By Graham Glover –
A few years ago, I wrote an article entitled, “I’m Fat.” Unfortunately, I still am. Fat, that is. And with an epic day of gluttony only 24 hours away, I don’t think my fatness is going to change anytime soon.
To be clear, this isn’t something I proud of or something I wish I hadn’t already addressed. Honestly, I’m embarrassed by my size, both personally and professionally. I used to say that I hide my fat well. But that was a lame excuse from someone who wasn’t really interested in changing. I’d like to say that I’m finally ready to change—that I’m prepared to rid my body of its excess fat and weight. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that my rhetoric will be met by action. The fact that I’m an overweight man in his early 40s who has failed to act for years doesn’t give me much hope that I’ll really do what I know must be done.
It’s not that I don’t know what to do or how to do it. Although I exercise regularly, I eat horribly. There is no doubt that my diet is the primary reason why my waist and neck lines are much larger than they should be. The amount of unhealthy processed food I consume, especially sugars and carbohydrates, certainly doesn’t help. I eat foods I know I shouldn’t. I eat more than I should. I eat quickly. I eat impulsively. I eat without discipline. And consequently, I’m fat.
So where does this leave me? Well, it’s rather simple: I radically change my diet and lose a lot of weight, or I keep making excuses, failing to act, while putting my life at risk and jeopardizing future opportunities in my chosen vocation.
The means to fix things are before me. The support systems are in place. I have countless ways to execute checks and balances. With discipline and commitment, there is no reason whatsoever that I can’t lose the weight I so desperately must.
But I’m not sold. I’m just not convinced that I will finally become not fat.
Because I don’t think I’m ready to resist the temptation to eat what I want. I don’t know that I have the discipline to fight the desires of my palate and my belly. (And it certainly doesn’t help that the opportunities to eat poorly and eat too much are constantly available to me!) With every resource and every bit of factual knowledge necessary to make a change, I still don’t know that I’ll act. And I say this even though I know my weight could seriously jeopardize my life expectancy and have some adverse effects in my vocation.
It should be so simple: change or die; change or fail. With such stark statements, how could anyone not change?
Maybe we can all ask ourselves such a question as we reflect on our incessant sinful deeds and desires.
We all know what is right looks like. We know what is and isn’t wrong. We know God’s Law, to include His revealed Law and the natural Law written on our hearts. We know what He wants. We know what He expects. And we know that if we do those things which He forbids or act in ways contrary to His will, that we are sinning against the Lord Almighty. We also know that such sin leads to death, not just in this life, but forever. Our sin leads to eternal damnation.
And yet still, we sin. We do things we shouldn’t. We say things we know are inappropriate. We indulge in things that feel good—really good—even though we know they are in direct contradiction to what God has told us. Every single day, we feed our sinful desires and every single day we put our lives at risk.
But thanks be to God that we have the means to overcome this sin. We have everything we need to change. Not by ourselves. Not with our discipline. But with the Lord. With His gifts. With His grace. Through Him, we are made right. By Him, our sin is no more. In Him, our wretched lives are made perfect.
I’m fat, and that needs to change. We’re sinners, and that needs to change.
I can fix my fatness. Christ can fix our sin.
My fatness depends on my action. My forgiveness depends on Christ’s.
It’s time for me to change so that I won’t die prematurely. Christ has already changed us so that we can live forever.
I’m still fat. You’re still a sinner. But both can and will be changed.