FYI This post is about to get real. I'm going to be a lot more transparent than I normally am, and I think that's saying something. Writing this blog literally made me cry... so be kind to it if you don't mind.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a big girl. I've never been very small. I Can't think of one time in my life. That doesn't really bother me though. I am comfortable with who I am. Sure there are times that I wish I was different, but everyone feels that way from time to time. As such, I never really concerned myself with weight loss or healthiness. I pretty much did what I wanted...
A couple months ago I gave up meat. Upon becoming a vegetarian I immediately dropped about 20 pounds. That feels good. People comment about me and I LOVE it. I can wear jeans that I haven't been able to wear since I was a college freshman... and they didn't even fit all that well back then. Anyway, I didn't give up meat to lose weight (ask if you'd like to know the reasoning behind that decision). I didn't plan on doing anything else to lost weight or become healthier...
As you know (if you read my blog regularly) I've been actively seeking God on my own for the first time in my life. I used to take in whatever Christian leaders said as the truth and spit it back out whenever necessary (my case of spiritual bulimia). Anyway, I started trying to incorporate God into the things I loved in life... One of those things was following lots of very intelligent Christian bloggers. These guys really know that everyday things (music, art, social media) can be a ministry... which is JUST what I am striving to incorporate into my life. One of the guys I follow is Perry Noble of NewSpring Church (check out his blog... link in my blog roll.)
Pastor Noble recently posted a blog about overcoming obesity. I thought this was a little odd, as I didn't know that he'd ever been overweight in the first place. The essence of his blog was eat less, exercise more. I already knew this. HOWEVER, one point knocked me on my ass (excuse the language... it was purely to make a point... I was pretty taken aback at the following thought.)
He quoted 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, which I'd heard plenty of times.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
Now, when I read this verse I always heard 'don't do drugs, don't have sex with random people etc.' and I thought I was doing pretty well with that. But when Pastor Perry read these verses he apparently heard (and I'm quoting)
"I am a steward of the body (temple) that God has given me…and how I take care of it tells the world what I think and feel about Christ."
I literally teared up (and I still do a little even now) thinking that my living an unhealthy lifestyle tells God that I don't love him and I don't value what he's given to me. The more I thought about it, the more I began to see that I had to do something about this. I immediately thought of the following verse from Hebrews (10:26)
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left."
Reading that, how could I knowingly keep abusing God's temple? If someone doesn't think that how we steward the body God gave us matters to him, then that is a SERIOUS spiritual issue. I am under no impression that God is going to be able to fully bless me or use me for his purposes when I have strongholds and areas of my life where I refuse to honor him. And, I'll be honest, there is nothing I want more than to be blessed and used by God, so clearly something has to change.
The church in the US doesn't al all address this SIN. Thats what it is SIN. And this SIN kills more people every year than alcohol... yet for some reason we don't talk about it. ESPECIALLY in baptist churches. Instead we have potlucks and ice cream socials. Well, that's not going to work for me anymore. This is a spiritual issue that needs to be addressed.
I guess the main reason I'm writing this blog is to take ownership of the fact that being overweight (just like every other sin in my life) is my own fault. I hope that you know if you're overweight, or if you are harming your body in another way (smoking, drinking, drugs, whatever) that its a spiritual issue. Being a poor steward of the body God gave you is just as bad as being a poor steward of the money you take in. Apart from totally surrendering that sin to God, its impossible to be totally in his will... and I don't want that for me or for anyone else. To be in the bondage of food (or something else) because we refuse to make the necessary changes (that we know we need to make) is just silly.
So, what REALLY convinced me that it was time to handle this issue, please God with my body, and ultimately get more into God's will for my life? Well, it was this paragraph, that I'm taking from the end of Pastor Noble's blog... (quoting him here)
"BUT…if I can do this…so can you!!! No temptation can overcome someone who is in Christ (I Corinthians 10:13!) This issue IS NOT BIGGER THAN CHRIST IN YOU…in Him you have the discipline, the potential and the victory just waiting on you to LIVE IN IT! (See I Corinthians 15:57-58) You CAN do this…and trust me, when you do you will feel SO MUCH BETTER…you will have the ENERGY to do what you want and need to do and you will have the INTEGRITY to speak to others about how to get past the issues that hold them back…because you fought the one that held you back!"
So, you might not have the weight struggle that I have. But I'm willing to bet that there is something in your life that you can surrender... So. What are you waiting for? Give it up already. After all, that issue is NOT BIGGER THAN CHRIST IN YOU! =)