YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. 3 Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. Proverbs 23:1-3
I know that I have heard that phrase, "you are what you eat" a thousand times in my life, but until today I put it off as just a saying. I think that there are things in our lives that God's puts in our path to use for specific moments. And today, I believe that we have been challenged to really take a look at two very important areas of our lives. First, please pay attention of the company that we are keeping. Secondly, be careful what we are putting in our bodies both physically and spiritually. In this world we are all quick to jump on the bandwagon of what may look good or what may be the next big trend that will allow us to look like the people in the magazines or on the television. We are quick to judge and we are quick to desire to want to be more like them so we will try to mimic what they are doing in hopes of being just like them. Understand, this is not just me speaking to the personal "body" but also the church. Churches also try to mimic and look like other churches because they hope they will find the same success, but we must realize that God has created these bodies or congregations for a specific time and context. We are human and we all have cravings and desires to want to be better and I just want you take heed in the words that Solomon is sharing with us today that we must be careful to whose table we are seated and be mindful of the "food" that we are willing to consume.
I know that Solomon's lesson was probably one that was very literal for his context, but today, I really want to stretch our minds to honestly look at his words from a different perspective. I fully take hold of what Solomon is saying, and I need us all to be mindful of the company that we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. For me, I know that growing up I was a part of the so called "in" crowd. I was literally the red-headed step-child to the in crowd because of course, being a military family, we moved a lot and there were times that I was really tired of being the "new kid". Saying that, I was willing to force myself to step
outside of my comfort zone because if I didn't I may have never made friends at all. So I am saying all of this because I was trying to make it a point to choose the table at which I wanted to sit. I wanted to make sure that I was in my comfort zone, but in reality I was probably creating toxic relationships because what I was eating was the desire to be popular or the desire to be accepted at any cost... and unfortunately it was not until later in high school that I would truly find out what that cost would be for me. But that is where many of us are in life. We make decisions because we want to sit at the table of the royals, thinking that if I can just get there than maybe...just maybe some of their popularity would rub off on us and we would be "IN".
In reading Solomon's lesson for today, that is why I don't want to go literal as much but more figuratively. Literally, Solomon was using the current situations to prepare those who wanted to sit at the table for a possible gruesome downfall because of their true inability to be able to handle the situation at hand. They were not created to be in that position and they were unable to handle the "food" or the decisions that had to be made as the king. But proverbially, it is a real life lesson that we all need to take hold of and find a way to apply not only in our lives, but also in the lives of anyone that we love and care about. For example, we look to understand that the table that Solomon is speaking of is the decisions that we make to align ourselves with those that are in any position of authority. If we are willing to come and sit at the table, we must also be mindful of the burdens that these leaders must carry and the chaotic life they must endure. To come to the table, means that we are desiring to reach a comfort level of taking on the same burdens and the hope of the person's table in which we sit, to be trusted and held accountable to the words that are spoken. When Solomon says, "note what is before you", we must be willing to realize that there is both good and bad that is placed in our presence. We must take hold that the grass may seem greener on the other side, but was also someone else's brown grass at one time. When we are willing to be seated at the table, we are saying that we are willing to accept whatever situation may come to this leader and recognize that it is not always going to be great. Sometimes it is going to be a battle and the leader is in desperate need of people who will go into the battle and support them, not cut bait at the first sign of struggle.
BUT.... on the other hand, we have to be careful not to step into the glitz and the glamour of the glory that may surround a leader. Sometimes it is so easy to "eat" what the world is serving and not have to deal with the aftermath. It is similiar to an entourage. When we decide to follow someone and we are "ALL IN", we decide to become part of their entourage and we are willing to receive the glory as they are being lifted up in praise. However, sometimes we are too quick to drink the koolaid and we fail to realize the true cost of what we are eating. We have to be WISE and realize that some of the things that are put on our plates are not good for us. We have to make decisions to push away the plate and step away from the table because of the poison that we may be consuming. We would realize it if we ate it all at once the effect that this poison would have on our body, but taken in small portions, we are unable to realize the slow destruction that is occurring until it is to late. Every aspect of our body is affected because we were willing to consume the "food" or "methodologies" hat were presented without truly thinking of how the final results would
truly effect not just us, but everyone we also have influenced along the way. The reality of this lesson today is that we do have to watch what we eat or consume. As a child I was always told, "garbage in....garbage out. God in...God out." In other words, we must be careful to select the table that we are sitting at because it will reflect the influence that we have with others. BUT we must also be careful what we consume, both physically and spiritually. Because there may be a really passionate and influential teacher that is unable to to speak truth. We consume and believe everything the teacher says because of who they are and we fail to realize that their truth now becomes our truth and reality. We must test the tables in which we choose to dine and realize the impact that our decisions will have, not just on us, but also on the people we too influence every day. Be careful what we are willing to "eat" because it will begin to provide the nourishment for the entire body. If you consume God... the body will reflect God, but if you consume the world... then the body will reflect the world. You are what you eat, and the body will reflect the "food" we consume.