Tithing is an important part of Christianity. Donating 10% of your income to the Church is seen by Christians as an essential part of their faith. Many, however, ignore the fact that taking care of one’s own body is also a part of tithing.
Tithing is a key part of Christianity as the tithe belongs to God. So too, however, does your body. While donating money, time and one’s belongings to the Church is important, giving your body to the Lord, through adherence to a proper diet and exercise regime, is one of the most important gifts that you can give to God; its inherent difficulty bestows great value upon it.
3 things the bible teaches us about our body weight
1. Our bodies belong to God.
In his letter to Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:12-20), Paul highlights the importance of the tenet that our bodies belong to God, while also emphasising that we must not, under any circumstances, allow our bodies to become slaves to anything, specifically referring to the lust for food, as well as our sexual appetite.
Our desire to overeat is in direct conflict with the passage 1 Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” Succumbing to food cravings, therefore, is an act which is forbidden in the Bible, and is something that we, as Christians, must strive to live in accordance with.
When considering the importance of diet and exercise, within the realm of Christian living, it is also important to recognise the link made, in 1 Corinthians 6:13, between our lust for food and sexual appetite, both of which are not to be given in to: “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods. But God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
Indeed, throughout 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, there are numerous references to the sanctity of the body, “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,” and the importance of preserving the body and glorifying God through treating it with respect, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.
Learning how to keep the body in optimum health, through diet and exercise, as well as resisting the desire to give into the temptation of overeating, requires much dedication and mental strength, but is a formidable means of giving thanks to the Lord.
In addition, living up to the Christian ideal of maintaining a healthy body must be done for the right reasons; the correlation between the body and the tithing is pertinent in this regard.
We gladly give tithing, expecting nothing in return. And so we should when it comes to dieting. Dieting should, under no circumstances, be undertaken only in the pursuance of the superficial desire to lose weight and look good; it must be done mainly to improve our health, and to give our body to the Lord.
2. Gluttony is a sin
Derived from the Latin term gluttire, which refers to gulping down or swallowing, gluttony can be defined as overindulgence in food, drink, or wealth items, to the point of excess.
Gluttony is also a sin, which many of us seem to conveniently forget. Not only is gluttony one of the 7 deadly sins, as dictated by the Church in the 4th Century, along with pride, greed, envy, wrath, lust, and slothfulness, but temperance, or self control (the opposite of gluttony), is also one of the 7 holy virtues.
Scripture is very clear about the importance of staving off gluttony, with some fairly scathing references in the Bible, detailing the fate of those guilty of committing this sin.
In Deuteronomy 21:18, for example, the word of the Lord asserts that if a person is found guilty of being gluttonous, “Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you and all Israel shall hear and fear.”