Digging a Grave with a Fork (Part 5)
It is true that we all need to eat and drink daily. Problems arise when we carry those activities to excessive lengths. When we have an inordinate desire to eat and drink, there is a problem. God has blessed us by filling the earth with foods that are delicious and nutritious, and most find eating to be pleasurable. We should honor God's creation by enjoying these foods and by eating them in appropriate quantities. I Timothy 4:4,5 reads - "For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." God calls us to control our appetites, rather than allowing them to control us. Let us eat moderately and be thankful to God for our daily bread.

"But Stephen, is it really that big of a deal if I'm a glutton if I'm living a good moral life otherwise as a Christian?" Compared to the sins of adultery or murder, admittedly, habitually overeating doesn't seem to be that bad. But, mankind's view of things is often different than God's view (cf. Isa. 55:8,9), and only a fool would be dismissive of a certain sin merely because it is widely practiced. Why does God care about what we eat? We've already answered this question. Again, if our bodies belong to God (cf. I Cor. 6:19,20), habitually overeating is abusive to the physical man. It is not good to continually carry around a lot of unnecessary weight.

Tasteful food eaten in moderation provides some of life's most delightful pleasures. However, when we regularly eat to excess, it dilutes those pleasures and adds miseries of its own. What is true of food is also true of drink and all consumable goods. Our appetites will never really be satisfied by consuming more and more. We can find contentment only through Jesus Christ who is the true bread and water of life. " And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst'" (John 6:35). Put God first in your life, not food (or any other consumable).

Friends, if you are overweight, obese, or severely obese, you can change your eating habits--if you really want to. You can be a good steward of the body God has given you--if you really want to. If you don't want to, then you won't; you'll just continue on the course you've currently charted--and some of you are tragically digging an early grave with your forks! I realize that changes like this are difficult and take time for results to be seen (no one gets obese overnight and no one gets back in shape overnight, either). But, anyone who needs to lose weight can do so, no matter how big you are to start. The TV show "The Biggest Loser" has proven this, I believe. Some lose weight easier than others and some may have genetics or other factors working against them, but a proper diet and exercise will lead to success eventually for everyone with diligence and self-control. If you have a lot of weight to lose, consulting your medical doctor is advisable also. You can do it (cf. Phil. 4:13)! To those of you who have already started down the path to a healthier lifestyle, keep at it until you reach your goal.

Let me close with II Corinthians 5:14,15 - "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again." Not only has Christ given us physical life but spiritual life, too. He died for us! If we as Christians really love Him, there should be no sacrifice too great to make for Him. If we are no longer living for ourselves but for Him, then we will be good stewards of the bodies He has given us--the bodies in which the Holy Spirit indwells and the bodies that belong to Almighty God.