For the past couple of years I have been “trying” to lose some weight. Not a ton, just a few pounds to get me in the ‘healthy’ range for my height. I’ve tried everything: diets, exercise, positive self-talk, consistent weigh-ins, writing down numbers, keeping charts, etc. My motivation over the years has been mostly aesthetic in nature. I was trying to lose the weight because I didn’t like the way I looked, or because I didn’t feel healthy, or because I thought I should. And, unsurprisingly, my efforts have ultimately failed. It is not that the actions in and of themselves were bad – on the contrary – they can be good and helpful. However, I am slowly coming to the realization that those motivations do not hold up very long under the temptations of delicious foods. I love to eat, and I come from a long line of people who also love to eat. In light of that and the aforementioned failed motivations, my gut reaction is almost always to either cave in or rationalize my eating habits (and even lack of exercise), because my motivations were not serious enough to deter me from eating good food.
But things are beginning to change. Most importantly my attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs about food and how those affect my relationship with Jesus. I am starting to see an impact in my life that I am trusting will last more than a couple months. You see, it isn’t about the weight anymore. It is also not about looking pretty, or being thin, or anything else. Whether I am trying to lose 5, 10, 20, 50 or 100 pounds, if my perspective and motivations aren’t right, then nothing I do to change myself will last forever.
There is a long-standing joke among the Franklins that some people eat to live while others live to eat, with us falling into the latter category. We laugh because it is true, but recently I have realized that it doesn’t lessen our responsibility before the Lord to care for the bodies He gave us. And here we arrive at the heart of it: before the Lord. As much as we often try to fight this truth, we are not on our own when it comes to how we eat and care for our bodies. We might think that this is a little thing, that the Lord doesn’t really care what we do with our bodies or how we eat (something I found myself believing too), but now I disagree. He does care, very much.
My initial plan was to write one post about this topic and leave it at that. However, even as I have been writing this over the last couple weeks, I am realizing how much there is to this topic – much more than can be covered in one post. So, I am going to write a series of posts on this topic dealing with the topics of gluttony, idolatry, self-discipline, what we eat, exercise, thoughts/attitudes, and how all that fits into food and Jesus. I am not saying I am an expert or have this figured out, but I invite you to join me as I dig into the Word and learn more about these issues. The more I learn the more I see my life changing, especially as I understand that it isn’t about me. It’s always about Jesus.