For those of us who embrace the natural lifestyle, I think we've all been in situations where we have to choose between making a healthy choice or being polite. There was a great discussion over at Keeper of the Home yesterday about whether or not we should let our kids eat junk food at birthday parties. I really liked a comment over there left by Bek – she reminded us that 1 Corinthians 10:27 tells us, “If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience.” We need to remember the importance of relationships!
I used to struggle greatly in this area. I would feel guilt over every little thing I did wrong, every little compromise I made. Thankfully through a lot of encouragement from others and realizations about what my priorities are (or should be!) I have let go of a lot of that. One thing I realized was that natural living should enhance our lives, not inhibit it. Some of us live this way in order to be healthier and avoid illness. Some of us are doing it out of reverence for the environment. Personally, I lean more toward the side of health and wellness, though the environmental concerns are certainly there as well. Either way, is it really beneficial for natural to take over our lives to the point where we are avoiding social situations and building relationships with others? To me, it's really not.
There are a lot of things we could miss out on if we avoided all situations where our lifestyle might be compromised. Think of all the birthdays, weddings and celebrations where food we wouldn't choose for our families is served. Is one more day of “only whole food” worth missing out on all of those? It's something we each have to decide for ourselves but I know that I wouldn't trade relationships with my family and friends for all the whole grain, naturally sweetened birthday cake in the world.
Natural living can enhance our lives – it can make us feel healthier, more energized, reduce our carbon footprint and lower our risk of many diseases.
It can also inhibit our lives by pushing us into isolation, pride or snobbishness and guilt when we don't “do it all.” (Which none of us ever will.)
In what ways has natural living enhanced or inhibited your life? Do you ever feel guilty about how much you're doing in the realm of natural living?