For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:20).
As Christians, we must take care of our bodies in such a way that we are physically prepared to do whatever God asks of us, whenever He asks it. Honoring the body means making a commitment to live a healthier lifestyle by carefully considering the foods you put into your body, making exercise a regular part of your life, and getting enough sleep.
Gluttony is a Sin
The Bible condemns overindulgence in many things, including food. Proverbs 23:20-21 says: Don't associate with those who drink too much wine, or with those who gorge themselves on meat. For the drunkard and the glutton will become poor, and grogginess will clothe them in rags.
Obesity Destroys the Temple of God
Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19).
As obesity rates rise in the U.S., so do rates of diseases associated with obesity. In a press release by the CDC, director Jeffrey P. Koplan said, "Overweight and physical inactivity account for more than three hundred thousand premature deaths each year in the U.S., second only to tobacco-related deaths. Obesity," he continued, "is an epidemic and should be taken as seriously as any infectious disease epidemic. Obesity and overweight are linked to the nation's number one killer — heart disease — as well as diabetes and other chronic conditions."
Overeating Indicates Walking in the Flesh Rather Than the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
Christians may fear placing too much emphasis on the physical at the expense of the spiritual, but neglecting the body can be just as wrong. When we are unable to control our eating habits, we lack the self-control that is the fruit of the spirit. Balance is the key. Without taking care of the physical body, we are unable to concern ourselves with the spiritual.
A Well-Disciplined Life Honors God
The story of Daniel demonstrates a person willing to sacrifice physical pleasure to honor the Lord. When King Nebuchadnezzar brought Daniel and several other young men to him: The king assigned them daily provisions from the royal food and from the wine that he drank (Daniel 1:5). However, Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king's food or with the wine he drank (v. 8). Daniel requested, Then examine our appearance and the appearance of the young men who are eating the king's food, and deal with your servants based on what you see. He agreed with them in this matter and tested them for ten days (v. 13-14).
At the end of 10 days they looked better and healthier than all the young men who were eating the king's food. So the guard continued to remove their food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables. God gave these four young men knowledge and understanding in every kind of literature and wisdom. Daniel also understood visions and dreams of every kind (v. 15-17).
The Church's Response
Changing our eating and exercise habits isn't easy, but with the help of God, it can be done. First John 5:14-15 says: Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.
What can the church do?
First, ministers need to look at themselves and determine if the change needs to start with them.
Next, they must speak up and encourage their church members to have discipline in all areas of their lives.
Because the Bible addresses eating, indulgence, self control, self discipline, gluttony, and other related sins, we need to be able to address this topic in our churches without fear of offense.
Congregations are blessed when their pastor encourages them to make changes in their lifestyles that will ultimately bring glory to God.
Excerpt from Obesity in the Body of Christ by Wendy Ashley
Weight Loss Coaching with Natasha Brown