Sipping on an American Double IPA with effervescent flavors of grapefruit, lemons, and passion fruit exploding with a bitter finish, I can’t help but think of the goodness of God’s creation. When we enjoy aspects of God’s creation as he intended, we bring glory to the Triune God. It is not more spiritual to abstain from foods, and it is not sinful to take delight in some of the things in this world that God has made. In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes:
There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why he uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather rude and unspiritual. God does not: he invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it.
The Triune God of the Bible is a foodie. Words to describe feasting, eating, drinking, and table fellowship occur well over one thousand times in the Scriptures. It’s overly religious and legalistic people who tend to say that food and sex are evil. In 1 Timothy 4:1–3, Paul opposes such teaching and says that there is right use of food and sex, and he says “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” (1 Tim. 4:4–5). Gluttony and asceticism are both evils—not what God has created. The perversion of God’s good gifts is evil. The misuse of God’s good gifts is a sin, not proper use. Pleasure is not evil in itself. It’s okay to take delight in what God has made.
God made food, taste, texture, colors, people short and tall—with different talents and abilities—all to show forth his goodness and the diversity of his being. God is good. So receive God’s good gifts with thanksgiving and, when and while you are eating, taste and see that the Lord is good! (Ps. 34:8).