up in this myself and I do love the entire message you have given us!

    Thank you!

  305. jessica January 21, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    This is a verry interresting topic of discussion and one I wonder over personally…I’m going to share a few of my thoughts on it, because i rarely get the chance to discuss it with like-minded people…(and look forward to hearing other’s thoughts)

    My mom (who is very health-conscious) used to say that white bread/rice had NO nutritional value. I used to remind her that there are people in the world who LIVE on white rice alone (so there must be “something” in it)…now I aim to eat 100% organic/whole foods myself, so I do see the value, but i often question my motives. (and the benefits as my kids were sick for nearly 2 months straight this winter and we saw generic syntheic vitamins make a huge difference following repeated sickness! …i know, i couldn’t believe it!)
    Questioning yourself is tricky too, because it can also work the OTHER way, where you talk yourself OUT of the importance of doing what you know to be best/right, just to save more money to spend on other things! I like the verse where Jesus says “to whom much is given much is required”. I think when you have the “choice” it’s harder than when you are ignorant or in a situation where you have no “choice” (i’m thinking of the people who ARE living on a bowl of rice a day!)
    An issue that is constantly on my mind is that of the conditions of the workers who PRODUCE what we eat/wear/use… Fair Trade or buying local is “a” remedy. It takes more work (to find the products) and costs more money. There is the verse (in the gospels) where God says that the wages you witheld from the workers will testify against you. This is one area you haven’t really delved into as you focus more on environment and health. To me the WAY in which a product is made and price is set is even MORE important. This is where my dilemma lies, because buying my organic groceries might cost say 30% more but buying organic/fair-trade coton clothes, especially for growing kids, (coton is more poluting that all other agriculture and the workers have VERY high cancer rates) costs easily 50% more (and shoes that aren’t made in sweatshops are even more!)
    This brings me to the tithing issue. I do not believe that there is ANY New Covenant instruction to “tithe”. We are told to give according to our means, to set aside an amount that will be collected, to give to the needy, and to share in the physical needs of those who have nourished us spiritually…beyond that I don’t see any 10% command. Realisticly it should probably more than that… but i have been wondering for some time if being committed to first paying a “fair” price to meet our families needs is not a higher priority than “giving” a set amount to said church or charity. We sponsor a child, her parents both work in the fields in Burkina Faso. Maybe if they were payed fair wages for their labor (if northerners payed fair prices for their products) she wouldn’t need sponsored, do you see what I mean? I feel as a Christian that since doing what is “right” is my first obligation, it is not in competition with charitable giving but equally as important. I do question myself on this too, though as I have always practiced tithing (raised with that value) and seen God continuously provide for all my “needs” even when it didn’t (hardly ever!) work out on paper!

    • lisa January 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

      Jesus addressed the tithe in Luke 11:42- “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” Jesus said, practice justice & love without neglecting the tithe (tenth). It is God’s design for taking care of his house & it is also a promise of his blessing if we will be obedient (Malachi 3:10) As you have seen yourself, and we & countless others have experienced, putting God first in our finances does bring blessing!

      • Jessica January 22, 2010 at 8:41 am #

        thank you for the very pertinent insight. I guess i never picked up on that verse before! I’m not sure about the full implication (..thinking Jesus also said that he came “not to abolish the law but to fulfill it” can leave lots of questions concerning what parts of the “law” still apply or don’t…) but definitely gives food for thought. Thank you.

    • Marijo January 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

      Well said Jessica! So important for Christians to think of OTHERS/ENVIRONMENT/ANIMALS/U.S.A. when making a purchase.

  306. amandaginn January 21, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    Thank you, sister.

    I have had the words, “This world is not our home,” playing in the back of my head lately. Someone wrote the words in response to my natural living practices. While she meant it to hurt me and exalt herself, I have been using it for my betterment; using it as a reminder to maintain the balance between my earthly and eternal home.

    I needed your words today as I pursue a proper balance my heart and in my mind.

  307. Angel January 21, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Thanks for the wonderful post! I have used your site for lots of information, from cloth diapers to healthy foods, and I appreciate all of the information, but I really appreciate this post because I have been trying to guard against alienating friends/family with my greener choices. The last thing I want to do is make others feel hurt or somehow inadequate! Also, thanks for the Romans verse.

  308. Melissa January 21, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    You are so real, and your love for the Lord just radiates through your writing. I love your honesty and how you opened up your heart. You are an amazing woman – and I do look up to you! This post was so perfect and I needed to hear it. I have struggled with not feeling like I am doing enough and have been comparing myself to others often. I do know that I am trying my best and doing the best I can with what we have been given. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

  309. Jessica January 21, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    Great post. My grandpa always said that “you can’t cheat death.” We can’t. We can do everything right and only eat organic and never make contact with plastics and while it might prolong the physicality or length of our lives, doing so comes at a cost, and you very eloquently summarized that cost. My husband and I do the best we can. We can’t afford to eat all organic or only buy organic products, but we make smart purchase decisions based on our resources. We’ve met people over the years who’ve thought less of us or been less friendly toward us because we’re not “all in” or on extreme special diets and workout regimens. It hurts, but we’re determined to live by an achievable standard that doesn’t shortchange our relationships and other goals that make life enjoyable for us.

  310. Lauren January 21, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Thank you for your vulnerability and gentle reminders of closely examining where our hearts are focused. I actually have been on the OTHER side of this, as I try my hardest – within our budget and the extra time I feel like I can expend – to feed our family natural, organic, homemade, and “real” food. But when I try to talk to others about it who are more “hardcore” in their approach, I’ve often been snubbed or derided because my kids still eat store-bought crackers.

    The Lord of my heart is Jesus. Sometimes the best ways I feel I can honor Him are by implementing “simplifying,” or by changing our diets, or any other number of things. But the moment that my own identity as a bread-baking, cloth-diapering, babyfood-making, breastfeeding, organic-gardening, etc (whatever may be important to us) becomes MORE important than “I am a daughter of the KING!…who likes homemade things”, then it’s time to re-evaluate my priorities, focus, and where my time is going during the day. :)

    Also, love your “further up and further in” – gotta love CS Lewis! My husband and I say that phrase often to encourage one another, in hard times as well as in joyful ones. :)

  311. Sharon January 21, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    This was excellent! I have struggled with many of these same thoughts and feelings. I’ve finally settled on the position that we will do the best we can with what we’ve got and not constantly feel like “oh, there’s so much more we could be doing”. That was leading to discontent and discouragement. Also, I would feel overwhelmed by potluck dinners worrying about what we would eat. I had to “quit that job” and like you, focus on the fellowship, not food. Blessings, Sharon

  312. Narelle January 21, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    Amen ;)

  313. Lori January 21, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    That was a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it. A couple of years ago, I was trying to lose weight. I became very consumed with the goal of losing weight. The Lord convicted me, not of wanting to lose weight, but that I had let it become an idol in my life. It’s so easy to do. Thanks for posting this!!!

  314. Tonya January 21, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Wow. Thank you for writing this post. I really appreciate the points you’ve made and your willingness to share.

  315. Erin Wilson January 21, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    Amen and Amen…beautifully written and your heart shines through! This is my desire too. Many times I can get so excited about natural living that I just want to share, share, share! A wonderful reminder to seek first the Lord so that I am not making others feel condemned but rather encouraged!
    Thank you!

  316. rachel January 21, 2010 at 6:28 am #

    thanks for this post. You have it absolutely right! I have definately struggled with this in the past as well. It is so easy to be a hypocrite. We must remember the most important thing-Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

  317. Debbie January 21, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    I am provoked by your thoughts and convicted that I have often kept the best for my family, rather than sharing it generously. I’m reminded of the verse that says “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Prov 11:24 NIV

    I look forward to how God will help me change in this area throughout this year.

  318. Christina Scott January 21, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    What an excellent reminder and thank you for having the courage to voice what the Lord put on your heart.

  319. Lindsey January 21, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    thank you so much for this article and your honesty in writing it…this has been on my heart too a lot lately

  320. Megan January 21, 2010 at 6:06 am #

    Preach on, sister! This is the best post I’ve read in a very long time. I actually stopped blogging (except for updates on my pregnancy for far-away friends and family) because I felt the same conviction you do. I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed and caught in the trap of feeling like everything was “bad” and definitely turning some people off in the process. So all I can say is Amen! Amen! Amen! and Give the girl a pulpit! =)

  321. Jayna January 21, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    this is a MUCH needed post, as it is easy to be critical and judge others, even when you dont mean to! I also think it is really important to still be thankful or communicate the need of a local shelter or church for funds that would buy something for ones family that they may not use or need, in lieu of this purchase (from loving family members) mention the needs around you. Secondly, i can remember walking away from some mothering groups because it became a contest to see who was or could be the “crunchiest”, no good. great insight, thanks!

  322. Erin January 21, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    Girl, I hear ya. Thank you for being honest. I have been struggling with this issue for months. I try to keep my family’s food choices to myself unless directly asked (we eat as close to WAPF as feasible). I’ve decided that when we’re at a friend’s house or a church function the fellowship/friendship is more important than that ONE meal. It bothers me to hear my young children say things like, “Those have MSG.” I know it’s a reflection of my judgemental attitude.

    It’s yet another form of legalism. I think it demonstrates my lack of trust in Him. God made our bodies, for crying out loud–He knows what they need. Do I believe He has the power to sustain me if I was eating dirt alone? Absolutely. My life is in His hands. Eating perfectly would not change that fact.

  323. Katie Rose January 21, 2010 at 5:56 am #

    This was so good. Thank you, Lindsay!

  324. Marcy January 21, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    Thank you so much for exposing your own heart by sharing that with us. I am guilty of the same things as well since we started our journey to healthier living nearly 6 years ago. Thank the Lord that He has been working in my heart on these matters over time too. I pray He will continue to mold and shape me to be more like Him in all areas of my life.

  325. Chrissy January 21, 2010 at 5:49 am #

    Very good post. It is so true. As a mom that has been recently caught up in the whole becoming natural thing I started to feel a little convicted about how much my Focus had turned off the Lord. Thanks

  326. Mary January 21, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    I am new to your site, as of yesterday, and new to the whole fermenting process. I did notice that I was sort of being judged by people who were doing these things already. You echoed my conversation that I had with my husband just this morning. Thank you for putting it so kindly and truthfully.

  327. Sweetpeas January 21, 2010 at 5:37 am #

    While I agree with most of your post, I wanted to address the first scenario (baby shower). When I became pregnant with my youngest (now 9 mo old) I REALLY hoped nobody would want to throw me a shower because we did not want or need “normal” baby gifts! We have 2 other daughters and I kept the baby “gear” that I felt would be useful with another baby. We live in a very small house so we don’t have room for things we aren’t using. And I don’t like money to go to waste at all!! When hubby “warned” me that some of the women from his office & our church (he works for a church entity so there’s overlap) were planning a surprise shower, I was very disturbed, it bothers me greatly that our society thinks the only way to bless someone is with material things even if they don’t need those things and those giving them can’t afford it. I decided at that point that we would see if there was a local womens shelter that could use the items (including disposable diapers) that we wouldn’t use, but when the opportunity presented itself, thru facebook, to innocently mention that I don’t like surprise parties (which is true), I did so, in the hopes that the hostess would see it & change her plans. It worked, the next day when I saw her at another church function she asked me about it, and told me they were planning a shower. At that point I expressed to her my concerns, of not NEEDING anything for this baby, and the only “wants” we had were expensive, online items that weren’t likely to be in the budget (or technical know-how) of our small church of mostly older people. I told her I didn’t want to be ungrateful but I also didn’t want them spending their money on things we didn’t need and wouldn’t use. She came up with the idea of a book shower in which each person brought their favorite childhood book, or otherwise a children’s book they especially liked (some brought a book that had been their child’s favorite)it was a lovely shower, we got some GREAT books, some used, because they were older, out-of-print books, one woman even talked to the library and they were able to photocopy an out-of-print (and old enough to no longer be under copywrite) book and laminate and comb bind it. This was a special shower that we enjoyed (and my older girls did too), without me having to accept things we didn’t want/need in the name of “letting others bless us”. A couple years ago when a friend & I wanted to celebrate a mutual friend’s coming 5th baby we knew she had the same issue of not needing anything, and preferring natural products, etc. We asked everyone to bring a frozen meal (casserole, etc) so that she wouldn’t have to cook for the first while, this might not work if the family were insistent on only eating organics/natural . . . but in this case I knew that while she tried to use organic whole foods when cooking at home, they do eat out, etc and in that hectic new baby time, would be fine with having non-organic, convenience foods. . .I would love to see the Christian community develop something similar to the pagan “blessingway” that I’ve seen, focusing on truely blessing the family, not just giving “stuff” but at least in my cicles, that wouldn’t fly at this point.

    • Lauren January 21, 2010 at 7:08 am #

      What a sweet shower idea – a book shower! I need to remember that. I love celebrating with friends when they are expecting, and have offered to do “meal” showers, or even just a tea. But the book shower is unique, sweet, and useful! :)

      • Cori January 21, 2010 at 9:33 am #

        When I found out that some ladies from Church wanted to have a shower for me, (in addition to another large shower I was already given) my mother-in-law suggested we have a “prayer shower”. This was such a blessing to me. We had lunch together and each woman shared some wisdom about mothering and then everyone prayed for me, the baby, the delivery and more. As everyone was praying I started to have contractions (I was exactly three weeks away from my due date) and I delivered a beautiful healthy girl less than 24 hours later. The Lord is good!

    • Lindsay January 21, 2010 at 7:15 am #

      Thank you for sharing, but let me just clarify real quick. This woman was having her first child and therefore definitely needed clothing and diaper items. In the case of multiples, I heartily agree that other kinds of showers are far more appropriate. I recently had several friends have their 3+ child, and/or already had sufficient clothing, and opted for a book shower or freezer meals. Everyone totally understands and desires to bless them as they have the need. I think you approached your situation very graciously, and I don’t think anyone is going to come away feeling like you were arrogant. We want to serve folks as they have need. This attitude is very common in my circle of friends. With my shower for Titus, I included on the invitation that used items were totally welcome and encouraged. I received a wealth of used clothing and was totally blessed. Your dollar can get stretched so much further when you don’t buy the new clothing. I loved how everyone felt comfortable because they were able to give as they could afford. I am in no way implying that their are not other ways to give…that was not my point. This friend herself has also thrown these other kinds of showers as folks had need.

      • Carmen January 21, 2010 at 8:46 am #

        I recently went to a shower in which the mom really needed a dresser for her second child. The invitation stated that they would be having a money tree to help her purchase this. Also, most people give gift receipts so items can be returned. A lot of stores will even do a few exchanges without a receipt. Even packages of diapers can be taken back and exchanged. It really is about the heart attitude. Some people feel like they are “truly blessing the family” by giving “stuff”.

      • LS January 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

        When I had my third I didn’t need clothes so I declined a shower but the church ladies insisted. So we decided to give the little baby things to the local crisis pregnancy center and if they wanted they could bring disposable diapers for us as well. It was fun to get together, celebrate the baby and help the crisis pregnancy center all at the same time! And we got diapers, which is the one thing we really needed with a third kid!

    • Ami January 21, 2010 at 8:40 am #

      We moved to a new community a few weeks before our third child was due, and our new church wanted to throw us a shower. I felt so embarrassed because I didn’t need anything. There is a crisis pregnancy home on our church’s property and we had a diaper shower for them instead. So we got to have the party and a wonderful time for me to get to know some new friends, and I also made friends with the moms who live at the pregnancy center. It turned out to be such a huge blessing and I definitely recommend going ahead and having a shower for moms who’ve already got kids, but see if you can turn it around to give to others. It was such a happy day!

  328. Meghan January 21, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I know that I struggle with this also. When I find myself thinking more of food than I do of the Lord I know that I have made food an idol. I pray that I will find a balance!

  329. Debbie January 21, 2010 at 5:29 am #

    Lindsey,
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. It is amazing how sometimes these idols can creep up into our lives without us even realizing us. I am so glad that I have a Savior who has redeemed my from my own deceptive heart. Have a great day and thank you for continuing to blog.

  330. Julie January 21, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    Great post Lindsey. This has been on my mind as well. Thank you for sharing.

  331. Melissa January 21, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Thank you for posting this, Lindsay. We recently went through a time when we had to give up of our healthy food in favor of more conventional options. I can’t tell you how many panic attacks I had during that time. I was convinced that those few months of eating less than perfectly were going to destroy us. I had rooted much of my identity in the way we eat. It was not until I recognized that and began working to change it that God provided new resources for us. I have also accepted that I can’t do it all. I can’t afford to feed my family 100% organic, and that is ok. I have to do the best I can with what I have now.

    Again, thank you for posting this. A lot of people look to blogs like yours for advice and inspiration in their journey toward a more natural lifestyle (especially if they are like me and everyone around them thinks they are nuts!), and it is good to see you honestly share your heart on this matter.

  332. Emily January 21, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Amen!!! This is such a good reminder. Our hearts are so prone to creating idols out of good things, worshipping the gift over the Giver. Thank you for such a pertinent post.

    I’d also like to add another “bullet” to your list. Living naturally should not trump my submission to my husband. My marriage and its well-being is more important than eating organic. I’d love for our grocery budget to be higher so I can buy more organic and locally grown food, but in order to respect and obey my husband, I need to make sacrifices in order to stay within the amount we’ve set. Being a submissive and respectful wife and protecting our marriage iare more important than raw milk or free range chicken!

    • Erica January 21, 2010 at 8:21 am #

      Amen, Emily. I would love to pursue raw milk, but my husband is absolutely opposed to it…but he has no problem buying pastured beef from a local farmer, having a CSA share and paying a bit extra for organic milk, etc… so I simply don’t push that point and vow not to feel condemned when I read all about the benefits of raw milk. This is the husband the Lord has given me and I am so blessed. I will not add strife to our marriage over such a small thing. If we’re supposed to switch to raw milk, the Lord will change DH’s heart. Until then, I am content.

      • E.E. January 24, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

        Excellent Emily & Erica! What a great (convicting) reminder! Guess I can let the issue of free range eggs, raw milk, and organic butter go for now… :)

  333. Ruthie January 21, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this much needed post! I am very convicted as I all too easily slip into spending more than our budget allows for foods that are natural, organic, or “designer.” My husband reminds me that eating more healthy won’t do him a bit of good if he dies from a heart attack as a result of working so much to pay for it. There are ways to eat healthy without being sucked into a trend. Dried beans are always cheap :)

  334. Keri January 21, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    What a wonderful post! Our family has begun the journey of natural living and real food. We are truly enjoying it, and your blog has been extremely helpful in that pursuit. But lately I found myself pondering the exact same things you just voiced. I am not always good at balance, and it’s something I am working on. Thank you so much for this reminder that even good things can become an idol if they take a higher place than Christ in our lives. Again, your blog has been such a blessing to me!

  335. Andie January 21, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    Thanks for being so real and using such concrete examples! How desperately I need heart-checks about many areas in life that can become idols. Thanks for sticking your neck out on this one.

  336. Johnnal January 21, 2010 at 5:03 am #

    WOW!!!! I am so impressed! What a blessing to read such truths. I have also encountered this very problem in my self and in others in my circle of friends. In my efforts to try to live naturally it is very easy to come to a point of condemnation towards those who don’t see the importance and towards myself when I fall off the wagon. It can definately become an idol in my life. Thank you for your insight. Continue to be used and blessed!

  337. Hallee January 21, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    I think this was a wonderful post. You have obviously been doing a lot of soul searching lately, and God is answering your heart. I think that is beautiful.

    My husband and I often say, “We do this…but we’re not purists.” You have to have a balance. And you have to have the right heart. To say, *I* make sacrifices and *I* do all of this homemade and *I* have to wash cloth diapers and carry around some method to have cloth diapers when we go out and about and *I* do all of this because *I* want to know that *I* am doing ‘the best’ I can for my family — then it ceases to be about what is best for my family and more about *me*.

    Reading the Real Food Faceoff on http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/, titus2mom, who seems to follow the same diet my family follows if I compare my answers for the faceoff with hers, convicted me with one of her answers. She said, “This is our diet..etc..etc..but when we’re guests in someone else’s home, we eat whatever is offered.” I immediately thought of a friend from church who invited us to dinner while my husband is home from Afghanistan. They asked if there was anything specific we disliked and we said, “We don’t eat pork.” He was immediately disappointed and his wife told me a roasted pork loin was his best company dish. I felt really bad and the next morning read the faceoff answers, so obviously God was working in my heart.

    I hope that as you continue to seek, God continues to answer.

    Hallee

  338. Sarah M January 21, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    love this post, thanks for sharing your heart.
    sarah M

    • Sarah M January 21, 2010 at 7:29 am #

      as I was reading through the comments, I have some great ideas for baby showers (I threw 3 in the past few months and I love doing that for people~!!)
      One is a “cloth diaper shower” where people either give money to a jar for cloth diapers, or everyone just buys one…since they are expensive, this is such a blessing for the new mom!
      Another idea is one I threw where instead of games, I set out little fabric scraps (with iron on adhesive already ironed on) and tons of plain baby onesies and pants. People could decorate lots of new clothign for the mom, it was fun for a bunch of women to do, used all my fabric scraps up in a great way, and gave the new mom tons of clothing for her little one! It was a big hit!
      I LOVE the idea of a freezer meal shower, though!!
      Sarah M

  339. Kendra January 21, 2010 at 4:15 am #

    Great post! I totally agree! :)

    I was actually thinking about this a lot yesterday. I live in Maine and it’s definitely “the thing” here to live naturally and pursue organic products. Unfortunately, it’s often used as a status symbol (“Look at how moral and righteous I am because everything I do is totally natural!”) instead of a pure attempt to live healthier/be better stewards of earth. I’ve definitely been trying to move our family in a more green direction (your blog has encouraged me a lot in this! thank you!), but I do find that if unchecked, my pride and idolatry can creep into my health pursuits. Like you said, this is all a matter of the heart. God has to come first, He must increase and I must decrease!

  340. Mrs. Money January 21, 2010 at 3:58 am #

    Wow. I really enjoyed this post. It’s crazy how something like this can take over your life, especially now when “going green” is in.

    I’ll admit I’ve done the same thing about having people over. I’m like that gallon of milk was $6! YIKES. It’s funny how we can be. ;)

  341. Jessica January 21, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Very well stated, thank you! You have given us all a lot to consider…

  342. coral January 21, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    Thank you SO much. I REALLY needed to read this:)

  343. Lauren January 21, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    Wow Linsay – thank you so much for writing this!

    I too struggled with the same issues a few years ago when my children were younger, and in the end i found my pursuit of natural health and natural living was causing division, strife and hurt feelings in my family, not to mention financial strain and plenty of anxiety as i could not afford the things I wanted to buy for my family, and thus felt awful for feeding them less than an all organic diet.

    I can safely say now that we eat as healthily as our budget allows, and praise and believe God that He will bless that food to our body as it is He alone that sustains us!

    Thank you for your inspirational blog, it has been such a source of hope and encouragement to me.

    LH

  344. Katie May 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Hmmm, not sure what light you are referring to exactly…God is allowing us to participate in giving to others, in ministering to the needs of others. That is a tremendous thing – that He would let us come along side His work to be His hands and feet. If we hoard what we have and keep it for ourselves, we are missing out. Of course He doesn’t need us or our money, which by the way isn’t ours anyway. The whole point of this blog entry is to examine whether we are placing a lifestyle of natural living before the things of God. Some people cannot afford to eat this way, and yet God sustains them just the same. Are they in the wrong for not eating organic food? Absolutely not. Some of them are arguably healthier than those who do. Health is important and it can hinder or enhance our service to Him, but should not be put before Him. How has He called you to live & are you living accordingly? I will follow God, not an organic label.

  345. Andrea July 8, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    You said: “If anyone is closer to God it’s people who appreciate and eat things as they were meant to grow from the earth, as created for us.”

    This is one of the most damaging, unbiblical things I have ever read. There is nothing in the Bible to support this and COUNTLESS verses to support the exact opposite. The Bible says those who love God follow his commands and that a broken and contrite heart He will not despise. The Bible says to seek first His kindgom and His righteousness and that true religion cares for orphans and widows. Where are we told that intimacy with God results from what we eat? That is a lie. You may get closer to your own god (Health) by what you eat but not to the God of the Bible who tells us in His Word exactly how to please him.

  346. Andrea July 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    I Cor. 8:8 “But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”