This morning as I was deciding what to have for breakfast, 1 Samuel 16:7 came to mind: “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Even though I have thought about this scripture many times, the Lord posed a new question that made me think:
“Do you want to be healthy inwardly or just look healthy outwardly?”
A hard question! “Do I want to just ‘look the part’ or ‘be the part’?”
This is even a good question to ask about other areas of life:
- Do I want to just look like a Christian or be an authentic Christian?
- Do I want to just look like a good wife or be a good wife?
- Do I want to just look like a good leader or be a good leader?
- Do I want to just look like a good employee or be a good employee?
Each alternative speaks of your priorities: The first choice speaks of a desire to look good before others, regardless of reality. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, there is a problem when your outside does not match your inside!
The 1 Samuel 16:7 scripture refers to the situation in which God sent the prophet Samuel to see Jesse the Bethlehemite to anoint the new king of Israel from among Jesse’s sons. While Jesse’s son Eliab looked the part of a king in outward appearance, the Lord chose David because David had the heart of a king! The Lord knew that David had a heart to please Him.
So let’s return to the hard question I asked myself: “Do I want to just ‘look the part’ of health or ‘be the part’?”
Some days, I admit that I just want to look the part. It’s okay with me to just look healthy and fit outwardly, never mind what is going on inside.
Some days, I don’t want to eat fruits and vegetables, or exercise to be healthy. My flesh wants to live off junk food and sweets, and not exercise at all.
Some days, I’d be tempted to take a weight loss pill that would bring me instant health and slimness if one existed (and you know that it doesn’t so please stop looking for one)!
Here is the reason: Being the part is a lot harder than just looking the part. Being the part is a heart issue that only God can fix.
Being the part means putting aside your pride, humbling yourself, and asking for God’s help in prayer because you know you can’t do it alone. Putting aside your pride hurts.
Being the part means saying no to your flesh, which wants to act selfishly and without restraint. Saying no to your flesh hurts.
Being the part may mean having the courage to confront past hurts, fears, and pain. Doing all of these things can hurt.
I guess that’s part of the reason Jesus sent us a Comforter (Helper) in the person of the Holy Spirit! He knew we would need comfort to endure not only the sufferings of this present world, but also the sufferings of our own flesh as we strive to do the right thing. Our heart’s desire is to please Him, no matter the cost.
So my prayer today is the same one that King David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10 ). Lord, help me to be the part and not just look the part. Help me to be single-minded in pursuing good health because it is a sign of respect for the body that you have given me.”
I just ate a banana and some almonds for breakfast because I wasn’t that hungry. After I ate it, I felt good that this food will not only help me to look the part of health, but be the part!
I continue to learn so much from you. This very subject has come up many times lately. Different variations and none have spoken spacificly on eating and weight but more on looking like a Christian on the out and on the inside. I also appreciate the reply you gave about gluttony being a sin. Many many years ago I was at a church meeting where the pastor went on and on about being over weight being a sin and I felt very angry because everyone there could look at me and did and know I was a sinner yet all the other sinners could sit there and no one knew. Then I lost weight through using bulimia and anything else I thought might help. So I could sit in the meeting or any where and no one knew. I knew and I knew God knew. I got to a point I just couldn’t do it anymore and gained a lot of weight. It took a long time and prayer and damage that I let happen to my temple but 9months ago I hit my rock bottom and was ready to finely turn it totaly over to God. Ive now lost over100# but still need to keep turning it over to God Staying in the word and reading your post has really help me. Specially when it is a message I seem to be hearing more then once. Thank you. God Bless
Wow! The Lord has been dealing with me on this very same issue in multiple areas of my life. It is a very humbling experience. However, I am grateful that He loves me so much not to leave me as I was. I am growing to be a real, authentic Christian–both inside and out!
I have been so blessed by your journey and most of all your posts. Today’s post was spot on to where I am on my Christian and Weight loss journey. I’ve found myself in the recent months wavering and allowing my flesh to lead instead of the Spririt. So today I thank you for allowing the HOLY Spirit to minister through you, straight to my heart. Thank you for challenging my current mind set and for encouraging me to make some difficult but much needed choices, and changes in my life.
Thank you for such a powerful message. It ministered to me at so many levels. I will share it with my teenage daughters so they can learn from a young age how important it is to have a pure heart. God bless you!
Thank you! AWESOME TRUTHFUL AND FULL OF LIFE.
What a good questions. My first reaction is I want to be the part but I don’t know or trust that I can be the part. I was raised to look the part and recognized this years ago so I know how to look the part except for the weight…the main reason I can thank God for the weight as much as I hate it, because otherwise I may be too comfortable with acting the part.
Interesting to me that many “Christians” don’t consider being overweight a sin. I do today and I don’t see how I can be a witness for God and I’m still practicing gluttony.
My prayer these last few days have been that I stop half-stepping and focus and give this all to God. The strain in my body is so tense because I am resisting and yet I want it so much. It makes no logical sense and I have to trust God and keep trusting God.
Thank you for the prayer, I think it is what I’ve been praying for but I have been using slang and not the actual word of God.
May God continually bless you!
Hi JoAnn – I appreciate your comments. The truth is that none of us should trust that we can be the part in our own strength! I know I can’t and it is so humbling to admit that. However, I do trust that God can do extraordinary things through me. He is teaching me to get out of my own way. It is a daily decision and a daily walk.
As for overweight being a sin, I think an important distinction needs to be made. Many people practice gluttony, but are not overweight. It’s the gluttony that is the sin. Some people may think as long as they look the part and remain slim, they are okay. So they become bulimic – eat without restraint and then vomit it up afterwards. That is still sin in God’s eyes. He knows what the person is doing in private, whether it manifests publicly for others to see or not. Anorexia, Bulimia, Overweight, and Obesity typically originate in heart issues that God is more concerned about healing than outward appearances being maintained.
Self-control is a fruit of God’s Spirit. It arises from allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your choices. Again, that requires humility and seeking the Lord’s help in prayer every day. It also requires remembering what your body’s main purpose is – it is a house of worship for our Lord, not just for filling with food. That’s a lesson that took a long time for me to learn – and one I still have to remind myself of often.
God continually to bless you on this journey, JoAnn – it is a good one!
Powerful message and thank you again. My body is a house of worship for our Lord, Yes! And only in God’s strength in me can I do this. I receive this.
I love that, YES, my body is a house of worship for the Lord! I receive this too Joann & Kimberly!! <3
Hi Kim. I have been challenged by a lot of your thoughts. After having various eating issues for a long time, I have overcome some and still struggle with emotional/habitual /binge eating , I am really trying to get to the root causes of these issues and the anxiety. I think pride is one issue that I am dealing with now. I am now working as a contractor and there is no one to pat me on the back very often and tell me I am great. For once I need to tell myself that I am okay and am doing well. I read recently that pride also includes when people don’t “worship” you, your pride is hurt. I thought this fits where I am at.
Thank you for all your emails. They are very encouraging.
This is what the Lord is speaking to me about, “recommit my focus”, “consider the vision”
my entire life has been struggle after struggle in this area, I am a woman, wife, mom and minister.
Being the part has brought a new revelation to me, nothing fake here! thank you,
I continue to receive from the anointing on your life and ministry.
I do believe I prayed you into my life over the last few months………..
Blessings to you and much strength to continue………………..
Beverly Kopp, woman, wife, mother , minister, pastor, sister, aunt, daughter, employee,
pastor, Oh how I need HIM…………..
Alws refreshing reading about how weight loss cud be achieved spiritually too.!indeed the lord is our all sufficiency!Thanks Kimberly,for blessing us in body,mind and spirit!