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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obesity A Sin?

Dear Victorious,

Our Sunday School teacher said a couple weeks ago that obesity is a sin. I've been so upset about it I haven't been able to go back to church. How can I sit in her Sunday school class if that's what she thinks of me?

C.C. in Indiana

Dear C.C.

Are you sure you've heard your Sunday School teacher correctly? It's possible that he or she didn't actually say that. It's also possible that they did, but were mistaken. So the first thing I would do is go back to that person and clarify what they actually said. The Bible tells us not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). If my own understanding doesn't make sense, then I should surely be looking for clarification.

If you clarify that they actually did say what you think they said, then you have a decision to make. You can accept it as truth or go test it for yourself. As Christians, we are to test everything that we're being taught against God's Word (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Is what the teacher said supported by Scripture? If not --- then it isn't true. If so, then it is true.

To be clear (and save you some time), I can assure you that the Bible does not specifically address obesity. However, it addresses gluttony, selfishness, greed, lack of self control, everything in moderation and other principles of sin that can have obesity as a consequence. So obesity itself is not a sin. God doesn't care how fat I am. But ... obesity is a consequence of my sin. And God cares a great deal about that!

So first determine what is true. Then ask God how He would have you respond to that truth.

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