Friday, January 20, 2012

Food on Friday: Grocery Store Seduction

How May We Tempt You?

In an attempt to entice the reader I have used the above alliteration "Food on Friday" to introduce a new spin on what I think I might write about each Friday! Although the theme will be related to food, it won't always be the same type of writing. Some days I will post recipes, some days thoughts on eating habits, some days I'll write about Biblical passages pertaining to - you guessed it - food!

Today I will tackle the idea of what our culture portrays in regards to eating, but specifically how restaurants and grocery stores lure their shoppers. Every week at work, we order out from a nearby restaurant, so naturally I look at the menu before I place my order. At one restaurant in particular the heading of their menu reads as follows "How May We Tempt You?" (see above). Now this may seem harmless considering that it refers to their delectable menu offerings and is their attempt to make their customers' mouths water once they view the descriptions of each perfectly apportioned dish. However, from a Christian perspective the word "temptation" doesn't exactly stir up in our minds 'positive' thinking, now does it? No! We are to avoid temptation at all costs! What does James 1:13-15 say?

"Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."

So we find here that temptation lurks in our hearts, and that when we are enticed by our temptation that our desires become sin. Let me ask a simple question: Is food a temptation? Do you desire it in a way that may cause you to sin? Let's explore that.

Image DetailI love Whole Foods. Whenever you walk into a Whole Foods Market you see mountains of colorful fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood, and fine cheeses. Mostly organic and so yummy. Chance and I love the fresh salad and food bar there. But one thing I notice about myself when I walk into a Whole Foods (other than shock at the price tags) is that I am enticed by the foods there. Whether it be because they look delicious, they're made from healthy ingredients, they're fresh and juicy, or whatever - I have a hard time not spending money in a Whole Foods. Restaurants, clearly, use the same tactics. They make their menu offerings look mouth-watering, scrumptuous, flavorful, and irresistable all for the purpose of convincing you to eat them. As a business major, I realize that this is great advertising, a marketing scheme that convinces consumers to buy your product - success! But as a Christian, I also realize that my heart is deceitful above all things and is easily tempted by ads such as these.

We need to think twice before we indulge in our next Venti Caramel Frappucino to make sure that are hearts are not being enticed to sin. I do not think that enjoying a tasty meal is wrong (by no means!) nor do I think that loving anything sweet to the taste is wrong - that would be way too farfetched. What I am saying is that we often overlook our heart's desires or disregard them as 'pure' when in actuality they may not be. I know for myself that the temptation to be satisfied in the temporal pleasures of this world is all too captivating. Indeed, after reading a book on this subject, I began talking to my husband about his relationship (thought life, desires, lusts, etc.) regarding food. After a couple of weeks he began telling me that he noticed an unhealthy, unholy thought pattern in regards to his desire for coffee in the morning. I have been there and still battle with these thoughts, and it is something to take into consideration because we are commanded "you shall be holy, for I AM holy" (1 Pet. 1:16).

Are we tempted to enjoy above God the temporal satisfaction of something sweet to the taste, rather than tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Ps. 34:8)? Or can we say with the psalmist: "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you" (Ps. 73:25). Join me in considering these profound truths and what our culture (and our hearts) attempt to do to steer us otherwise.

{as always-feel free to comment or write me with your thoughts:}

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