The idea of eating “gluten free” has never crossed my mind until this past month as I have gotten to know someone who is a celiac. Not only can they never eat regular pizza, cinnamon rolls, pasta, and garlic bread (some of my favorites), they have to constantly check food labels for wheat and ask restaurants if they have a gluten-free environment to cook in. Straight up annoying if you ask me.
Living life gluten free is not glamorous. Altered food is more expensive, choices are limited, kitchens are unsafe, and life just seems unfair. Continuing on, if gluten is consumed they are consequences—upset stomach, rashes, loss of weight, fatigue, headaches, and more. Quite the life isn’t it?
As I have learned more about the celiac lifestyle, I made an interesting connection to Christianity, and how living gluten free is actually a lot like how we should be living sin-free.
Isn’t that our mission as Christians? To try and live like Jesus lived, striving for perfection, longing to “be holy like God is holy”—that is our life goal, yet it is unattainable. It’s interesting how similar gluten free living and Christianity are.
Celiacs shouldn’t have gluten.
Christians shouldn’t sin.
Celiacs have consequences if they indulge in foods they shouldn’t eat.
Christians have consequences because they sin.
Celiacs must practice self control to keep from being tempted by luscious foods.
Christians have to strongly resist from participating in sinful acts.
Celiacs didn’t choose to live gluten free.
Christians today didn’t choose to live in a sin filled world.
So what would happen if we as Vital Men would attack life with a gluten free mentality? Can we live knowing that every sin we willfully commit (yes it is always our fault and we choose to do it), provides a direct consequence? Just as a celiac will get a rash or stomach ache from eating gluten, we too as Christians have the right to be punished for sinning. Thank you Jesus for being our mediator, who takes on the full wrath of God, sparing us from supreme justice—it’s too bad the gluten free crowd doesn’t have someone who does the same for them and their physical repercussions. Even so, just like eating gluten, the actual act of sinning may “taste” good at the time, but there will be repercussions. Is it worth it to enjoy a God-less activity in the heat of the moment to bank on being forgiven later? We’re better than that. Celiacs encounter the same thing if they choose to continue to consume gluten when they should not. If their food choices consist of gluten on a regular basis, their digestive system will begin to fail and other major complications will occur to their health. The same happens with our spiritual lives. The more we choose to indulge in the “ways of the world,” the more our spirit will be attacked by an evil “infection,” thus leading us astray from our Father in heaven.
There’s the challenge Vital Men. Will you live life, doing everything you can to avoid sin, crucifying the flesh, submitting your will to God’s, knowing the consequences, and exist sin-free? Resisting sin in the moment of temptation is worth it in order to reap the lifelong benefits that Christ has reserved for us.