There are many statistics out there showing that the church as a whole is estimated to be around 75% significantly overweight! The national estimate is 65% of adults are considered significantly overweight!!
This of course is no surprise because any given Sunday you could visit a Southern Baptist Church (or any church for that matter!) and be greeted with doughnuts and sugary coffee during Sunday school, a potluck after morning service and even finger foods at the evening business meeting! We all know this is not carrot sticks and low-fat crackers being served!! It’s creamy, fat laden, noodle filled casseroles and fried chicken! Oh and don’t you dare forget dessert!!
SO many of our church activities are centered on-you guessed it- FOOD!
The question needed to be asked are we over doing it?
Excess weight and obesity may be caused by some medical problems, but could being overweight be a spiritual problem as well?
There are 4 Reasons why the church needs to be more physically healthy-
#1-Over-eating(Gluttony) is a Sin-
God has given us the need for food as well as the ability to enjoy food. The bible gives us many examples food being the center of a celebration but the problem comes when we over eat or allow food to have more importance than the One we are celebrating!
The Bible even tells us not to be gluttonous!
Proverbs 25:27-28. It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself. A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
Proverbs 23:20-21. Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.Food is meant to be used for the bodies physical needs, not for comfort, soothing emotions or solving problems-that is God’s job!
This is when food becomes a sin!
#2-Being Obese Tears Down the Temple of God-
1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body
If our bodies are God’s home, why are we destroying it with excessive weight and inactivity? We are being bad home owners!
Being obese and under active account for many premature deaths every year. It is linked to the nation’s number one killer-heart disease. If you’re dead God can use you to reach those that don’t know Him!! Obesity can also be linked to diabetes and other chronic illnesses that can inhibit you from serving God as you should!
Why is it that even with this knowledge and commandment from the Bible many Christians are destroying God’s temple with excess food, lack of sleep and exercise!?
#3-Obesity is Being a Bad Steward of Your Body-
1 Corinthians 6:20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Obesity keeps you from doing the job that God has planned for you! We are to be physically prepared to do whatever He asks of us and whenever He asks!
Obesity not only is poor stewardship of your body but also of your financial resources as well! Medical costs soar every year and health insurance costs go up every year-especially if you are obese!
Now I’m talking obesity not just that 5-15 pounds overweight.
Eating healthy is way more cost effective than being sick and in the hospital!
#4-Overeating can Indicate Walking in the Flesh Instead of in the Spirit-
Galatians 5:22-23.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
When we are not able to control our eating habits we are lacking self control. Self control is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. If we don’t take care of the our body we often can’t give attention to the spiritual, because we have to place our focus on getting well.
When you are exercising the Fruit of the Spirit and letting Him lead you, you are able to place proper focus on food and a proper focus on the spiritual!
So What Should We as the Church Do?
We can start by putting food in its proper place in our lives- and in our churches as well. It should be used to nourish our bodies and not take more importance than -Who- we are there to serve!
Ministers and church leaders can also take a look at themselves and set a good example for church members.
Also, the church leaders can encourage health and fitness in their churches. If you have a family life center on your church property offer walking, fitness classes or physical activities such as basketball and other sports!
There are also many bible studies out there that address proper eating and groups can be formed to offer support to those who are participating!
What do you think? Should there be an emphasis in our churches to eat healthier and be more active? Are eating healthy and being physically active a biblical discipline? Does your church offer any fitness opportunities and bible studies on healthy eating>