Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2010
Scripture: Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:1-13; Deuteronomy 30:10-19; Psalm 119:11; Colossians 3:2; Hebrews 11:8-10.
According to news media this week most citizens of this country are not aware how many calories they consume when they eat out. By 2011 this will change. Fast food chains and restaurants with 20 or more locations will be required to post the calorie content of all the items on their menu and menu boards. The owners will have no choice as it will be a national law.
By contrast consumers will have the freedom of choice to continue to consume a double cheese burger with bacon with a milk shake and large fries or to make a healthier-for-them choice based upon the total number of calories they should consume in one day if they wish to remain fit for life.
Dr. Mary Story, a nutritionist and obesity expert at the University of Minnesota, points out that coffee drinks can range from 20 calories to 800 calories and hamburgers from 250 calories to over 1,000. More often than not individuals have no idea the number of calories they are eating or drinking.1
New York was the first state to require that calorie content be posted beside any food item sold in restaurants and on the boards of fast food chains. California and Seattle followed with the result that in these three states more low-calorie options are available on menus.
But food is not the only area where we have the power to choose. Dr. Fred Hardinge, a registered dietician and doctor of public health is primary author of the website PositiveChoices.com! On the site’s welcome page he declares, “… the choices we make in life largely determine our health and happiness. Our purpose is to inform, motivate and provide you with tools to help you make the best positive choices physically, mentally and spiritually. By doing so, you will enhance the quality of your life and at the same time extend it!” 2
Last week our lesson dealt with attitude or viewpoint that often influences the choices we make. This week we focus on the fact that every choice carries a consequence, whether for good or not good.
The way we choose to interpret Scripture—and give others the freedom of choice to interpret it differently-- has a profound impact as we apply the lessons therein to our lives. The Bible gives us tools to help us make wise choices.
Foremost is the choice we make to believe in God or not. Either way that choice holds enormous consequences that impact the way we find meaning or lack of meaning in our life. It is one choice that will affect us into eternity.
Dr. Margo Wootan, consumer advocate and director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest in the state of Washington campaigned for the calorie posting bill.She paints herself as a knight in shining armor, standing up to evil food companies on behalf of defenseless consumers. “We’re not trying to tell anybody what to eat," said Wootan, "We're just trying to ensure that information is available."3
Like restaurant owners who don't have a choice about posting calorie content of their foods on their menus, we had no choice to be born into a world of sin and hurt. But information is readily available to ensure that everyone knows that Christ is our advocate. His death on the cross freed us from Satan’s grasp and gave us the power of choice.