Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Overweight - Sinful?

I have recently woken up to the fact that I have gotten very overweight (everybody else already knew) and I am working rather strenuously to lose that weight. Now I am concerned about my health and my family's need for me long term, but another question is on my mind. Is it actually sinful to be overweight?

This is not an issue addressed as directly as others in the Bible, yet I think that it does lay out some important principles that bear directly on the issue.

First the Bible does address the sin of gluttony and does condemn it directly. For example in Deut. 21 the issue of a rebellious son is being addressed and one of the examples of his rebellious nature is that he is a glutton, then he is taken to the city and is stoned to death, now I realize that we no longer observe this law but the principle is clear God is not fond of gluttony. This bears directly because most times when we become overweight has something to do with being gluttons. I am aware that there are some medical conditions that can lead to a person being overweight without being a glutton but they would be the exception and not the rule.

Second the Bible says that we are to be good stewards of the gifts that God has given us. Certainly our bodies are gifts from God, this would mean that we are to care for our bodies in a way that would honor God and would honor the gift that we have been given. When we are good stewards of the earth that means that we are trying to use it in such a way that it remains beautiful and useful. Certainly a body that is overweight is not as useful as a body that is in good health. Also we want the earth to remain useful to us in the long term, the same issue applies to our bodies we want to be able to use them long term to please and honor God.

These issues and many others have convinced that it is indeed sinful to be overweight, so my new commitment (only a few months old) to weight loss is not only an issue of health, it is also an issue of repentance.

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