Take heed what you hear

Our series on nutrition and faith continues with nutritionist Linda de Courcy.

(From the July - September 2019 issue of VOX)

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One of the challenges that arise when trying to figure out what to eat or not to eat is that pretty much everyone has an opinion on the subject. Some people are well qualified, others are not; some are genuinely trying to do their best for their patients/clients, others are being paid to promote this, that or the other – though they’re unlikely to want you to know that.

Jesus said, “Everything that is now hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand. And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this the more you will understand – and even more besides. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening even what they have will be taken away from them.” (Mark 5:23-25 NLT)

I pretty much went with the flow of conventional dietary advice until I read The Maker’s Diet. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in his teens, Jordan Rubin almost died despite seeing “70 health practitioners from seven different countries, including medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, immunologists, acupuncturists, homeopaths, herbalists, colon therapists, nutritionists and dietitians” (p.14). As a last resort he followed the advice of an “eccentric nutritionist” who said he was ill because he wasn’t “eating the diet of the Bible” (p.24). Reading his truly amazing story of recovery from an incurable disease led to a paradigm shift in how I approached health. I began to understand I needed to start putting the Bible first place if I wanted true understanding about nutrition and health.

For example, when Jesus says, “Salt is good” (Luke 14:34) and most nutritional advice says salt is bad, I choose to believe Jesus. You may think yes, but… and therein lies a major barrier to health and longevity. We simply don’t believe what the Bible says, not even the words written in red. This is not an uncommon occurrence, even some of the disciples didn’t believe Jesus had risen AFTER seeing him (Matthew 28:17. Think about that for a while!). John tells us “He tells us what He has seen and heard, but how few believe what He tells them!” (John 1:32 NLT). The Word works in those who choose to believe it, not in those who don’t (I Thes 2:13 NLT). Believing the Word is a choice.

Our challenge (and it is a challenge) is to pay attention to what we hear, so that when we’re told sunshine is bad/dangerous and we look at Genesis 1:3 when God said the light He made was good, we make a choice to believe the Word. We may not (and most likely won’t) fully understand the why but that’s OK, God does. When we choose to believe and stay open to His teaching the understanding will come.

I’m suggesting we do as Jesus said, pay attention to what we hear, tune our hearts and minds to His Word.

When you read an advertisement about the cholesterol lowering properties of some highly processed yoghurt remind yourself God made all your innermost parts. When your mind says “yes, but…” remind it you are fearfully and wonderfully made and God knows more than every “expert” on the planet.

I’m in no way advocating ignoring professional advice; I’m suggesting we do as Jesus said, pay attention to what we hear, tune our hearts and minds to His Word, then we will receive understanding, more understanding and even more whenever we need it. Sounds like a win-win to me!

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Linda de Courcy MSc., is a Dublin based nutritional therapist and certified pilates instructor who is passionate about empowering people to take control of their health. For more information or to contact Linda visit her website at www.nutritionforlifeireland.com, on Twitter @LindadeCourcy or Instagram @nutritionforlifeireland