Devotional - Eating Healthy

By Rev. Robert Oliver

Baring Baptist Church

 

Dieting is never a fun thing. Last year, I was obese, weighing in at 225 lbs. My family was concerned about my health because my obesity was causing me to have high blood pressure and horrible cholesterol levels. Also, my belly was becoming noticeably bigger and my pant size kept going up!

One day, I visited an old family friend. The first thing he said when he saw me was, “Wow Bobby, you sure have put on a lot of weight!” My face must have been bright red from embarrassment, but I’m glad he said it because it was a wake-up call. Not too long after that, my doctor told me, “If you don’t lose weight and get those numbers down, I’m going to have to prescribe some medication.” I take enough pills as it is, so the last thing I wanted was more meds!

My amazing wife said, “Okay Bobby, we’ll do this together. I’m going to cook healthy and we’re going to lose weight together.” For about 5 months, this worked great. I lost 30 lbs, getting down to 195 lbs. I felt healthier and looked better.

Unfortunately, I fell off the bandwagon. Instead of sticking with it, I thought, “Now that I’ve lost all this weight, it won’t do any harm for me to spoil myself with some McDonald’s, or pizza, or lots of sweets.” After all, a big, juicy hamburger tastes a lot better than ‘the green stuff’. Sadly, once I started, I couldn’t stop. One unhealthy meal turned into another, then another, then another…my sweet tooth started to surface its ugly face once, then twice, then three times a day…I couldn’t stop! The result was not surprising. I went from 195 lbs. in November to 217 lbs. today.

As I was thinking about this, it reminded me of a Scripture about the negative effect that sin has in our lives:

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “ I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” -James 1:13-15

I’ll be honest with you…It’s a whole lot easier for me to surrender to the desire to eat unhealthy foods & satisfy my sweet tooth than it is for me to resist and say ‘no’. It’s the same thing with the temptations of sin. It’s much easier to give in than it is to resist. However, there are always consequences when we surrender to sin. “It won’t hurt to give in just this one time…” Then, once becomes twice, twice becomes three times, then four times, and eventually, we stop resisting. Our sins start becoming habitual, and the more we sin, the farther we are pulled away from Christ.

Just like I was unhealthy and gained weight from eating too much, sin will weigh you down and ruin your “spiritual health”. It will change you from a saint who is growing holier through the process of sanctification, to a habitual sinner who is being polluted and getting dirtier from the filth of sin.

So, how can we stop this from happening to us? The answer is found later in the book of James:

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – James 4:7-8

It takes discipline! Just like I have to resist the urge to eat a carton of Cookies N’ Cream ice cream, I also have to resist the devil and his temptations. I can only do this if I’m submitted to God, growing closer to Him, learning to love Him more each day and live my life for Him.

 

Next week, I’m planning to try once again to eat healthy and lose weight. I hope that I can stick with it this time! Along with this, I’m renewing my commitment to resist temptation and cling to my Lord. I’m thankful I don’t have to do either of these things on my own. Sherri is going to help me eat healthy, and the Holy Spirit is always helping me choose holiness over sin. I’m thankful that in both cases, God will be with me the entire time!