Does Fat “Insult” God? (Controversy)

I was shocked to find the following message on a website, in which a Christian man wrote about being overweight:Overweight-man

The moment I looked in the mirror I realized I was insulting the God I love and who I’d pledged my life to serve…The single moment of greatest shame, sorrow, rage, and self-loathing of my entire life…278 lbs.”

The man’s post made me wonder if there are other Christians who think the same way.

While I empathize with this man’s feelings, the thought behind them is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

Yes, I said it. Hell!

Forgive me if I sound angry about this, but the thought of Christians accepting the enemy’s lies as the gospel truth makes me mad.

Sometimes we accept these lies out of ignorance because we don’t know what God’s word says.

But other times, we accept the lies when we believe our feelings (which the enemy can manipulate) above God’s word.

The only way to combat these lies is with the truth.

To prove that being overweight does not insult God, I must go to the Bible. In the Bible, I can only think of 2 individuals who were described as “fat.” One of them was God’s priest. Even though God rebuked him, the rebuke was not because he was “fat.”

Having the proper perspective about the size issue is essential to reaching your ideal weight permanently. While condemnation can motivate you to change temporarily, it won’t last. You’ll end up feeling hopeless ultimately.

Permanent changes must be motivated by love. God want us to bring every concern to Him – including weight issues.

Most of these originate from the heart, not the body.

Proverbs 4:23 advises,

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”

I have read some quotes from older Christian weight loss resources that said things like “Whenever you see a fat Christian, you’re looking at one who is not walking with the Lord” and “Slim is how God meant us to be.”

The Bible supports neither of these statements. They promote the idea that your outward appearance is an indication of your Spiritual condition. But appearances can be misleading.

For example, the religious leaders in Jesus’ day looked good. But He said to them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27).”

God is always more concerned about the contents of a person’s heart above what they show on the outside.

Another example is David’s selection as Israel’s future king. At first,  the prophet Samuel assumed that David’s older brother must be the one that the Lord had selected. After all, Eliab looked the part!

However, 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us differently:

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

In fact, I don’t recall anywhere in the Bible where a person was rebuked about their weight. The only two stories I remember in which it was even noted that the person was obese was Eli the priest and Eglon, King of Moab in the Old Testament.

But the weight was just mentioned as a description of the person; it is not written that God Himself judged them for their excess weight.

In Eli’s case, God rebuked him because he failed to control his corrupt sons. This was a heart issue on Eli’s part – not an issue of the body.

Returning to the Christian man who posted that his appearance was insulting God, I found out in a later message that the man had gained weight in the first place because of a heart issue; he had learned that the woman he was to marry didn’t really love him.

The man used food to smother his grief over his lost love. He used food to try to fulfill a role in his life that the Lord was supposed to fill.  According to Psalm 147:3,

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.”

Now, you may ask: Is there any situation in which your body’s condition does matter, apart from its appearance?

I would say “yes.” Here’s a quick story:

Once there was an old, Southern church in disrepair. The members worshiped the Lord with all their heart.

But there was one problem; the members neglected to pay the church’s electric bill. Their electricity was disconnected during a heat wave with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Would that scorching heat impact the people’s ability to worship during the Sunday service? Highly likely! Although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.

To me, the best reason to achieve and maintain your ideal weight is not for appearance sake; it is being able to fulfill your Spiritual purpose with energy and vitality – free of physical distractions. Eating healthy and proper exercise are a key part of that goal, necessary body maintenance while you are here on this Earth.

This is more important than maintaining your household dwelling. After all, you take your body with you wherever you go!

In summary, having excess fat on your body does not insult God. However, I do believe God is grieved when we don’t trust Him with our concerns and instead trust in other things to comfort ourselves.

Hear the Lord’s heart in this matter from Jeremiah 2:13:

For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

Emotional eating is ultimately a broken cistern that can’t hold water. But when you put your trust in the Lord, He will heal you emotionally and physically – the best of all worlds!

Kimberly Taylor
Creator of the ‘Take Back Your Temple’ Program

P.S. If you are tired of trying diet after diet, losing the weight, but gaining it all back then the Take Back Your Temple program is your solution. You grow stronger Spiritually and heal emotionally as you are losing weight.

Diets can give you information about how to eat but they can’t give you the wisdom nor power to destroy the mental strongholds that are holding you back.

Click the link below to learn more. Let’s do this together:

Take Back Your Temple program

About the author 

Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor is a certified Christian life coach and has a heart to help others struggling with emotional eating and weight loss. Once 240 pounds and a size 22, she can testify of God’s goodness and healing power to overcome. She lost 85 pounds as a result of implementing techniques to overcome emotional eating and binge eating disorder.

Kim is the author of "The Take Back Your Temple Program," which teaches Christians how to take control of their weight God's way and the books "The Weight Loss Scriptures" and "The Weight Loss Prayers."

Kim has been featured in Prevention Magazine, Charisma Magazine and on CBN’s 'The 700 Club' television program.

  • Kim, Your perspective is so God honoring. thank you. I will never forget the day I was looking in the mirror because I had read a devotional that said it would help to find things to thank God for. As I looked, I saw my eyes and thanked the lord for their amazing use. And then I thanked Him for my ears that I can hear with, and my nose that I can smell with, and my mouth to speak, but I was still feeling sad that I was overweight. I looked at my tummy and hips, and was asking God how I could thank Him for that, and as clear as a bell I heard a gentle voice in my heart say, those features came when you honored me by having your children, they are beautiful in my eyes. It took my breath away to see how differently the Lord looked on things. It made me cry and changed the way I thought about myself. Now when I look in the mirror I smile and think, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that my soul knows right well. God is so good, and kind, and gently restores us for our good and His glory. Blessings dear sister

  • I do not think he is wrong but he is not fully correct too.

    Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we need to steward well whatever God has given us, that including our bodies.
    which means that eating junk food or harmful substances does not come under good stewardship, because note that our bodies are the “Temple” where the Holy Spirit Himself resides in.
    one of the ways a person gets obese is by taking his/her body for granted which is not right.

    BUT also Judging a person on physical characteristics is not correct and just because someone is fat, calling that person as someone not walking with the Lord is completely wrong too.
    “Whenever you see a fat Christian, you’re looking at one who is not walking with the Lord” and “Slim is how God meant us to be.”
    No where in the bible have these statements been used.

    In conclusion i guess being obese is not a sin. but remaining obese and neglecting to take care of your body is wrong because your body is the temple of the holy spirit and it is your responsibility to take care of it and steward it properly while on the earth.

    • One more thing.
      Regardless of being fat or thin, God loves you the same.
      For that matter He loved us while we were yet sinners which is far worse than being fat.
      i think it is a personal choice to steward well what God has already given into our hands.

    • Hi Christian – I appreciate your comment. I believe you are addressing 2 different issues. In the first issue, the man said that his overweight condition was insulting God. I see nothing in the Bible that says that obesity insults God. So the man is wrong to say that. However, if he had instead said that he desired to become a better steward of the body that God had given him, then I could get on board with that! The first attitude is condemning, which tends to separate the person from God. After all, why would they want to go to a God that they feel they’ve insulted or angered?

      Our tendency is that we want to hate the result (obesity), but remain in love with and continue the sin (if gluttony was the cause of the obesity). Here’s a common situation: You have a Christian who has a habit of bingeing on food, but they throw it up. From outward appearances, that person has it all together. But they aren’t being a good steward of their body because bulimia is harmful to it. See the difference? Same as a Christian who is anorexic. They may think they are okay with God as long as they aren’t “fat”!

      But God sees the heart – regardless of size.

      The 2nd attitude is one that honors God because He does call us to be good stewards – that attitude is Biblically based. It is one born of meditating upon God’s goodness. It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance, not condemnation.

      From that 2nd attitude, the person is more likely to address the root of the problem (his habits) rather than the result (the excess fat). That is more likely to lead to lasting change.

  • Interestingly I came across this site right after I came in from being outside having my last cigarette. Take Back Your Temple is my prayer to the Lord. I finally decided I don’t want to leave that legacy to my children & grandchildren. I think I will join this group. I am also 25 pounds overweight & am realistically thinking I may gain a few more pounds while I quit the nicotine. However, I will not let that be an excuse to fill my face!?!

    • Hi Bonnie, I am glad that you found us! You said, “Realistically thinking I may gain a few more pounds while I quit the nicotine.” Realistically according to whom? I was just curious because other people’s story doesn’t have to be yours. God has the last word 🙂

  • I have been over weight since I was 19. This was due to having polycystic ovaries. There is no known cure, but 2 years ago God healed me completely.. Wooohoo! Praise Him!
    I am now successful in losing weight, but I know for sure that God loves me no matter what my body size. I however want to be lighter, fitter and healthier to honour myself and God. My body is His temple, and it is my responsibility to look after myself the best way I can.

    • I agree totally, Alison! As I mention in a previous comment, there is a difference in desiring to take care of yourself and develop good habits to be a good steward over your body versus putting yourself down and saying that being overweight is an insult to God, as the man did in the article. That crosses a line because he was attributing a characteristic to God that can’t be backed up by the Bible. Thanks for your comment.

  • God is loving and compassionate of all his children. Weight does NOT matter. Theven ideology of this person is based on a worldly perspective. Judging a person on physical characteristics is not God’s character or nature. God does not think like that. We are all individuals with various issues and our God is faithful to provide unconditional love and salvation thru Jesus to each and every person regardless of what they look like, what they have done, social status, economic level, race, etc…. Don’t be deceived. We are all loved by Him.

  • I am FAT, being overweight means that I am abusing my body which is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
    I am working to lose weight (not always successfully) I just want to be normal.

    • Chris, God loves you just the way you are. He wants what is best for us all. He said he would give us the desires of our heart, so you will reach your goal. Striving to lose weight is awesome, but please know that you have to love yourself no matter what state you are in.

    • Hi Chris – I am praying for you. In your case, you say that you are overweight because you’ve abused your body. God wants to get to the heart of the issue, which is answering the question: “What thoughts and emotions are leading to the (to use your word) abusive actions?” The excess fat is only the result. To change permanently, you need to get to the root of the problem. Calling yourself insulting names only makes you feel condemned, which is what the enemy wants. He always wants to separate you from God who is the Healer. Learn to say what God says about you and then you will be more likely to seek Him to help you with this issue: Who I am in Christ

  • Thank you Kimberley for writing this letter. I am a born again, spiritfilled child of God. I am full time in the ministery AND I AM FAT!!!
    Never once has God condemned me for being overweight. …. as a matter of fact, one day while crying before God asking for help to overcome this terrible struggle in my body and soul, God answered me with these word: “You are like this, because of someone else’s sin!” It shook my whole being and I sat up from where I was laying prostrate before God… suddenly the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation which kept me holding onto the fact that God just showed me HOW MUCH HE LOVES ME!!!! HOW HE SEES MY TEARS IN MY SECRET PLACE!!!! But HE also knew that I was sincere in my heart to loose weight. …
    I was abuse as a child, in all forms of abuse. … I also had to care for my abuser for almost 27yrs….. I walked in total forgiveness and loved him and cared for him when he became a paraplegic. ….
    Two years ago my stepfather passed away. … Today I am 35kgs lighter and I am walking this road of victory NOW!!!
    God loved me irrespective!!!!!

    • What a powerful testimony, Mario! I’ve had TBYT online for 10 years now and many people write to me because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment they’ve suffered in the post and now have developed negative eating habits to cope with that. These are heart issues, not diet issues. I praise God that you forgave your stepfather and are now walking in newness of life in Christ!

  • I want to share two things that G-d reveiled to me. One is salt and the other is sugar. Salt is a covenant keeper. We are called to be salt to the world around us. I was struggling with a craving for my favorite potatoes chips when the L-rd laid it ony heart to choose. “My covenant of true love or their covenant of their love of your money?” I choose him and haven’t craved them since.
    Sugar…a zero benefit and major deficit for the body, Satan’s lie in physical form. G-d gave us milk and.honey. I use honey now instead of sugar. It satisfies as well as nourishes. Since switching, we find sweets not as tempting and a lot less honey used to get the same job done.

    • Thank you for your testimony, Lavonne! We each have to know which foods or substances have the potential to ensnare us through cravings and binging – and choose foods that keep us strong and energetic, ready to fulfill your God-given purpose. I’m glad you’ve found what works for you.

  • “Whenever you see a fat Christian, you’re looking at one who is not walking with the Lord” and “Slim is how God meant us to be.”

    ouch! Being an overweight Christian that would be incredibly painful for me to hear! I love what to you said here. I think we all have sins issues, some are just more visible than others. ( not that being overweight is necessarily sinful, but for me it is gluttony and food as an idol, so it is for me)

    I’ve finally started to lose weight, without much trying, because I finally realized why it is important to take care of my body, and it has nothing to do with how I look. I finally realized that my body is a temple of God, and satans goal is to destroy God’s temple, so he wants to keep me tied down to the sin of gluttony so he can destroy it by overeating, too much junk food, no exerxise etc, toxins in food, etc. I repented of allowing this, and for the past month have lost about 10 lbs, and exercised almost daily! wahoo! and feel full sooner, eaten healthier, but in joked indulgences with thankfulness and not guilt and so on. I am finally thankful that I do have a weight problem, because that problem has done the exact opposite of what those ladies say, and brought me closer and closer to God.

    • Praise God for the deliverance He has brought in your life, Sarah! I agree with everything you said because there is a difference in caring for your body out of a desire to be a good steward over it (and developing the habits to support that), versus putting yourself down and saying excess fat insults God. That’s the point I wanted to make. Thanks for your comment!

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