Statistics now tell us that almost 70% of Americans age 20 and over are overweight and/or considered obese. That is a staggering number to say the least. If this number doesn’t shock you enough, consider that over one-third of American adults are obese and over 5% are morbidly obese. To say we have a problem is quite the understatement.
I grew up in a Baptist church and we often joke in such churches about our love to eat. In fact, it seems every time a group of Baptists get together for any purpose there is food involved. I have been to Baptist functions called “Dinner on the Ground,” “Pot-Luck Dinner,” “Pie-Supper,” “All You Can Eat Pizza Bash,” and even an “All You Can Eat Hot-Dog Supper.” But Baptists aren’t the only culprits; most Christians love their food. And those who are teetotalers among us seem to often replace alcohol with food for social purposes.
Christians aren’t the only ones who struggle with their weight. The problem of overeating and obesity is an “American” one. Our overabundance of food rich in fat and carbohydrates has left us with a national problem. But shouldn’t Christians be an example and lead the nation in righteous living? Shouldn’t we be the ones to demonstrate a life bereft of gluttony? How can believers break free from their own bondage to this most accepted of sins and help others do the same?
I am presently carrying some extra weight and have often been guilty of the sin of gluttony. I have eaten more than I should and eaten the wrong types of food. I am going to share a list of things I have recently felt convicted to do for myself and hope these might encourage some of you to join me in the battle for a better life.
To Beat Gluttony and Be Healthy:
- Pray — Any victory over sin begins with prayer. Ask God to power you to victory, keep you from temptation and deliver you from the evil of sin…including the sin of gluttony.
- Die to sin — Paul mentions this in Romans 6 and it is an often forgotten idea among believers. Fighting the thought of whether or not to eat chocolate cake will inevitably result in defeat whether it be today, tomorrow or the next day. Dying to the thought of eating the cake and replacing it with prayer or some other thought will free you from the weakness of willpower and put you in the center of God’s power.
- Plan — Plan menus that are healthy, bring healthy food home from the grocery store
- Have an accountability partner — Someone who will pray and offer encouragement when the going gets tough.
- Exercise — Just do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking a day to get fit and burn calories.
- Find an app that will help you keep a food diary — Myfitnesspal is a great one and is easy to use for keeping track of both foods eaten as well as exercise.