Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“A Weighty Matter”

     Let me start off by saying I'm not trying to hate on overweight people.  I understand not everyone can help it, but my question is: is being obese or overweight because of being lazy (not exercising or eating right) a sin? 1 Cornithians 6:19-20 tells us that our bodies are temples of God.  And 1 Cornthians 3:16-17 tells us that anyone who defiles the temple of God, God will destroy.  So isn't being obese (like not taking care of yourself to the point of obesity) a sin because of the risks of sickness and diseases from obesity?

Fed Up With Fat

Dear Fed Up With Fat,

Physical health is important, but it shouldn’t be overemphasized.  Physical health is certainly a blessing (3 Jhn 1:2). Paul mentions that there is value, (not high value, but value nonetheless) in physical fitness training (1 Tim. 4:8). Paul told Timothy to make sure and take care of his stomach ailment (1 Tim 5:23). He also mentions that your body is a temple that ought to be used to glorify God (1 Cor 6:19-20).

On the other hand, fatness is also often associated with blessings (Pr 11:25, Pr 15:30). Everyone recognizes that a few extra pounds are a greater blessing than not enough.

The issue comes down to whether or not we care for our bodies – which are gifts from God. If someone woefully neglects their body (through gluttony, poisoning it by doing drugs or smoking, taking excessive risks of bodily injury, etc.), they are sinning. As we make decisions regarding our own health, we must be sure to avoid judging others in this area. The definition of ‘healthy’ is up for debate even among top nutritional scientists. A healthy body and lifestyle will look different for every person. All you can control is yourself. We must strive to live with a good conscience (Heb 13:18) and consider how to glorify God with our bodies.