“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Blogs on “losing weight” abound; this is not one of them, although that may very well be one of the welcome results for many! It is rather an attempt to gain something that we as the Body of Christ have either lost sight of or not quite grasped in the first place; that is, the reality of “Christ in us.” This, after all, sums up the heart of the New Covenant initiated by Jesus’ work here on earth. Our understanding and experience of this truth has profound implications not only for the way we view our bodies, which are now literally His temple, but also for how we care for them. I believe that a true grasp of this reality will revolutionize our approach to both maintaining a healthy weight and living in optimal health. My assertion is this: An intimate experience of “Christ in you” will impact how we perceive our bodies as well as how we eat. What a difference it makes when I truly believe that Jesus is not just with me, but in me, empowering me to live every aspect of my life (including eating) in a way that pleases and honors Him!
Our culture is one that worships the body itself rather than seeing it for what it was created to be: a means of intimacy with God and true worship of Him (Romans 12:1-2). The world’s motivation for being fit and healthy is, for the most part, self-serving: to look attractive, to feel better, to be happier. Just watch a season of The Biggest Loser and see what I mean! Don’t misunderstand me—it is inspiring to watch how lives are radically transformed on this show. What troubles me is that losing weight, being fit, has become an end in itself with its promise of self-worth, acceptance and personal fulfillment.
I understand that obesity in our society has reached unheard of levels, not to mention the percentage of people who are just generally overweight– a startling 2/3 of Americans! According to some estimates, obesity/weight-related diseases and medical problems account for upwards of 70% of health care costs.
Yes, we need solutions; but what is required extends far beyond healthy diets and rigorous workout programs. These things may effectively address the physical, behavioral, and perhaps even some emotional aspects of being overweight, but still neglect the all-important spiritual dimension. As a result, we often end up right back where we started and are left wondering why this latest “proven method” failed yet again.
True and lasting change demands a shift in our perception of who we are as new creatures in Christ, as well as a deep and intimate experience of Jesus’ indwelling Presence. Until this becomes reality, we will simply be attending to outward symptoms instead of addressing the emptiness within—that emptiness that drives us to overindulge our flesh in any number of ways.
Perhaps you are insisting that as a believer you already know that Christ indwells you. I cannot state strongly enough that this is not a matter of simply knowing doctrinal information! It is a matter of experiencing the reality of His presence and embracing the actuality that you are literally His Temple, the place of His habitation. Grasping this will revolutionize the way you see your body and consequently how you care for it.
This is the journey I am on, and what I believe is the path to true transformation. That is what this blog is about—learning to let Jesus fill the empty places so that we experience true fullness in Him. Once this is grasped, the other things tend to fall into place. It is a matter of first things first.