by Jonathan Haefs
Some people might not think so, but medical experts would disagree. I’ve got a good 40 pounds that it would not hurt me to shed. Yet, the real confession is…
I am overweight as a result of sin.
Many people struggle with weight issues and for all sorts of reasons. For some, it can stem from a genetic issue, a health problem, an illness, etc. However, none of these things are the reason I have a spare tire around my mid section. For me, it ultimately boils down to one simple, sinful action…overeating.
I eat too much and I know it.
I like food and I like to eat…and that is a natural. Food was originally given to us by God as a good gift. It was not only his designed manner of sustaining life, but one of the countless ways he called us to enjoy life! With food we can create, we can taste, we smell, we touch…we build relationships over food, we celebrate, we share, we laugh, we love.
Through food we can literally taste and see that the Lord is good.
Food is a good gift from God and it is meant to be enjoyed. However, like all God’s good gifts, food has always been meant to be used in God’s ordained manner and when we take it beyond those bounds we sin…and sin always brings destruction and death.
It’s like this with all God’s gifts. For example, consider not only food, but also wine and sex. God has set bounds around all these gifts, not to rob us of joy, but to maximize our joy and always point us to him. Wine is meant to be enjoyed and point us to the Lord who bountifully provides, but when we go beyond enjoyment to indulgence it can literally wreak destruction! Likewise, sex is meant to be enjoyed within the context of a one-man, one-woman marriage, but when taken outside that context is can literally bring death. Food also has been given to us to be enjoyed within moderation and when taken beyond proper bounds (in either direction…over/under-eating) it can bring destruction to our bodies and even death. Sin always brings destruction and death.
Scripture identifies gluttony (overeating) as sin, and yet we ignored this issue…I have ignored this issue. It is taboo to talk about gluttony. Well…as a glutton, I want to confess the sin of which the Holy Spirit has convicted me. I want to repent for abusing God’s good gifts, and I want to love and desire him more than I love and desire food.
Ultimately, the real problem with gluttony is that it is a sin in which I put myself in the place of God (this is the root of all sin). Instead of using food the way in which God has prescribed, I use it the way in which I prescribe. I know best and am in charge…not God. As a result, food becomes about satisfying my desires (which it cannot really do)…food becomes about me.
However, food is meant to be about God. When used in the way God designed it to be consumed, food reminds us that God is a good provider who has given us what we need. This leaves us wanting more of God…not more of food. In this way, food helps us satisfy our real desire, namely, our desire for God and enjoyment of him. God is the only one who can truly fill us up and satisfy our souls. All of a sudden, food is not about me, it is about God!
Food reminds me that I do not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. It reminds me that as the deer pants for streams of water so my soul should thirst for the living God!
So I confess…I’m overweight. But, my desire is to no longer be overweight, but overjoyed! Being overweight came through my sinful satisfaction found in food…now I will pursue being overjoyed through soul-satisfaction found in Jesus!