Ask Your Preacher
Giving excuses – is it a form of sin?
I Can Explain
Dear I Can Explain,
Excuses can be sinful if you are using them to avoid doing what you ought. For example, if you have promised to do something – you should stand by your word (Matt 5:37) and not make excuses to avoid a commitment you have made. There are sins that we commit and sins that happen when we omit doing what we ought. If you know of something that you ought to do, and you make excuses to avoid doing it, that is a sin (Jas 4:17).
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.
My question is one that has been bothering me a lot lately. I am married and totally in love with my husband. He is so wonderful to me, and he is a strong spiritual leader for me. He is everything (and more) that I prayed and asked God for. But, on occasion, the thought of divorce crosses my mind. I don't know why it comes into my mind. I don't want that for my life; when I made my vows to my husband, I didn't make them lightly… not to mention I am so happy and couldn't imagine my life without him. Now what has been concerning me is in Matt 5:21-30, we are taught that even thinking about sinning (which from my understanding, divorce is a sin unless there has been unfaithfulness in the marriage) can be dangerous for our souls. I am concerned that because the thought of divorce pops in to my head once and a while that my soul is in danger. Even though I have no intention of ever acting on that thought, I want to live a happy and long life with my husband. Do you think that my soul is in danger? Thank you for your feedback and the work you do.
Totally in Love
Dear Totally In Love,
Dwelling upon evil desires is sinful (such as lusting after a woman – Matt 5:28), but a thought popping into your head is not the same as dwelling upon evil.
You don’t have complete control over what thoughts come into your mind (this is also true of emotions), but you do have control over what you do with those thoughts. As a simple example, if someone says the word ‘dog’, you will immediately think of a dog. Whether you want to or not! (In fact, you are thinking about dogs right now.) Jas 1:13-15 points out that sin occurs when we allow our thoughts to dwell upon sinful behavior until we actually act upon them. Merely having the thought pop into your mind is not the same as dwelling upon it. You are obviously happily married, have no desire to divorce, and as long as you continue to shove the thought out of your mind as you are doing right now, you aren’t sinning at all.
When a person is saved, what causes them not to have compassion in there heart?
When we first become Christians, we are only babies (1 Cor 3:1). It is only after time and practice that we become mature and full-grown adult Christians (Heb 5:14). Becoming a Christian doesn’t fix all over your shortcomings, and consequently, many Christians struggle with being compassionate, showing love, becoming unselfish, and a host of other internal battles. We must be patient with one another as we all grow toward the Lord (2 Pet 1:6).
Here lately, I’ve been getting really angered by the gestures and things said by certain people. I’m trying to become a man of God and follow Him and give Him my heart, but I feel like my anger is slowing me down. Maybe you could give me some advice and/or Bible verses?
Dear Slow Burn,
Bitterness and anger are such easy things to slip into, and many a christian has been destroyed by their frustration with sin and the world’s ways. It is a dark world, and it can be discouraging and overwhelming at times. The solution is to view the world the way Jesus did – with compassion. When Jesus looked upon the city of Jerusalem, He wept over their faults and pitied their fate (Lk 19:41, Matt 23:37). Jesus viewed the world as being full of people that needed a Savior (Jhn 4:35) and rejoiced over every lamb He could rescue (Lk 15:4-7). Christians live in hope of eternity with God (2 Tim 4:8), and that hope is our anchor (Heb 6:19). Allow your love of the Lord and your love for your fellow man to strengthen you through this life (Mk 12:29-31). Your future is bright – have compassion on others, and maybe you might be able to brighten their futures as well.