Should a Christian view weight loss differently from an unbeliever?
My answer is ‘Yes.’ In this article, I will give my reasons why.
As Christians, three things shape our life view differently from the world’s view:
Let me explain how these three things impact a Christian’s view of weight loss.
Our weight loss view is an extension of our life view.
How we View God
God is a Spirit and as His children, we worship Him in Spirit and truth.
We know that the only reason we can have a relationship with a holy God is through our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our relationship with Him is at the center of our lives.
So everything flows from that core relationship, which includes how we approach weight loss.
Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we could know Him and the Father. That is the purpose of life itself:
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”– John 17:3
With this is mind, we view our weight loss goals from the perspective of our eternal relationship.
Although we desire to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, we don’t elevate that desire into an idol.
After all, our bodies are temporary.
However, our relationship with God is eternal and will last far beyond our time on Earth.
Obedience to God’s word reflects our love, honor and respect for Him.
Caring for the bodies God gave us wisely is simply putting our obedience into practice in this area.
We use His wisdom to show us the way that we should go; we use His strength to empower us to do it.
Our bodies are living temples in which we praise, worship, and glorify God in what we say and do.
When we do that, we are fulfilling the real purpose of our bodies. This is true no matter what size we are!
We can praise, worship, and glorify God with everything we have, with the body we have right now, even as we seek to become stronger and healthier.
How we View Ourselves
Many people want to lose weight to look good before man. They may not feel good about themselves and so think that the weight loss will improve their value in man’s eyes.
However a Christian views their identity differently.
We know that God views us through the blood of Jesus; nothing we can do will make Him love us more than He does right now.
1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that God doesn’t see the way man sees; He looks at the heart rather than the outward appearance.
He knows that a person can have the perfect body and impeccable clothes, but if their heart is full of uncleanness and wickedness, then God is not pleased.
He can see right through them!
God is pleased when we fix our heart on Him and affirm our identity in Him according to His word:
- We are His children (John 1:12)
- We are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)
- We are the righteousness of God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
So our actions become an outgrowth of our identity in Him.
We don’t face our weight loss challenges from a place of condemnation for past mistakes; rather we face them with hope in the present and future.
We have Christ in us, the Hope of glory. With our daily choices, He extends an invitation for us to come, walk with Him, and rely upon Him more and more.
As we accept that invitation, we come to know Him more, feel more secure, and gain confidence in who He created us to be, no matter what size we are currently.
How we View our Purpose in Him
As Christians, we weren’t created to live for ourselves.
We were created to know God, glorify God, and testify to others about salvation in Him through our words and good works.
Our bodies are a God-given resource for these things.
When our bodies are strong and healthy, it is easier to think clearly, enjoy our lives and accomplish our purpose with energy!
So a Christian’s life isn’t meant to be shallow and futile, but deep and meaningful.
A deep life requires deep roots to sustain it!
Each daily choice is a vote for the life we choose to live:
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”Deuteronomy 30:19-20
In these scriptures are the keys to choosing life over death, blessing over cursing:
- Love the Lord our God
- Obey His voice
- Cling to Him as the source of life
So our daily lives consist of loving, obeying and clinging to God.
Think of your weight loss challenge as a blessing in disguise because it is one reason to cling to God every day!
You need His wisdom and strength every day to make wise choices, regarding your body and other areas of your life.
The real issue is not about size, but stewardship.
I hope you see now why a Christian should view weight loss differently than a non-believer. After all, we view life through a different lens!
We are in the world and not of the world. We have a different spirit in us.
Our weight loss view is merely an extension of our life view.
Our weight loss journey is another way for us to know God more through the experience.
In that way, the experience doesn’t have just present benefits, but eternal benefits!