Posts Tagged ‘health’

Is Fat Sin? Part 4

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Quite a bit of time has passed since I last made a post. I recognize that I had said I would include at least three more posts on this subject. They were specifically related to the topics of disrespect, examples, and sin. So here I am…

So what does the concept of disrespect have to do with this guys conviction about the weight I was beginning to pack on? Why would that been something that The Lord had convicted me on?

Let me start by saying that I am an incredibly blessed man. I have the blessing of being married to an incredibly beautiful, godly, hard working woman of my dreams. I can honestly say that a day does not go by without me thanking God for allowing me to have such an amazing wife. Not sure how I got her but it definitely is proof that prayer works. I definitely married up! Again, as I said before, all I can do is attribute it to is the power of prayer. (That being said, pray for my wife. Her husband is a bit rough around the edges).

As I said above, I am a blessed man. My wife is one of the most disciplined people I have ever met. She rises from bed long before the sun rises and exercises. She guards what goes into her body very carefully. I have long envied her discipline. She has at the same time over the years gently encouraged me to watch my diet and to get some exercise. While I lovingly would acknowledge her concerns and even validate them with my response, I never did anything. All the while, her alarm would go off and she would be doing her exercises while I laid in bed and dreamed about pizza and Chinese buffets.

As God convicted me this year of my food problem He revealed to me that I was being extremely disrespectful to my wife. She was working her tail off to look her best for me. She always looks her best when I get home at the end of a long day. I was making no effort. 1 Corinthians 7 makes it plenty clear that my body, as a husband, belongs to my wife. My responsibility was to take better care of myself so that I might better take care of her.

1 Corinthians 7 showed me that my lack of discipline was not just affecting my health but if left unchecked could very well affect my relationship. One of my responsibilities as a Christian husband is to take care of myself out of respect for my wife.

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As stated in my previous post, The Lord has greatly convicted me as a Pastor that there were things in my life I needed change. Much of it centered around bad habits, excuses and lack of disciple in regards to what went in my body and the fat that I was putting on. He then brought to mind at least four areas that confirmed why change was desperately needed.

The first area is the area of health. This should be the obvious one. Health is so obvious when it comes to the idea of putting on fat. We know fat is bad therefore we shouldn’t get fat. Yet, this knowledge does not seem to affect many of us like it should.

Think about it, if you have been around the church for any time at all, you know the verses found in 1 Corinthians 6.19-20 where it says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

These two verse have been used for years as proof texts for those who wish to preach against smoking and drinking from the pulpit (understand I am not recommending you pick either of these habits up). They will rail on sinful lifestyles and bad habits all in the name of protecting the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is rather ironic that this occurs when you consider that some research shows that 77% of male pastors are considered to be overweight (statistics are cited on sowhatfaith.com in the article “Overweight Pastors”.

Don’t drink or smoke because it harms the temple say the fat guys! Well, as a pastor, I too have at different moments mentioned bad habits that people form that directly affect their health. I have cautioned people to be careful not to become a slave to something that can harm their body because they only get one body. All the while I was packing on the weight myself and eating things that were horrible for me and nearly never exercising.

Is anybody noticing an inconsistency here? Well, God convicted me in a mighty way. Health is a huge deal. Did you know that studies have shown that more liver damage is done by obesity than alcohol and that studies have indicated that obesity leads to more doctors visits than smoking? Perhaps, pastors, we should start modeling a life of discipline in regards to what we put in our bodies before we tell others to guard what they put in their bodies. (I believe Jesus called that pulling the log out. I am now desperately trying to yank out the log)

If we read the entire context of 1 Corinthians 6.19 we also must read things like “you are not your own” and “you have been bought with a price” and “therefore glorify God in your body.” What I take from this is that when I harm the “Temple” of the Holy Spirit then I am being a poor steward of something that is not mine. Poor health, when it is a choice equals poor stewardships.

I know pastors who were not able to completely fulfill ministry duties due to health related to obesity. I was headed that direction with an extremely unhealthy view towards food that involved a whole lot of fast food and pizza. I was on the path to harming my calling. I refuse to allow my calling from God to be a victim of my poor choices (this calling involves my marriage, my kids and my ministry). I have chosen to prioritize my health over my cravings because I crave God more than food.

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I ended my post yesterday with the following question: “What are the spiritual implications of neglecting one’s body (and at times abusing it)?

Four things (not necessarily in order of importance) came to my mind rather quickly as I considered the above question: (1) Health, (2) Disrespect, (3) Example and (4) Sin.

Each one of these four points quickly became points of conviction in my life. Points of conviction placed in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Points that I realized could no longer be ignored. God was telling me to stop blaming my age, the fact that I spend much of my day at a desk, my slowing metabolism, and a whole host of others things as excuses. It was time to stop just acknowledging my convictions but to start living them out. The message was a very clear one in my heart: Jon, stop just preaching about discipline…start exemplifying it. In other words, practice what you preach and stop being a hypocrite.

The convictions that God placed on my heart were so convicting that I have been forced to dramatically change several things in my life over the last several months. Types of food I eat, types of food I don’t eat, how much food I eat, things I will drink, disciplining myself in various kinds of exercise were all changes that have occurred.

As a disclaimer, I wish to state that I am fully aware that some face health problems that cause weight gain and have legitimate things in their lives that affect their bodies in a very real way that they cannot help. I am not writing about those who struggle with that. Rather, I wish to share the work that God has done in my heart and in turn hope that it will be a blessing to others. I am writing about me; not you.

My next four posts will examine the spiritual implications of not taking care of my body: Health, Disrespect, Example and Sin. My prayer is that it will be a blessing to you but at the same be a means to hold me accountable as I seek to live a life that is pleasing to my Savior.

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Recently God convicted me in a very real way that I needed to change my ways. He revealed to me that some of my lifestyle choices were harming me and in turn could harm those He had called me to lead. He showed me that food was a problem.

In case you are wondering, the answer is no! I am not morbidly obese. However, I stood on the scale four months ago and saw a number that scared me. I have slowly been putting on weight for the last ten years and the weight is directly tied with my own personal discipline. Discipline in regards to food choice, food portion and exercise.

As a pastor, I find myself sitting in a chair quite often. I sit to study. I sit to counsel. I sit to email. I sit to read. I sit to talk on the phone. I sit to eat. Then Sunday comes, I stand up in front of the congregation and preach discipline. Yet all the while, clearly demonstrating to those who listen, by my growing gut, that I had not been practicing discipline in my own life.

So the question that started to plague my mind was this: what are the spiritual implications of neglecting one’s body (and at times abusing it)?

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