A Common Problem
The alarm goes off at 6:00 AM and it’s time to get ready for the day. This may mean it’s time to go to work, get the kids off to school, or go to an appointment (maybe all three!). Most people have some kind of a morning routine. This could mean taking a shower, exercising, eating breakfast, drinking coffee, spending time with God, or many other things. Where does food come into the picture? Our eating habits are as varied as our morning routine. However, the most common problems in the morning for people who are overweight include skipping breakfast or eating unhealthy food. Unfortunately, our problems with food do not stop with breakfast time. Throughout the day and night, our struggle with food continues.
Temptation of Food — The First Temptation
When studying obesity and our difficulties with food, it’s amazing to realize it all goes back to the first sin ever committed. Christians are very familiar with Adam and Eve’s decision to be disobedient to God which resulted in all of humankind suffering from sin (Genesis 3). What was the first sin? It was about a tempting fruit Adam and Eve were told they could not eat. While this seems basic and an often overlooked part of that initial sin, it becomes clear it was an even bigger issue, because there are millions of people around the world that struggle with the temptation of food everyday.
Why is this struggle so difficult for us to overcome? The reasons vary as much as our eating habits themselves. Some of the reasons we are overweight include: our genes, a major life event, a way to protect ourselves due to past trauma, a medical issue, or simply a busy life. Whatever the reason, the weight is on your body and it’s not going away. Losing weight is difficult, which introduces another temptation — the temptation to quit the lifestyle changes you want to make. However, true changes take time, energy, and a plan to overcome obstacles.
God is aware of this issue. Matthew 4:1-2 tells us that after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. At the end of these 40 days and nights, Jesus was hungry. Verse 3 discusses how the devil’s first temptation was telling Jesus to turn stone to bread. Jesus knows the temptation of food! As with all of Scripture, God draws parallels with many things and the act of sin committed by Adam and Eve was food related, thus Jesus had to overcome this struggle at the outset. And, as we know, He did it! God requests us to have self-control (1 Thessalonians 5:8) and it is our responsibility to do so with food. If our self-control waivers, the Bible tells us the devil will use our struggle with food to lead us away from Jesus. It is also our responsibility to rely on Christ to help us make the right choices. As we grow in our walk with Christ, this shows us that we can be personally responsible for taking care of our bodies!
There is Hope
The Gospel is about hope and there is hope in our temptation of food, as well as anything else that is seductive. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that we will be tempted by things that are common to man, which applies to the temptation of food. This wonderful verse shares the hope that our faithful God does not tempt us more than we can bear and a way out is always provided in order to allow us to stand up under the pressure. This verse gives us the courage and the strength to resist our temptations. “God knows everything, so you don’t have to hide. God is sympathetic, so you don’t have to fear. God wants to help you, so you can always approach Him”(Lewis, First Place 4 Health, 2008).
Group Counseling Could be Right for You
Another verse that illustrates how God is looking out for us is 1 Peter 5:9. The apostle Peter explains to us that being strong in our faith allows us to resist the devil just like Jesus. Our strength comes in knowing we are not alone in this struggle and other Christians are undergoing the same suffering! How do we use this strength in both our faith in Jesus and in our brothers and sisters? By coming together in a Christ-centered weight loss group. Seattle Christian Counseling offers a weight loss group that will help you implement lasting changes in your relationship with Jesus and your health. This is done through teaching you to live an emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically balanced life. The group environment offers accountability, support, nutrition, and fitness, which equal success!
Adapted from the First Place 4 Health Bible Study Series- Seek God First, 2010; Lewis, Carole (2008). First Place 4 Health Discovering a New Way to Healthy Living
“Wall_Food_10340,” courtesy of Michael Stern, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY-SA 2.0)