As the snail secretes its shell so the soul secretes its body.
An ancient saying. For as a man thinks, so he is. Proverbs 23:7a
Do not be conformed to the image of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12 – read the whole chapter). There is a command there.
When we think of being Christ-like we don’t think of it so much as looking like him physically. For those that God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). The word for firstborn is where we get the word prototype from. …that He might be the prototype among many brothers. The prototype — in everything. Including the physical attributes, he might have possessed because of his spiritual life.
The man. The Holy One. God in the flesh — the one who superintended the wisdom of proverbs. The one who created Isaac and Esau. The one who created your body. We talk about being good stewards of the earth, and all the Father has given to us. What about our bodies.
We’ve all heard the way we handle money is the test for what our relationship to Christ is. What about your relationship to, and with, food?
Where there are many cryptic verses that say much about money and the handling of it, there are more verses that state — quite directly — how God feels about gluttony with food.
The rich man who gives his ten percent to the church yet is returning to the potluck table for his second helping, has no leg up on the person who knows that ten percent will be the meals they’ll have to skip — because they have too, not because they want too.
I heard a pastor say once, “No one is above reproach.”
I say, “Not true pastor.”
Positionally — or how a Christian is related to God the Father — we are holy and blameless. Justified. You’ve heard the cliché saying, justification means “just as if we’ve never sinned.” Theologians call that vertical — God to man. Horizontally is man to man. We must fight to remain above reproach.
We fail to be above reproach when our actions — or words — hinder our spreading of the gospel. For example: let’s say you hate to cut your grass and your yard looks like an out of control jungle. Your neighbor’s house is valued not only on the way it looks, but your house and yard determine his home value. Every day the neighbor looks out his window and sees your yard and curses you for it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Right? I mean we live in America. We’re free to have the yard we want on our property.
Well… let ‘say that neighbor isn’t a Christian.
Sunday at church the pastor’s message is about the good Samaritan and sharing the gospel. You get all excited and can’t wait to get home and invite your neighbor to church — the same neighbor that curses you every time he looks at your yard. Are you free to have the yard you want? At that moment, you are not above approach.
I have known men above reproach. Men who let nothing in their lives prevent them from sharing the gospel. They never shared their political views. We never knew anything about them that would compromise sharing the gospel. Their only reproach should be the cause of Christ.
How could being unhealthy hinder the spread of the gospel? First of all, let me just make it clear, being overweight is not wrong. How you got that way maybe, however. Your health determines your energy level — how much energy do you have to spare for the cause of Christ if it takes all of your energy just to live. The world sees gluttony as something that is not only wrong but disgusting. As you are piling the food on your plat — for the second time.
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