“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.

By Dr. John Eckrich, founder of Grace Place Wellness Ministries and physician

Food choices

“Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.’ ” (Gen. 25:29–31)

We need healthy food and drink to smoothly run the God-given gift of our bodies, minds and emotions.

Poor nutrition leading to obesity has become the No. 1 health issue in our land.

When we make nutritional choices, we need to consider whether our short-term choices are consistent with our long-term health objectives.

We remember we are caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19–20)

God gives us so many good gifts to support the vessel of our bodies that carry the Holy Spirit.

In Gen. 1:1–19, God gives us the gift of creation, fruit and vegetables to consume.

In Gen. 9:3–4, He gives us the gift of meat.

In Exodus 16 and the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 14, God provides specifically for His children in their time and place by giving manna to them in the desert and fish and bread to stay while He was teaching.

God gives us His body and blood as physical sustenance for our forgiveness as well.

We are filled with good things for our body by Him, and Him alone, but we still have choices to make in His goodness, just like Esau in Genesis.

  • Who helps and supports you as you make food choices?
  • Do you pray before and/or after meals?
  • What family traditions do you have surrounding food?

All of those things affect how we see food and make choices nutritionally.

Sorting through questions like this around the Word of God can help firmly set our feet on God’s provision for us in Christ and His provision for these bodies of ours that are blessed to house the Holy Spirit.

Lord, You provide and sustain. Keep me in Your Word and in Your promises as I go out to serve. Guide me as I make choices every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Grace Place Wellness was founded in 1999 by Dr. John D. Eckrich. He served the St. Louis community, including Lutheran church workers and their families, as an internist and gastroenterologist for more than 35 years. Dr. Eckrich is the author of Vocation and Wellness: Renew Your Energy for Christian Living. He and his wife, Kathy, have three grown children and live in the St. Louis area.

“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.

LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to workerwellness@lcms.org.