Monday, March 18, 2013

Listen up preachers! Some areas are off limits....

“Next week, we are going to talk about honoring God with our bodies.” Ummm, no thank you, I thought. Those words would send me running for the hills...well, not running. Maybe it was more like shivering in my seat, or at the very least, slouching and pretending that I wasn’t interested in that part of the Word.

While that topic has come up VERY LITTLE in the many years (40+) I have been in church, I always recall feeling like I was doing okay in that area. I didn’t drink or smoke or do drugs...good enough, right? Not exactly. If the word “gluttony” was even hinted at or dare I say, mentioned, I would find somewhere else for my mind to wonder. Is gluttony really a sin? I mean, really? Does God care about what I eat? Aren’t we FREE in Christ to eat how we want.

PLUS, there are a ton of overweight preachers..and members of our congregation. I would begin to rationalize that some people have hormone issues and they can’t help their weight gain (that was NOT me) and then there are pregnant people (seriously, I would think this). And, some guys are athletes and don’t really fit on the BMI scale (why am I even bothering rationalizing this one)...excuses, excuses. None of those thoughts had anything to do with ME, but if I could rationalize this for one person, it could surely extend to all???

My Crossfit trainer, Wes, has said that you never hear preachers say, “You only live once, so drink up.” Have you ever heard, “Take all the drugs you want, it’s your life!” Why? We, as Christ followers, like to support the things we are doing well and areas where we are successful. Please preach on adoption...we’ve done that. Praying for the nations...check. Family worship...done. Gluttony...uh, whoa, back up buddy, you are not allowed in that area.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m frequently convicted and then want to dismiss or excuse the behavior. Are there any areas that are off limits to God? Absolutely not. He is Sovereign, and He reigns over ALL of our lives. God’s Word does NOT change, and our opinion of it and feelings toward it do not matter in the scheme of eternity. The Bible is very clear about honoring God with our bodies. The Gospel CHANGES what we eat. We should live our lives differently than the world. Look at what He says:

Philippians 3:19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

Proverbs 23:20-21 Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.

Proverbs 23:2 And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.

Proverbs 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.

Psalm 78:18 They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

There are many more verses that discuss our bodies and how we are at eat, but let’s just focus on the Proverbs 23 verse. How exactly do we get around that one? If you have made your appetite your idol or your god, then you should put a knife to your throat. Um, I don’t particularly like that verse. Aren’t you thankful my feelings are not the measure of God’s truth? I am!

If someone had taken a stand on this issue years ago, I might have left the church over it...yes, I know it’s extreme. But, it is TRUE, and I am ashamed to admit it. Talk about food and gluttony and honoring the Lord with your body, and I would have hit the door screaming on the way out. I have loved food way more than I have loved God in my life. And, I know it to be true. There are still days when I desire food more than Him. And I don’t want it to be so.

I will continue to walk this journey knowing that He requires more of me. He wants me to surrender every area...EVERY one of them. I can tell you that I am uncomfortable even discussing this topic as it is something that I am daily convicted about...sometimes hourly. I do not have a successful track record fact, my record is pretty shameless and embarrassing and humiliating. But, in my weakness I will boast so that Christ may be glorified all the more.

May His name be glorified today as we seek to sacrifice and surrender our appetites to His will.

1 comment:

Brenda Stetler said...

I too, am guilty of gluttony - sometimes daily. Great Post! I found it interesting that there were no comments yet. Thank you for your truthfullness and your bravery and faith. I pray God puts other blessed thoughts in our heads when we think of eating something we could do without.