I bought my wife a Wii Fit for Christbirth. We got everything set up and when I took the little tests it had for me, I found out that I am obese and I should lose 90 pounds to be “normal” on the BMI scale. Well, I didn’t throw the machine across the room—even when my wife’s test came back normal. Maybe she should have bought it for me.
All that aside, I want to make sure that my motives for “getting healthy” are not focused on myself or this temporal existence. Paul reminds us in 1 Timothy 4:8 that “bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” I want to make sure that I am seeking to honor God bydesiring to understand Him more and taking care of this body that He has blessed me with. Setting my mind on things above while remembering that I still have to complete my pilgrimage on this earth requires balance.
The real problem is that I tend to seek comfort in food rather than in gazing on Christ. I know this is a problem and I hate that I sin against my Savior in this way. My flesh wants to look thinner and receive praise from those who recognize that I am losing weight, so I have to constantly remind myself that is not my motivation. I can tell you now that it won’t be me who puts this sinful pattern to death. It is only by cooperating with the Spirit that I will be more conformed into the image of Christ.
The other day, I caught myself thinking in a way that did not honor Christ. I said to myself, “I really fell off the wagon on Thursday.” WHOA! To suggest that I have no power over my own flesh is a slap in the face of Christ. He has conquered death and sin for me and given me His Spirit to fight that battle. I had to correct myself and recognize that I should have said, “I really jumped off the wagon on Thursday.” I am not a victim of sin—I am responsible for the sin I allow to dwell in my heart.
If you see me in a few months and I am down a few sizes, don’t ask me how much weight I have lost or what diet plan I used. I don’t want that to be the focus or the motivation. Ask me what sinful patterns the Spirit has helped me put to death and praise God with me for sending Christ to conquer bondage to sin. Don’t let me boast in what I did and steal the glory that belongs to God alone. If I lose 30 pounds without dying to sin my effort has been in vain and in my own strength.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:5–15