Jesus’ words about fasting make me think about why I do not practice fasting. The biggest reason is that I like eating. Most of the time, I eat healthy food and normal amounts. I can skip a meal without anxiety and do think too much about calories, carbohydrates and such.

Some people lose their appetite if they’re upset. Not me! When I get the flu and feel nauseous, I cannot wait to get eating again. 

I believe that getting back to eating will strengthen my body. I think eating will help me get well soon! I may be way off on this, but it is a deeply held belief. The thought of fasting is a challenge to my appreciation for food.

Another reason I do not fast is the way it makes me feel. Like Jesus in the wilderness (yeah, that’s me…) fasting opens up my mind to temptation. When I have spent prolonged times in prayer and even fasted, I found myself getting less spiritual instead of more. I found myself slipping back into fleshier thoughts.  

Alcoholics talk about H.A.L.T. If you are hungry, angry, lonely and tired you are more susceptible to losing sobriety. This is partly why fasting scares me. Perhaps it ties to the saying about idleness being the Devil’s workshop. Or maybe… I need some really good reasons to pursue fasting. Let me get a snack and think about that.

You could make the case that I need to feel this emptiness and temptation, so I move into greater dependence on grace and less on self-reliance. Jesus seemed to handle the wilderness fasting and temptation well. He came back and fulfilled His mission. I’m more like Peter or Thomas than I am like Jesus. I just might fall asleep in the Garden when Jesus wants me to stay awake and pray. I do feel bad about that. In addition to eating, I also have a real fondness for getting a good night’s sleep.

The last reason for me to fast is to keep up with the ‘Spiritual Joneses’. If I think that fasting or praying will impress God or others following me, I miss the point. If I think that it is going to be a way to have super powers granted to me, I might be missing the point.


Thom Strople said…
I don't really think you need to tell others that you are fasting ,so you aren't bragging or competeing in some spiritual contest and I don't think fasting is for every one .
Some people have a hard time remembering God throughout the day (pray continuiosly) and fasting once a week or once a month helps them.
Some people could use the discipline and self control of fasting , it might even give them more confidence in there ability to over come things they thought there was no way they could over come.
Some people like to clean themselves out a bit , nothing but juice or soup.
Some find it as a great way to appreciate the blessing of abundant food that we enjoy by going with out it for a period of time
But yeah it's certainly not for everyone.
D.C. said…
Another reason not to fast is that....perhaps since the New Covenant....we ARE the fast....we ARE the portion. In fact, we ARE the tithe, etc. When Christ fulfilled the priesthood, I believe we did away with a lot of the Levitical teachings, as Christ (Melchizedek) said, "It is finished".
Joe said…
Interesting perspective on why "you" do not fast. I wonder if fasting is really a personally thing that not everyone should, need or even want to do. Jesus does make it clear in Matthew 6 that “when” we fast we are not to show it off like a badge of pride. However I also understand we need to read the gospels as Old Testament books and viewed under the Old Covenant. I don’t recall anywhere else in the “New Testament” scripture requiring us to fast so as already stated, maybe it’s a personal thing. I do know that I have fasted and have drawn closer to God and my discernment of spiritual things was increased. Maybe that’s because fasting allows me to put the focus where it is always supposed to be; God First. I once read a long quote from John Piper that really turned my attention to a not so obvious problem in some people’s lives today. Here is the quote: “The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but His gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable. Jesus said some people hear the word of God, and a desire for God is awakened in their hearts. But then, “as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). In another place he said, “The desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). “The pleasures of this life” and “the desires for other things”—these are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.”

I hope this is good “food for thought” =)
Kevin Rogers said…
That's an interesting thought Dan. Care to elaborate?
Murray Lincoln said…
Everyday I Fast... for at least 8 hours - maybe even 12 hours some days. It is God`s natural way for me. It is a spiritual thing at best. Then in the morning at about the same time I "Break Fast" and enjoy it without guilt or compromise. If for some ridiculous reason like an International Flight and I chose to eat all night I feel miserable. The H.A.L.T thing is real. The fact that some "Holier than Me" people tell me of their fasting - I feel less than they are - a real guilt trip - and get my attention off of God. God is interested in my personally. What he has designed for me is personal. SO the daily fast works just great. Thanks Kevin for the thoughts.
Jesus fasted.(Matt 4:2) He said that when he (the bridegroom) had gone away, that his disciples would fast. (Mark 2:20) He taught on how to behave 'when' we fast (not 'if'), along with prayer and giving (Matt 6:17). He also taught that some spiritual breakthroughs only come about through fasting (this kind doesn't come out but by prayer and fasting Matt 17:21). It's not Old Testament law, it's the teaching of Jesus. The early church practiced fasting (Acts 13:3, 2 Cor 5:5). Fasting is hard for most of us, but it's about dying to the flesh, and that act of humility drawing us closer to Jesus.