The fat is the Lord’s, but He doesn’t want it.

“…All fat is the LORD’s.” Lev 3:16

A recent Fox News article highlights that obesity is an epidemic in American churches. Moreover, that Baptist lead religious groups with at a rate of 30% obesity.

And we Baptist are notorious for our food. We do love to eat. In fact, we often believe that the Greek root of the word “fellowship” is “chicken”. I would be embarrassed to actually discuss the portion of our churches budgets and time that is used for food and it’s preparation, when it could be given to missions, food for the homeless, or Bibles.

1 Cor 11:34– if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment.

Another article reports that young adults who are deeply connected to their faith are more likely to be fatter than their peers at age 50.

If Jesus is Lord, does He just get my heart? or my stomach too?

Why should the church be know for it’s warm food over it’s warm love?

Enough about your sin, let’s discuss mine.

I’ve been obese for most of my life. And I hated it, and still do. The reason that I feel that we Baptists are so comfortable with gluttony is really quite simple-It’s comfortable.

Food taste good, thus we like to eat-a lot. We don’t abuse our families physically, we “feel” like we’re in control. And hey, we’re not hurting anybody else. We’re nice people, and it makes us feel better….Don’t judge me, bro.

When things are going good, we celebrate, thus we eat.

When things are going bad, we want a little “pick me up”- so we eat.

When we’re bored, we eat.

Let’s not forget, you do have to eat to survive, am I right or am I right?

And I’ll call it anything, but what it is- “addictive personality… I’m predisposed…. low metabolism… ”

Rarely do we state,

“Hi, I’m Matt and I’m obese due to committing the sins of gluttony and idolatry on a regular basis”.

Gluttony?

Does anybody even use that word anymore? I mean no one has committed gluttony since about 1547 right? What does it even mean?

Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate [unregulated] desire… leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists.-Thomas Aquinus

Eating is not bad-not regulating what we eat is.

If our bodies are the temple of the Lord (1 Cor 6:19), how are we housing His Spirit?

Gluttony by it’s design is a desire to find satisfaction in something other that Christ. That is the nature of so much sin, putting the creature or creation above the Creator. And thus it is idolatry.

Idolatry?

We understand what idols are. We’ve seen the statues, or watched people flock to the latest fad, fashion, or celebrity. But what we often forget is…. ourselves. We forget that to put our pleasures, passions, and satisfaction above Christ’s is by definition -idolatry.

Whether it be food, money, pleasure, or comfort. Exalting these things above Christ for our satisfaction is-Idolatry.

So do I have a little statue of myself that I offer fresh Twinkies on?

No.

But do I idolize myself through food, pleasure, and self esteem? At too many times-Yes.

The Solution

So is this the part where I tell you to eat less and move more, right?

No, if you’re obese you’ve told yourself that thousands of times, done pills,diets, miracle creams, modern girdles, and a couple times– even worked out.

No, your problem (and mine as i’ve stated) OUR problem—– is a sin problem.

We need to take responsibility for our actions, but also for our hearts.

We need to turn from self satisfaction, and turn our lives over to Jesus as King of not just our hearts, but also our mouths and bodies. Until that happens, it will just be vain efforts of your own flesh. We must live for His satisfaction, not our own.

I lost nearly 40 lbs between July and December of 2011. I then was in a fatal car crash that led to months of rehab, and still effects my mobility. I quit exercising, and quit dieting. The funny thing is that at those times when I subjected my entire life (body and soul) to Christ, I grew closer to Him, and other believers.

I might not be able to move like I once could, but I can move. And as a minister, I biblically have an obligation to not only lead by example in doing the “right” things; but also by being able to admit the wrong things and repenting of them.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.1 Timothy 4:12

So, here goes, what should you do and how should you do it? You should be like me.

Boy, that sounded arrogant, huh?

No, you shouldn’t spend a lot of time blogging for the benefit of others, you should necessarily have 2 blonde kids, you shouldn’t particularly drive a Ford 4X4, or wear pearl snap western shirts… but you should be like me.

You should repent of your sin of self idolatry-like me.

You should turn your life over to Christ-like me.

And when you find that you have turned again to your sin, you should repent and turn back to Christ-like me.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body,by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Phil 3:14-21

So here I go, I’m running back to Jesus-again. Come with me, if you can’t run yet, we’ll walk together.

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About matthewstevens

Matt needs more Jesus...just like you. He writes to encourage thinking and the expansion of the Kingdom
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