I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but I never thought I’d be called the “Anti-Fat Pastor.” Not me, the one who for years wouldn’t go to bed until I’d eaten my nightly giant bowl of ice cream as I sat in my La-Z-Boy recliner.
“The Anti-Fat Pastor”—who, me? The one who weighed in at 340 pounds and suffered with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes? Wow! Has my life changed!
Someone once said a journey begins with the first step. My journey began with a prayer to God for guidance with my weight and health issues. My first step was the decision to live better once my heart was impressed with a passage from the Scriptures that would inspire me to change.
God is faithful, and He is able. He led me to a passage in His Word that directly addresses the issues I was facing. It was Colossians 1:16: “For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
I learned that everything that exists was created by Him and for Him. That included me. If He was in control of all things, then He was in control of my life, and if I’d let Him, He could be in control of my weight issues too. It was a wonderful revelation!
At first the issue was so personal that I told no one. I kept it between God and me. I knew I could never lose weight and be fit without God’s intervention. I continued to pray and seek His direction. I began to lose weight, and when I’d lost 70 pounds, my health issues were brought under control. To this day, I’m free from those illnesses.
As I prayed and meditated on this Scripture, God gave me a step-by-step prescription for making small changes in my life. I call them “Small Steps to Life.” Once I began to follow them, I began to see results. Yes, I saw physical changes, but I also saw spiritual changes. My faith increased with each change I made and with each pound I shed.
I knew I’d discovered something important and that it was my responsibility to share what I’d learned with my church and my community. I learned that Christians are the most overweight people group on earth. We are more overweight than any other religious group you can name.
Christians should be the most healthy people group, especially when we consider the physical condition of Jesus Christ, our founder and leader.
We are representatives of Christ and are called to reflect His character.
As a result of following the God-given prescription I received, I have lost over 100 pounds. Will you join me and work toward becoming an anti-fat Christian?
Steve Reynolds is the senior pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Va. He is the author of the books Bod4God and Get Off the Couch. He is also the creator of the Losing to Live Weight-Loss Competition. Steve has lost more than 120 pounds and has led his church to lose over seven tons of weight.