I picked up the dog-eared old book from the pile I was sorting. I hadn’t read it in years, but I remembered it well. It made me feel miserable. It was all about how fat was a spiritual problem and if you were right with God, you would be set free from its clutches. Great. So then I was not only fat, but a bad Christian.
Wonder what that author, who had lost a huge amount of weight, is doing now? I looked her up. She had gained back the weight plus more and wrote a new book about how God loves us as we are.
The point of that story? It is easy to spiritualize our weight loss. There is a danger in saying, “This activity equals good Christian and that activity equals bad Christian.” None of us are good enough for God, anyway. We all have failings and hidden sins. Our dependence on food is just an obvious one.
My pastor/husband Paul often uses the illustration of a broad jump across the Grand Canyon. If we all lined up and took off running and leaped over that immense expanse, some of us would get much farther than others. Some might soar for ten feet — and others of us would trip over the edge. In the end it wouldn’t matter. All of us would land at the bottom because none of us have anything like the ability to land on the other side.
That’s how it is with us spiritually. Some might be able to live a better life than others, but reaching perfection — which is what a holy God requires — is as impossible as landing on the other side of the Grand Canyon. That’s why Christ came. He didn’t come just to be a good example or to teach us about God, although He did that, too. He came to do what we couldn’t do. He lived a perfect life without sin. Then He paid for the sins of His people, so they didn’t have to. That’s what the cross is all about.
So we aren’t made right with God by our good works or good life, but by depending on what He did for us. And that’s how we are to live. Our focus is to be on Him, and we obey Him because we love Him. He’s our reason for living. We don’t have to work to be acceptable to Him, but live in freedom because He made us acceptable.
Thin people are not closer to heaven than the rest of us. God loves us for who we are inside these bodies — not how we appear on the outside.
I wanted to say that up front — because there is a possibility that there could be a spiritual addiction problem going on as well as a physical and emotional one. We’ll look at that tomorrow. But, first things first. The numbers on the scale do NOT indicate your distance from God. Your success or failure at reaching an ideal weight doesn’t change your relationship with Him. Don’t fall in that trap!
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown