I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. Translation: no more gluten … ever. *sigh* Those of you who have been told that you can’t ever have a warm, gooey, over-priced bakery item again because of that inevitable comfort food ingredient, you understand my plight. But, I can’t complain. I can still live a relatively normal life.
But—it is a major life change. Just like becoming a new Christian. Don’t get me wrong. There is no decision more important than the one to accept Christ as our Saviour—our eternity depends on it. But, on a much lesser scale, I can’t help make comparisons:
When you go gluten free, you have to leave your old life—and those things that tempt you—behind. Just like when you become a believer you must leave your old life behind. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its old desires” ~Ephesians 4:22 (NIV) It’s either that or continue to poison yourself.
When you tell people you’re gluten free there are three typical responses:
- They support you. These are the people who are also gluten free. They’re extremely supportive. They give you tips, forward recipes and help you avoid some of the pitfalls they’ve fallen into. This response is quite similar to those Christians who helped me as a new believer. These are the people who follow Paul’s commands to “… encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
- They shrug. These are the people who really don’t care either way. They won’t reject you, but they aren’t likely to invite you to dinner either.
- They scoff. These are the people who don’t care that a doctor has told you to refrain from gluten. They think there’s never a need to refrain. Any believer can tell you what person this is like … yup … those who no longer want anything to do with you simply because of your newfound beliefs. This is when we need to remember … “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” ~John 15:18 (NIV)
Once you’re gluten free and you slip up and eat something with gluten, you regret it. You spend days feeling ill until the remainder of the toxin vacates. This is like, as a Christian, slipping up and sinning. We do it. We’re still human. But, hopefully, we repent, learn our lesson, and keep from doing it again.
There are so many more comparisons I could make. But, I will leave it at this: if you’re going through any kind of major life change, I pray that it’s something you’re going through with God. Whatever it is you’re going through, no matter how strong you are—you NEED God.