A Bunch of Losers In Church

28 09 2007

I don’t watch the show, but I am presently participating in our church’s version of “The Biggest Loser”.  The idea is to promote physical health among our people.  I was a bit bemused after being the first to sign up.  Someone handed the clipboard to me and it read…  The Biggest Loser…  Pastor Greg.  OK, perhaps there is something Pauline about that concept but I prefer to keep my dignity in fat.  I mean in tact.

I’m at the point now where I cringe to see myself in photos.  That’s a good indication that something has gone awry.  I’ve tried wearing pants a size too big to make myself feel like, well, at least I’m not THAT big.  Doesn’t help much, I must say.

One day I overheard this statement in a public restaurant:  “My brother-in-law says I shouldn’t smoke because it damages the temple of God.  I told him he has the biggest temple I’ve ever seen.”  I couldn’t help but laugh and feel saddened at the same time.  Sad because I realize how easily this particular piece of hypocrisy creeps into the Christian ethic.

I need to lose weight.  I need to exercise more.  I’ve gotten into some bad habits (Wendy’s, anyone?) since my wife’s long hospitalization.  I need to get back on track.  That’s why I’m participating in this contest.  It has always bothered (and pardon me if I offend your sensibilities here) to see those who represent their Christianity by a certain means of dress and yet they are grossly obese.  It seems to me that holiness goes much, much beyond what we wear.  So, as a pastor, I’m tired of allowing my unhealthy tendencies to spell weakness.  After all, I’ve long contended that one of the greatest beauties of obedience in Christ is the discipline it teaches us for life.  I believe in discipline as being a good thing for me, and it’s time to begin to build a new area of structure in my life.

Athletes sacrifice many things in order to contend.  We understand that principle.  Why is spiritual oriented sacrifice bad if it produces a better, all-round healthier man?  I’m convinced.  To misquote an old DeGarmo and Key song, “All the losers win.”

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3 responses

28 09 2007
formerthings

1 Samuel 16:7 The LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

The Losers are those who never witness / preach the gospel and only 2% of Christians do it.

28 09 2007
Jackie

In response to formerthings…included in the heart is our desire to take care of our bodies and to live with discipline. By taking care of our bodies and developing healthy habits, we are making lots and lots of room for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and work in us. That is not to discount the value of sharing Jesus with other people, but only focusing on this seems not too holistic of an approach.

28 09 2007
gregfish

Thank you both for your excellent comments. formerthings, I see that you have a great heart for spreading the Gospel, and that heartily encourages me. I’m not sure where you got that statistic, because it seems like it would be a hard thing to quantify, although I would agree that it’s sad how few truly find ways to make the Gospel at church a part of their lives outside the safe confines. My point here isn’t about looks… if that were the case, I would have lost from the start. I’ll never be handsome in the worldly sense. Rather, my point is that we need to strive to be healthy in every way just as Jackie pointed out. If our bodies are unhealthy, we hamper our witness in a number of ways. How do we expect the world to see that following the disciplines of Christ is possible if we show we lack discipline when it comes to our waist line? Granted, some have problems that can’t be helped when it comes to our girth, but that is more of a rarity than we’d like to admit. I for one need to be able to live Christ in the world without being so short of breath and tired all the time. I find it hard to believe you’d think that is a bad thing. God bless you both!

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