One of our greatest concerns as a church has always been serving those that don’t have enough to eat. While this remains a desperately needed cause for action, an even greater one has arisen that might shock you. Those that have too much to eat.
65% of the world’s population live in a country where obesity and being overweight kills more people than being underweight. While the commercials focus on feeding the children, 42 million preschool children were overweight in 2013. There is little negotiating with numbers: Overweight children will likely become obese adults. Unfortunately, we are to blame.
The most disturbing statistics surveys the damage that has been done: This generation of adults will have a longer life span than their children for the first time in history. With all the advances in medicine, vaccines, awareness, and knowledge; we cannot beat eating.
Overeating has become an epidemic addiction because it gets our brain out of pain, and it is socially acceptable. Imagine visiting with someone regarding an alcohol, drug, or pornography problem. They would likely steer you to a local gathering of addicts. Tell them about an overeating problem, and you will likely end up discussing it over lunch.
Obesity, overeating, and crowding out our feelings with food must be addressed for what it is. A grave spiritual condition in need of God’s rescue. We don’t feel good in an obese condition, and the cover-up of our problems through overeating only magnifies our pain and shame. God didn’t design us to feel this way. Here are 10 Thoughts On The Epidemic:
1. I disqualify myself as a relevant witness of Christ when I refuse to discipline my body and keep it under control. Personal wellness is an ongoing mission trip.
2. “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” (or running, or biking, or handcycling)
3. Good health goes well with the soul. Many spiritual battles are rooted in how carelessly we treat our bodies.
4. You might have noticed that God is unpredictable, yet has a pattern of making us uncomfortable to get us to a place that we can truly feel contentment, joy, and purpose. As they say, pain is weakness leaving the body. Change is necessary.
5. Glorify God in your body. Not caring for the body places an orange discount sticker over the original price paid.
6. The body is a temple. It’s where God lives. Keep it picked up and cleaned up. He deserves it and so do we.
7. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We have taken Christ out and inserted many brand names and foods looking for strength. Put Christ back in.
8. I live by a personal creed. There are two directions in life and both of them involve a level of discomfort, yet only one has a great ending.
9. James Clapp wrote, “The traditional approach to an unknown risk is avoidance.” We know how the story ends with obesity and overeating.
10. If we are truly living our lives out as a living sacrifice, what better way to sacrifice ourselves than to show our children how to live longer.