By Rae Barnes
This year, like so many others, I began it hoping to lose some weight. I made a plan, stuck with it and lost nearly thirty pounds. Sounds like a simple fitness and diet change, right? But what I learned is not that I needed a crazy diet or a quick fix; I learned that I was lacking boundaries and needed goals that didn’t relate to the scale alone. Before I knew it, I realized this was just as much a spiritual battle as it was a physical one. I needed to do this to care for the body God gave me.
This morning, I decided to read Romans 12 to one of my daughters, as it is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, but I continued on to Romans 13 and then 14 … and I came to this at the very end of the chapter. Romans 14:23: “But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” This verse hit me deeply. It resonated this lesson I’ve had to learn this year. My lack of discipline was a sin.
There was something truly beautiful when I submitted myself to being convicted of my eating patterns, realizing my weaknesses (read: dark chocolate peanut butter cups), and finding strength in prayer and communion with Christ. The more I seek Him, the more strength I find.
Friends, I am certain that some of you have never struggled with weight or the food you eat, and I am also certain that many of you are like me and have. The whole chapter of Romans 14 is about food, personal convictions and about withholding judgement on others. We all have different battles and obstacles that we face. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. But, we all have the same God that loves us and grants us constant grace and mercy in spite of these things.