Monday, April 24, 2006

Fat and Faith?

I hate it when I get up the morning and start to get dressed and find those pants have been shrinking again. Anyone else have this problem ? I think it's something in the water that's reacting with the cloth. My wife on the other hand thinks I'm gaining weight ( poor misguided woman ). I guess when I get older I might gain some weight, it can happen to us all. Although I am doubtful that it could really happen to me.

It seems watching TV I'm not the only one whose thinking about those extra kilos. The supermarket is stacked with low fat, sugar free and diet foods. I for one find most of these foods not particularly flavorsome. In fact I tend to translate the labels. So Low Fat = Taste Free, No sugar = Lots of Chemicals and Diet = This is for YOU FATSO.

I was amazed to read recently that by going on a diet you cannot lose weight only put it on! A long term study 15+ years showed 100% of dieters gained weight over the long term and the more they dieted the more they gained. The only thing that worked in controlling weight was permanent lifestyle changes. That means a balance of good food, exercise and positive attitude.

This struck me as very similar to the situation Christians find themselves in. A diet of church, bible study group, youth group, Christian social group, Christian music, Christian books, all Christian friends. It starting to look pretty similar. None of these things is bad in and of itself but is this a healthy balance?

Jesus might be a little perplexed at modern Christians whose churches look more like refuges for those escaping the world than powerhouses of spiritual change. In fact churches have become more like bunkers, keeping the evils of thinking and science away.

If true balance is to be found in our society then Christians will have to be lured out of their hiding holes and encouraged to embrace a wider world of ideas and people. Losing weight like talking to Christians is not an easy task, but it’s one the rest of us are going to have to tackle sooner rather than later.

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