Archive for January 24th, 2019

Naked and Exposed

Last January, I started the new year with the goal of dealing with a lifelong struggle, failure, and self-disappointment that I had not managed to get ahold of in a real, permanent and transforming manner.

I even wrote about it in a post called Stripped Down. In that post I focused on Hebrews 12:1, which encourages us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” 

Though I didn’t indicate what my goal was, I did clearly indicate that it was not just about self improvement, but dealing with sin … my sin.

Now, fifty-five weeks later, that resolution, that sin … I failed. Not only did I fail, but I am now two pounds heavier than I was when I started!

The sin of which I speak is that of gluttony, and, yes, it is a sin.

Sometimes, as Christians, we are far too comfortable to point out the sins of others, rather than our own. We are eager to speak of murder, of divorce, of stealing, of (add your own) …

We tend to judge others more harshly,
simply because
others sin differently from us.

I refuse to try to cover up my sin … one cannot cover up something so visually obvious. I refuse to call it my weakness (though it is), or say that God is patient with me (which he is) or that I need to remember that I live a life of grace, not perfection (which I do).

‘Cause, here’s the thing (and it’s not an easy or popular thing to admit, and certainly not to say),

sin is sin

Sin is not comfortable, not easy, not popular, and not pretty. It could be equated with religion and politics … it is something best to avoid speaking of in mixed groups.

But … sin IS sin.

This sin of gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth), and with high rates of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes in the top ten causes of death in developed countries, it truly is a physically deadly sin.

The Bible is clear that gluttony is a sin.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13 reminds us:

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food.” (aka, food is not to be valued beyond it’s intent, or valued beyond God).

Deuteronomy 21:20 says:

“They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” (when I was growing up, I never heard anything in church that equated overeating with over drinking).

Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of the opposite of sin:

“The fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Self-control is the opposite of gluttony (and drunkenness).

Probably the most compelling verse, for me, comes from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies”

Dealing with sin is a life-long process. Perhaps this is what Paul is referring to, when he speaks of his thorn in his flesh? :

“In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

I’ve gotta say, I don’t think that you will hear me bragging about this weakness, this sin, but I see where Paul was going here.

The thing is that sin separates us from God. When we choose to embrace, accept and continue committing sin, we are distancing ourselves from God.

And he created us for something more.

So I return to where I started, fifty-five weeks ago …

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Not saying that I am joining a gym, starting a fad diet (or any diet) … for the sin of gluttony is really the sin of giving in to eating more than our bodies need. What I am saying is that sin is hard to overcome, and my focus needs to be on Jesus … the pioneer and perfecter of faith.


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