Focusing on the Inside or Outside
It seems everywhere I turn lately friends, family and even the people I meet in town are striving to lose weight. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 34% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight. Another 34% of adults over the age of 20 are considered obese. Living in America we have an abundance of food. Sometimes when Andrew and I go out to eat we will go back and forth, “so where do you want to go to eat…well, where would you like to go?” There are so many choices! If you walk through the grocery store aisles you see thousands of products, many of which have no nutritional value. But the focus of this post is not on should we eat more healthy foods, or even should we diet and exercise. I am seeing a trend in those around me, a trend that is quite frightening.
Losing Weight To Gain Acceptance
I see women, young and old, obsessed with weight and outward beauty and much of this boils down to pride. I actually have friends that do not want to be pregnant because they don’t want to gain weight. I also have friends that spend more time in the gym than they do in God’s Word. Ladies, can we honestly say that we are striving to lose weight to be healthy or is our goal and desire to be attractive, thin and sexy? Even losing weight to be "healthy" can be an idol.
If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Deuteronomy 8:19
I recently lost a few pounds. My goal was to be healthy, change my eating habits and prepare my body to be able to carry another baby (Lord willing). As I lost the weight I struggled with peoples comments. Comments like “Wow, you look great! How much have you lost? What are you doing?” I did not want my weight loss to become a stumbling block to others, and even more important I did not want my weight loss to become a pride issue.
Why does looking thin make us feel like we are more important? Why do we think people will like us more? This all stems from insecurity in who we are in Christ. Is gaining five pounds going to make Christ love me less? No, but on the other hand we are not as concerned about what Christ thinks about us as we are about those around us. If we were truly concerned about how Christ saw us we would invest the time in His Word first, before we spend hours in the gym.
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Our human nature wants to judge people by what we see on the outside, but is this Biblical? I can remember times when I have been fooled by the appearance of someone I have met. Maybe the person looked sweet and innocent on the outside, yet they were listed on America’s Most Wanted. I have also met people who appeared to have it all together on the outside, only to find out they struggle with unhealthy eating habits, an obsession with their looks, a lack of understanding of who they are in Christ or even a prideful and haute spirit.
In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matthew 23:28
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:20
Sermon is titled, "The Soul of Modesty" by CJ Mahaney.
"C.J. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries in its mission to establish and support local churches. After 27 years of pastoring Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, C.J. handed the senior pastor role to Joshua Harris on September 18, 2004, allowing C.J. to devote his full attention to Sovereign Grace. He serves on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and on the board of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood."