I read today in 2 Chronicles 13 about king Abijah, one of the good kings of Judah. God gave him victory in battle and made him mighty because he relied on the LORD. But then he had 14 wives, which was explicitly forbidden in the Law.
I haven't really researched the matter, but I can't think of a king that actually obeyed that law. Saul, the very first king, had more than one wife, and so did David. And of course Solomon set the record. Having so many wives doesn't seem to be addressed or rebuked. It's just mentioned casually, "And he took fourteen wives..." To me, that seems strange, and to my western mind the thought of having to share my husband-king or not-is a little infuriating. But then I started thinking.
What if every mouthful of food past contentment was a spouse? That probably makes no sense whatsoever to you, but bear with me. What if someone someday wrote about me, "God blessed Sarah, and allowed her to do many things for his glory. And she weighed 200 pounds*, and was an excellent cook."
Now, I realize that there is no verse in scripture that says, "Sarah should not eat more than she needs, and should not be unhealthy." It may not be as blatant as it was for the kings of Israel/Judah, but there are countless verses telling me that my body is not my own, but God's. There are verses that speak in rather offensive language about gluttons. I know without a doubt that God wants me to care for my body, and not to overindulge or find all my pleasure in the food He's provided. And yet I'm overweight.
Before I continue, let me make sure you understand what I am NOT saying. I'm NOT saying that overweight people are all in sin. I'm NOT saying that you need to rebuke your brother who took an extra piece of pie at the fellowship. Really, I'm not even talking about eating. For me, overindulgence is hard to overcome, and I don't fight it hard enough (and sometimes not at all). I'm not talking about food.
I'm talking about acceptable sins. Unless you're one of those cruel health freaks who thinks they're better than anyone who weighs ten pounds more than they should, you're not going to judge me for being chubby. More importantly, I'm not going to judge me for being chubby, at least, not for the right reasons. Culturally, it's acceptable.
Does that mean God approves? Not at all! But because it is not something culturally despicable, and it doesn't destroy my relationship with God and everyone else, it doesn't seem like a big deal.
But it is! Because God is everything to me! Why would I condone anything He does not approve of? Yes, there's mercy and grace and love, but that's no excuse for me to turn a blind eye to the non-major defects in my life.
And so, timidly, I'm going to try to pay attention to the acceptable sins in my life. I know I'm not going to like it at all, but the first step to overcoming is admitting I have a problem. After all, my "thirteen" extra pounds may be as scandalous to future generations as Abijah's thirteen extra wives are to me.
Love and Peace,
P.S. I feel that I've done a very poor job expressing myself here. I should've used a different acceptable sin, I guess. That's just the first one that always comes to mind. Hopefully you get the picture and it encourages you somehow anyway!
*Disclaimer: I've never weighed 200lb, and I pray I never will. I'm too vain to put my actual weight, so I went higher for emphasis.