Seems like I am the last person to hear things, so bear with me when I write with such surprise and amazement. Strangely, I even read a lot so to hear what I heard and then to confirm it with that brilliant instructor, Mr. Google, was a surprise and sad.

I read, again, what Jesus said in Luke that those who want to be His disciples must give up everything they have and follow Him. Luke said it this way: 14: 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. I’ve heard this often quoted with the words, “willing to forsake all,” but I don’t find “willing” anywhere.

It’s easy to say, “I’m willing to give up this or that,” or maybe this one, “My possessions don’t own me,” but to forsake all goes way beyond easy. “Forsake all that he has” is a great challenge, especially to us in the modern, developed nations. We have more junk, stuff and things than we knoHashw what to do with. So much so that storage rental places have popped up all over America just to hold the stuff we won’t forsake but would rather horde, yet when pressed for an answer why, no answer can usually be given.

Which brings me to what I just learned. Are you ready for my surprise, at least what surprised me? People are fat. There are those who are fat because of meds and then there are those who are just…fat. OK, so you aren’t surprised. But here’s the surprise: “Global hunger now afflicts nearly a billion people worldwide. Severe acute malnutrition, however, is the more immediate killer: it threatens the lives of 34 million children. Every year at least 1 million of them die from malnutrition-related causes” (from Action Against Hunger). Those numbers are hard to envision–they are too big to get my brain around, but I know that’s a lot of hungry people, many of them  are your Christian brothers and sisters. Again, not too much of a surprise. Now for what floored me:  MORE PEOPLE DIE EVERY YEAR FROM THE EFFECTFreakS OF OBESITY THAN HUNGER.

When a friend of mine at the mission center (thanks, Margo) told me that statistic I didn’t believe her, and she said she was just made aware of it so I should search it out and see what I could find. Well, it’s true. The world, and many Christians who buy into the world’s ways, have gotten so fat it has outraced the starving as a cause of death. For the hungry, as former missionaries, we would work with them, but now, as oldsters, we can at least send money to those organizations that help them . What do you do for the obese? I don’t know. Their doctors tell them they are killing themselves and that doesn’t seem to work. Jesus told us to “forsake all,” which would include gluttony, and that doesn’t work.

What would work? I’ll take a guess and you can correct, enlighten or embellish my thoughts with your wisdom if you wTimeMatant to. Everyone would say we should pray, and I agree. So let’s pray. But what are we to pray for?

Remember 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. I’d say somewhere around the mid-sixties, or a bit earlier, someone took hold of that idea of humbling, praying and repenting for America and shortly afterward there was a movement termed the “Jesus Revolution.” That revolution/movement swept from one coast to the other, and to many other nations, netting in a lot of young people, me being one of them. All the major news providers reported on it and we were called “Jesus Freaks” and other endearing terms. But the point is, thousands and thousands of young people came to Christ, invaded the churches and it was awesome on many levels. It was also crazy at times. For a short time in America’s modern history, Jesus was front page news and it was good news. We were witnessing of His redemptive love on the streets without embarrassment. Just think what it would be like in America, and other nations as well, if they humbled themselves, prayed and sought after God, and repented.  JesusLifeMag

What would happen if we did “forsake all”? What would happen if all Christians everywhere took Christ at His word and obeyed Him? What would happen if Christians went back on the streets and started sharing the redemptive love of God with any and all? What would it be like if Christians today started living like the 1st century Christians: Selling their stock-piled possessions and giving the money to those in need. Downsizing so they would be able to live cheaper and give more liberally. What if we quit sending troops, F-15s and drones to Iraq but sent 1000s of missionaries instead? Yep, you don’t have to tell me I’m nuts because I know that. But you can join me in trying to walk to the cadence of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and then call me anything you like and I won’t care a bit.

Today Jackie and I taught the teens at our church’s Sunday School and I will tell you this: We are losing this generation. It’s time we humbled ourselves and asked God for another “Jesus Revolution.”   I invite your comments, corrections and suggestions.


3 thoughts on “Bolimicholics

  1. Hey Bob, thanks for your story. It seems an over simplification of the “fat” problem though. There are many things you did not take into account and only assumed “lack of self control” as the main reason people are obese. Let’s look at the cause a little more closely.

    First of all, it is the poor people of America that are fat. Rich people have the resources to buy healthy foods (which are definitely more expensive), join a spa, live in open places and get proper counseling. It is the poor who work long hours at mundane jobs and feed their children cheap starchy foods that make the limited budget stretch. They live in crowed places without room to breath let alone play outside. The parents are so busy trying to make ends meet so they allow the tv and video games to babysit their children who in turn learn a sedentary lifestyle.

    I personally know many people who are very generous to missions but are still fat. It didn’t happen all at once. They gained a few pounds with each child, they got a job as a secretary (or some other sedentary job) after the kids went to school. They gained a few pounds a year without noticing it. They kept eating the same food they grew up on. Then they suddenly realized they were categorized obese – and were very surprised. Now, in order to maintain their weight they do not have to eat that much at all. In fact, most of them probably eat much less than you do.

    Most obese people are also under nourished. Their body doesn’t get the vitamins it needs because over processed foods are cheaper and that is what they eat. But they stand in front of the fridge saying, “What do I want?” It is because they are lacking certain vitamins and minerals and this causes them to keep eating.

    Most people feel trapped by their weight problem. I know many Christians who have fasted and prayed and finally just given up. They have decided to live life as a fat person. They do not spend an excessive amount of money on food but at their size it is no difficult to maintain their weight. I also know people who have dieted and “yo-yoed” until they have messed up their metabolism.

    It is true that obesity is a very huge problem, but please don’t over simplify it.

    Thank you for giving me this forum to speak,
    Love you and Jackie

    • Thanks, Catherine. That’s why I invited comments and wisdom from others. It wasn’t my intention of be a fat basher. People are overweight for all sorts of reasons: dysfunctional families, abuse, physical and psychological problems, medications and I don’t know what else. My blog wasn’t intended to explain obesity just to note that it has overshadowed world hunger as a cause of death. By the way, that isn’t a U.S. statistic–it’s a world one. My intention was to encourage people to do as Luke said: Forsake all and follow Christ. The Church, like the world, has become obese and it’s a heavy weight to carry (no pun intended). The snare of the world’s goods and enticements has weighed down Christians to the point we’ve gotten thousands and thousands, probably more, claiming wealth like it was a right and some sort of badge of honor of “overcoming faith.” Storage facilities to harbor our stuff and things, which costs from $100 and much more a month to lodge, could easily be jettisoned and that money, spent on filling the barns, could be used to send more people, like you and Shem, into the world with the gospel. Spiritual obesity far overshadows the physical. God have mercy on us when we one day have to give account of what we did with our lives.

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