A: Actually, the Bible does speak about this, both directly and in a more general way. And I hope you’ll take what it says seriously, because even if your weight isn’t causing you any health problems right now, eventually it will — as every doctor will attest.
One reason the Bible warns us against obesity is that it’s often a sign that food has become too important to us — in other words, a sign of gluttony. The book of Proverbs says, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat” (Proverbs 23:20). Proverbs also uses vivid language to warn against gluttony: “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony” (Proverbs 23:2). One of the characteristics of a person from whom God has withdrawn His blessing is that “his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh” (Job 15:27).
But the deeper reason we need to avoid too much weight is because it eventually damages our health. God gave our bodies to us, and He wants us to take care of them. The Bible says, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Take your son’s words seriously; he loves you, and he doesn’t want to see you harm your health. But more than that, take God’s Word seriously, and make a commitment to honor Christ by the way you live — and eat.
Q: I’m from another country and am visiting some of my relatives here who are in graduate school. I asked them what your festival on July 4 means, but they were not sure. Does it have something to do with your Christian religion? — V.N.
A: July 4th commemorates the day in 1776 that our nation declared itself to be an independent nation, and no longer a colony of England. On that date, a number of our leading citizens signed what is known as the Declaration of Independence, stating our determination to become a free country.
Our independence did not come easily; only after several difficult years of war would it finally be won. Nor were our first years as a nation free from problems and controversies (as is still true). But our forefathers were determined to establish a free and democratic system of government, and the Declaration of Independence (together with our Constitution and the Bill of Rights) became the foundation for this. They have stood the test of time, and on July 4th we give thanks for the wisdom and faith and courage of those leaders.
Although it is not a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, for many Americans July 4th is a time to reflect on God’s goodness to us as a nation. Molded into the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia (which proclaimed our independence) are these words from the Bible: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10, KJV). Our legal system reflects our Judeo-Christian roots.
While we look with gratitude to the past on this July 4th, may we also look in faith to the future, and commit it and our lives to God and His will. The ancient words of the Psalmist are still true: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.