Thoughts on 1 Corinthians and Weight Loss

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Anyone who has known me for any extended amount of time knows that I struggle with me weight. I’ve become much better at handling my emotions about it with age, but it is no secret: I want to be thinner.

For awhile it was because I was self-centered and just wanted to look better so girls in high school would like me. Nowadays I really just have a desire to A. be healthier and B. Prove that I can do it.

The problem is discipline. I have recently made the discovery that I lack self discipline. There are certain things I can buckle down on and force myself to do such as reading, studying, and working. However, when left to my own devices I pretty much self destruct.

So I decided to come at my weight loss struggles from a Biblical perspective. I’ve prayed periodically my whole life for God to give me the strength to lose weight, and heck when I was younger I just wished he make me thin. But during all of these times of anguished prayer I never got out my Bible to see what God had to say on the matter. Today I did.

Corinthians 9:27 “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others I myself should become disqualified.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

In these three verses we can see three different reasons to have discipline. First Paul compares us to runners in a race. He talks about how runners in a race train for months and prepare themselves to be in peak condition. God too calls us to train our bodies to resist the desires of the flesh. We should not give into our temptations, but make them our slaves, and therefore be an example to others.

Then Paul talks about our body being a temple. I’ll admit I like to ignore this verse when people try to tell it to me when encouraging me to lose weight. But really what it is saying is so helpful if we grab hold to it. Our bodies are not our own. They are a vessel for Christ in us. We need to take care of ourselves so that we are able to perform in all areas of the ministry we are called too.

Finally we see Paul give us the gut punch. It’s so easy to forget that whatever we are doing should be something that glorifies God. Am I truly glorifying God when I stop by McDonalds at 10:32 pm? When we don’t show control over our desires and give into sins of excess we are not making his name great.

The verses aren’t specifically targeted at weight loss, but more so they show the importance of self-discipline. After all that is one of the spiritual fruits. I am guilty of not having discipline in many areas of my life, including consistency in my Bible reading and prayers with God.

I hope that the next time I don’t feel like hitting the gym, or when I want to snack on some fries at work I can remember 1 Corinthians and the importance of discipline.

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