Is Being Fat, Overweight, or Obese a Sin For A Christian?
Is Being Fat, Overweight, or Obese a Sin For A Christian? If nothing else it is a bad testimony for Christ. Let me first be clear that if you are; ill, infirmed, old, disabled, or handicapped in any shape-or-form I am not talking to you. This article refers to otherwise healthy people who are lacking the self-discipline to be in good shape.
We Christians should be the leaders of taking care of our bodies since they are the temple of God. How can an otherwise able bodied Christian glorify God in a morbidly obese, out of shape, and unhealthy body?
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s,"
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We are admonished to discipline our bodies and be temperate (Philippians 4:5) in everything we do. We are given the example of runners who discipline their bodies in order to win the race.
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified,"
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
I really enjoy eating pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and shakes. If I let my body have its way I would eat those things all of the time. I fight the urges to eat those foods and I only indulge in them maybe once every couple of months. I am a grown man and I can eat what I want, when I want. I choose not to because I don't want to be fat and overweight.
"But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; You grew fat, you grew thick, You are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation,"
Even if my wife has bought a tasty treat I will look at it on the kitchen counter and tell myself, "You don't need that junk." Instead I will grab some pretzels, Wheat Thins, or Trisquits to snack on with some water. It is all a choice and having discipline over things in my life. I don't want my stomach to be my god!
"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things,"
I am a leader in my family and a fat and lazy person cannot lead people to their full potential because people under their command won't respect an overweight and obese person. I respect people with self discipline and an overweight person does not have any when it comes to food. I respect people who are "squared away" and an obese person is far from being that.
We are soldiers in the Army of God and we must be in shape both spiritually and physically. In the Armed Forces if a person is overweight they are kicked out! Why? Because they cannot do their job to their full potential and they are obviously lacking in self discipline. The Armed Forces has no place for such people. I am not saying God loves obese Christians any less, I am just telling you how the Armed Forces deals with lazy and unmotivated members.
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier,"
2 Timothy 2:3-4
One of the main reasons being overweight is wrong is that your children will follow your lead. Have you ever noticed that obese parents usually have overweight toddlers, young children, and teens? This is not the result of some mythical fat gene, rather the children learn the horrendous eating habits of their parents and they become overweight as well. How can a Christian parent lead their child to an early grave by allowing them to be fat and lazy?
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it,"
"Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak,"
There are numerous health risks associated with being overweight and it definitely leads to an early grave. Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, metabolic syndrome, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease and fatty liver disease are all associated with being overweight. Gluttony was a sin punishable by death in Ancient Israel. Gluttony still is punishable by death. Gluttony leads to a very early grave.
"And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear,"
"Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags,"
One of the sins of Israel was they were not satisfied with God's perfectly healthy and filling Manna. The Children of Israel wanted the delicacies of Egypt and the simple and plain Manna would not satisfy their lusts for other food. In a similar way many Christians are not satisfied with healthy food and they want their; pastries, cakes, pies, soda, twinkies, zingers, greasy fried foods, ice cream, cookies, donuts, and cup cakes.
"But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness. And they tested God in their heart
By asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?” Therefore the LORD heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel, Because they did not believe in God,
And did not trust in His salvation. Yet He had commanded the clouds above, And opened the doors of heaven, Had rained down manna on them to eat, And given them of the bread of heaven.
Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to the full. He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He brought in the south wind. He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings. So they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire. They were not deprived of their craving; But while their food was still in their mouths, The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel,"
I have some dietary advice for the overweight people reading this. Stop drinking soda, not even the diet one calorie junk. Cut out soda from your diet completely. Drink water or natural juice instead.
Instead of cakes, pastries, pies, zingers, donuts, cup cakes, cookies, ice cream, and twinkies, snack on healthy low fat foods (pretzels, Wheat Thins, Trisquits, fruit, etc). Drastically cut back on the fried foods you ingest. Use olive oil whenever you have to fry something. Drink low fat milk and use other low fat dairy products.
Eating is all about self discipline, I have to fight temptations every day when it comes to food. I choose to eat healthy and do without the fleeting pleasure of stuffing my pie hole with unhealthy foods that will lead me to an early grave. Life is all about choices, pray to God that He gives you the strength to overcome your addiction to unhealthy foods.
"When you sit down to eat with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you; And put a knife to your throat If you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, For they are deceptive food,"
Exercise is the best way to lose weight along with a healthy diet. Sign up at a local health club and talk with a licensed physical fitness instructor. Go for a walk, there are many things you can do for exercise that don't require joining a fitness club.
In closing, Protestant Churches that have pot lucks with unhealthy fatty foods should be ashamed of themselves. Church leaders should be the examples in this area. An overweight pastor is not leading God's flock to the best of his abilities. An overweight parent is leading their children to an early grave by their horrendous eating habits. An overweight Christian is a bad witness for Christ. We as Christians should be leading the way in this area but it appears we are the worst offenders to the sin of gluttony.
"Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched. So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the LORD had burned among them. Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil. And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it. Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased. So Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,’ to the land which You swore to their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”...Now a wind went out from the LORD, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving."
Numbers 11:1-15, 31-34.