Is it a sin to be overweight?



I have a couple of questions on things I’ve been having personal struggles with.

We know that gluttony is sinful. I know, or at least believe, that means in all things, not just foods. However, there are so many of us who are overweight. I recently have let myself gain a substantial amount of weight. I’ve managed to get about 20 lbs back off, but I still need to lose about 20 more to get down to a more normal level for myself. I know we are to exhibit self-control. Therefore, that is what I am trying to do now -- exhibit some self-control and get this weight back down. Anyhow, I used to try and keep my weight down for vanity reasons. Now I’m trying to get it back down for biblical reasons (self-control). My question here is this: (I hope this doesn’t sound awful or silly) Are we in sin when we get overweight?

It's tough when you're trying to do God's will and you look around and see so few trying. It really bothers me that so few people seem concerned at all for God and Jesus. It’s kind of tough to think about the world and how it’s so far off the path. How do we deal with the discouraging thoughts this brings about? I really want everyone to obey God. I don’t want to be without God and I don’t want others to be that way either. It really bothers me that so many are heading down the wrong path.

Thanks as always.


Is all weight gain due to a lack of self-control? Not really. There are people who struggle with diabetes. There are medications that people have to take for a health issue, which cause, as a side-effect, weight gain. There are people, who simply because they are growing older put on more weight because their metabolism has slowed down. Therefore, just because you see someone overweight, you can't conclude the cause.

Next, how do we best help people who lack self-control? I know a large number of people who struggle with weight control because they suffer from depression. Food makes them feel good for a bit. It gives them comfort. They know they shouldn't eat so much -- in fact, their weight increases their depression. For people like this, it is good to teach about the dangers of gluttony and the need for self-control -- not to make them feel hopeless but to give them the motivation to try harder. That is basically how you started turning things around in your life. This is an area where encouragement works best.

Yes, most of the world is in sin because sin offers people whatever they want (Matthew 7:13-14). Few people want to work hard and deny themselves so as to serve God. But focusing on the quantity of work that needs to be done won't get it done. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men" (II Corinthians 5:10-11). I might not be able to convert the world, but I can talk to the people I meet. I can set a good example and demonstrate that living a Christian life isn't impossible. I can invite people to leave sin and come worship with the saints. These might look like small things, but each one chisels at the problem and changes lives for the better.

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