What does the Bible say about weight loss?

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Weight Loss

The Bible doesn’t specifically speak about weight loss but it speaks clearly about health and the obligation to care for our bodies. In the Old Testament, God gave health principles (Deuteronomy 14: 3-21). And He commanded His children “to observe all these statutes” for their good (Deuteronomy 6:24). And He promised that He will “take sickness away” from His obedient children (Exodus 23:25).

God gave health principles because He knows what is best for the human body. Ignoring God’s instructions often results in disease. But following God’s instructions results in “saving health” (Psalm 67:2) and more abundant life (John 10:10). When we comply to the divine principles, we can claim God’s promise of healing (Psalm 103:2, 3).  

Over Eating And Weight Gain 

While God has blessed us with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and pleasurable. To have too much, even of a good thing, is to turn the good into an evil and leads to weight gain. The Bible doesn’t encourage over eating as seen in the following passages:  

“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” (Proverbs 23:20-21).  

“He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father” (Proverbs 28:7).  

“Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony” (Proverbs 23:2).  

“Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it” (Proverbs 25:16).  

We should be careful not to always associate weight gain with over eating and gluttony. There are specific medical conditions and medicines that can become a factor in contributing to weight gain.   

Self Control  

To achieve weight loss requires the cooperation of man with God. The Lord calls Christians to have control over their appetites (Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:2; 2 Peter 1:5-7; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, and 2 Corinthians 10:5). Self-control—is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Paul wrote, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).  

We are called to present our bodies as a “living sacrifice” for God (Romans 12:1). Paul spoke of the necessity to “bring it (body) into subjection” (1 Corinthians 9:27, Romans 13:14) because it is “the temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20). So, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).  

God’s Power To Overcome Appetite

The first sin had to do with appetite of food and the lack of self-control (Genesis 3:6). And Jesus needed to overcome that same sin when He was tempted in the wilderness after fasting for 40 days (Luke 4). And through His victory, every child of God can have the needed power to overcome the sin of over eating and gluttony.  

The apostle Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Victory over appetite can be gained through Christ-given strength. Thus, in Christ there is strength to resist every food temptation and grace to triumph over the flesh.  

Healthy Body And Spirit

While weight loss for the obese is important for optimum health, Christians should not make it the goal in life at the expense of a good relationship with God. God requires His children to develop all their faculties equally which include the physical, the mental and the spiritual. The apostle Paul stresses this truth: “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).  Thus, believers should make their bodies subject to their converted and renewed minds that are daily led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:13; 12:1; 1 Corinthians 9:25, 27).  

In His service,  

BibleAsk Team  

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