Are Plus-Size Christians Being Condemned by the ‘Gospel’ of Weight Loss?
Before I became a Christian, I was always passionate about the truth. I despise injustice and a false balance. I was born a fighter. In school, I challenged bullies. I refused to stand by and watch the innocent be inflicted by the insecurities of another. I gave bullies ultimatums, “Leave them alone, fight someone your size.” I had no idea that when I gave God my life, He would use these attributes for His glory. Of course, I don’t go around fighting people today. God has delivered me from the wrath of man. But don’t test me, I do have righteous indignation.
Much hasn’t changed. Now, I have a zero-tolerance for spiritual bullies. I am compassionate on the ignorant, and I will check the religious Pharisee of today. Jesus was no different; He was moved with compassion for the multitude (Mathew 14:14). But He called the Pharisees “vipers” (Matthew 3:7). This is not the sweet baby Jesus people like to portray. Understand, Jesus was both a lamb and a lion. How you approached Him determined who you received.
Some like to say that correction means a lack of love. That is not true. Godly correction is love. It sets us on a path of righteousness. So, understand this post is in love and intended to set someone free.
The Gospel Over the ‘Gospel’ of Weight Loss
What I find interesting is that people are taking concepts of life and making them The Gospel. When Jesus preached, He talked about the Kingdom. He told everyone to repent and turn to God. He preached about holiness and righteousness so that people would inherit eternal life. Sure, He talked about the practicalities of life, but He did not make those things the essence of the Gospel. Some people refuse to talk about repentance. They will promote things that are not eternal over salvation. I want to deal with one of those topics today – weight loss.
For the record, I am for being healthy. I believe that eating healthy and exercise are wise lifestyle choices. However, understanding a little about science, there are other components that can affect your weight. These components include stress, hormones, genetics, and other health issues not related to eating that can affect your metabolism. I shop at Whole Foods and rarely eat fast food. I am accustomed to a lifestyle of fasting because I am spiritual. Yet, I am overweight.
Why did I write this post?
Recently, I met a new teammate that reached out to me. I am sure from my pictures she felt that I could benefit from her teaching. She specializes in weight loss. I was open to hearing what she would say. I love learning. Teach me something. But, there was a specific part of her message that I had to address. She said that “a struggle with health, meant a struggle with your purpose.”
This wasn’t the first time I had heard this. In love, I told her that although I was a plus-size sister, I was confident in the call of God upon my life. My weight had no precedence on my purpose. I am a daughter of God and a servant of Jesus Christ, and my weight was not the qualification. I was saved and chosen by grace – not by the scale.
So, I thought to myself: How many other plus-size teammates have heard this and believed that they lacked in purpose because they carried extra pounds? How many people of God believe that they lack spiritually because they are overweight? How many people are scared to sing, preach, and praise God in public for fear of what others will think about your appearance? If that is you – be set free today!
What About Gluttony?
Note, everyone that is overweight is not overeating. Some may be eating the wrong things. Have you noticed that eating healthier costs more? Finances or the lack thereof can contribute to people not being able to afford healthier choices.
In the Bible, there is no scripture that says being heavier is a sin. If you define gluttony, it means greed – not only in food but general greed. The people even called Jesus gluttonous (Luke 7:34). There is no mention of Jesus being overweight, so we know that gluttony is more than obesity.
Proverbs 23:1- 2, King James Version (KJV)
“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.”
The scripture above is dealing with overeating. However, nowhere in that scripture does it use the word “glutton.” The term is “appetite.” Let us rightly divide the Word of Truth. Glutton means greed. People in this world are greedy for more than food. They are gluttonous for money, fame, sin, and so much more.
Eli: A Plus-Size Leader
1 Samuel 4:18
“And it came to pass, when he (Eli) made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.”
Eli was a priest of God and as the scriptures say, “heavy.” Eli was chosen and used by God despite his size. His death was due to his failure to correct his children who erred in God – not because he was a larger man. In the previous chapter of Samuel, God reminds Samuel of the judgment upon Eli:
1 Samuel 3:12-13
“12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.
13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”
God makes no mention of Eli’s weight. Sin is what caused Eli’s judgment, not his weight. His weight did not keep him from operating in his purpose of being a judge of Israel for 40 years.
SO, WHAT’S THE PLAY CALL?
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:8
Teammates, again, I am not against weight loss and exercise. Share your transformations; it is a great accomplishment. As believers, we need enlightenment in every area of our lives. I am for practicality. I’m only against weight loss, dieting, and exercise if people promote these topics as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Understand there are more important things than a nice body. We need a clean soul. Plus-size saints can make it to heaven. God has a new body awaiting us (Philippians 3:21). Having a fit body is not the key to entering the Kingdom – having our souls right with God is. What profit is it to anyone who works on their body, but fails to work on their salvation?
I don’t like any division on this team. Many plus-size teammates may not speak up, but telling someone that their weight is linked to their purpose can make those who are plus-size feel like they are unworthy to be anything for God. Teaching that type of false doctrine breeds insecurity, depression, and much more. God has put in my heart to set the record straight.
Being plus size has not stopped me from serving God in my purpose. He called me and anointed me as a plus-size daughter. Making claims that weight loss is tied to purpose likened to all women with short hair or lack of hair have no glory, or that all women with long hair have glory (1 Corinthians 11:15). But, we know the truth of God, that we are more than our hair.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are beautiful and worthy to carry the purpose and assignment God has placed on your life. Listen to your physician; I listen to mine. Take all the necessary actions to get yourself healthy. I will also in my plans to shed more pounds. The Bible says it does profit, but little, which means that it’s beneficial in this life. But, exercise cannot be carried in the life to come. So, before I put so much emphasis on that treadmill, I will go to my Father about cleansing me of anything that would hinder me from being with Him for eternity.
I pray that this encourages all my plus size teammates to be all you can in God. If you find yourself overeating, go to God. He is a healer and deliverer. He can take away that root thing that causes you to overeat. Likewise, if you possess any type of glutton – go to God. No greed is right before the Lord.