Matthew 4:1-4 (CEB)
1 Then the Spirit led Jesus up into the wilderness so that the devil might tempt him. 2 After Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was starving. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "Since you are God's Son, command these stones to become bread." 4 Jesus replied, "It's written, People won't live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God."
When I first started dieting, which was way too young and unnecessary, fat was a bad word in food. “Lo-Fat” and "Fat Free” were the words I looked for on the labels at the grocery store. I thought that I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as it didn’t contain that dreaded element.
A lot of bread is fat free. And I loved bread. So I ate a lot of it. It filled me up. I ate bread and Snackwells, those cookies that made an appearance in the early 1990’s to appease sweet teeth like mine. However, eating only bread and entire box of cookies was not a good diet plan. It was just a fad.
There have been many diet trends over the years – cabbage soup, Atkins, low-carb, Paleo, etc. They may work at first, but eventually, they get stale. And a new product or scientific study or marketing campaign pops up to move us in a different direction.
I hate dieting. And only when I modeled did I have to be so concerned with my weight that I even considered giving these fads a try. Oh, I try to be healthy now. I watch my calorie intake, but I don’t deny myself the good things. Everything in moderation, right?
And I exercise.
These days I am more concerned with modeling good eating behavior for my two-and-a-half-year-old than fitting into a fashion model size. Easier said than done for the one who loves to have a meal of cheese and crackers and wine or chips and veggie dip and Diet Rite. But I try. I really do.
But gone are the days, thank goodness, of subsisting on bread alone.
Jesus tells us that we cannot and “won’t live only by bread.” We must live not by the words on packaging labels, but by the Word. The Word of God.
Living a healthy lifestyle takes discipline, and so does living by the Word of God.
Faith is not just a fad for me. I do not flip through religions like I would a fashion magazine, if I read them anymore. I am committed to serving the Lord in the best ways I know how, even when it is hard. I must for my vocation, for my congregation, for my relationships, for my girl, and for my life.
There is nothing wrong with tasting the teachings of other faiths in order to form my own. There is no shame in eating bread. Lord knows we eat a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches in this home. But we cannot exist only on grilled cheese. We have to taste and see that the Lord is good, listen to what God is calling for our lives, and then dedicate ourselves to doing right by the Word.
It may be tempting to carb-load every now and again. But a healthier option would be to load up on that which sustains and satisfies. And that, my friends, is what I seek in each season of my life.
Former international fashion model Rev. Sarah Renfro seeks to boost the body image of young women by educating them on the myths of media and focusing on divine within. She also preaches and teaches about marriage and divorce, motherhood, ministry, and mental illness.