Are we waisting our witness?

I saw a news story about a woman who made a doctor’s appointment, hoping to become her new patient. The doctor refused to take her as a patient.  The doctor went on to say that she had decided not to accept new patients if they are overweight.  The reason: her nurses had been physically hurt trying to help the patients up and down from the examination table.  The doctor is also getting older and said she was unable to help an obese person if they experienced a medical crisis that required physically moving them around or preventing them from falling.  I sat and watched the reports, told myself I didn’t need to write on this, but – here I am writing on this.  Is there a trickier subject to talk about, unless you’re Dr. Oz, than this one!  I almost always choose to be blunt and straight-forward.  So, I guess today won’t be any different.  But understand, I am happy to throw myself under this oncoming bus as well.  I have always wanted to be a size 6 or 8.  I have been that size, but Junior High was a long time ago!  Now that I have rounded that middle-aged curve in the road, my middle-aged figure has a lot of curves in the road.  I avoid bakeries just because the aroma causes me to gain 4 ounces.  I used to be able to eat – now, if I do more than snack I have trouble taking deep breaths in last year’s jeans.  Aging is not for the faint of heart!  So, in an effort to battle the problem I upped the exercise.  The day after my strenuous workout, it hurt to do anything more than sit in a chair.  I needed comfort for the pain, so I ate chocolate Kisses and gained a pound and a half.  What does my future look like?  Dry salad and fat free crackers!  Strawberry shortcake, except for the cake, the whipped cream and the sugar.  In other words: sour strawberries!  Will I ever again be completely able to enjoy cheesecake – especially the pumpkin cheesecake at Olive Garden?  And now…what if my doctor looks at me and says, sorry…I’ll keep seeing you – but if you pass out – you are on your own honey!  Why did God do this to us?  Weren’t the gray eyebrow hairs, that refuse to follow the direction of all the brown ones, enough?  Weren’t the deepening “parenthesis” on my face, adequate?  And let’s not even discuss the personal summers that can make even February a tropical vacation.  Truthfully, it was one lousy bite of that apple.  Eve cost us a LOT!  So what’s the point of this post.  I’m not sure – but keep reading and I’m certain I will come up with something!

OK…this took some thought.  But here goes.  Truthfully, our entire nation believes we deserve more than we really do – food included.  I think the increasing size of our American waistlines is contributing to the increasing lack of respect from the rest of the world’s populations.  Our food indulgences have hurt our reputation as a nation and confirmed what they want to believe.  We are a spoiled country.  And now, I have to stomp on toes – my own included.  According to the Bible, Christians need to avoid over-indulgence, for the sake of our witness. 

Proverbs 23:20-21 warns, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”  At first glance, I thought I escaped conviction.  I don’t drink wine or alcohol and except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and dinner at Olive Garden (including pumpkin cheesecake), I don’t usually stuff myself.  Truthfully, I don’t eat a lot at one time, I just eat a lot of the time. 

That brings me to Titus 2:11-12. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, up-right and godly lives in this present age…”  There are no caveats to this verse.  So…I’m sorry to stomp on toes but – our waistlines may be affecting our witness.  And not just our witness as a country – but as Christians. 

The numbers are clear.  If we don’t get in better shape physically, we are going to cost our children a great deal of their income.  The insurance companies have been told they can’t deny an obese person coverage – what has not been said is that they may begin to charge a lot more for that coverage.  Our kids need us to take good care of ourselves and Jesus needs for us to have a witness that indicates we are self-controlled, which is best translated “God controlled.”

I’m headed out for a walk.  And then I’ll eat a healthy breakfast.  And I’ll spend some time asking God to help me build a healthier lifestyle.  I want to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions.  But, while praying, I think I will ask the Lord if he wouldn’t mind serving that pumpkin cheesecake at our banquet in heaven.  It is AWESOME and our perfect, heavenly bodies will be able to take it!!

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