Is thinness next to godliness? is talking about thinness, and how it relates to our spiritual lives:

It’s easy to let your appetite become a god to you, but it’s also easy to let weight loss or self improvement to become an idol….

As I’m sure many of you know, weight is a life-long struggle for some and not a problem for others. Genetics, culture and economics play an important role. In fact, weight and health (or fitness) are not always as linked as we think they are. I would hate for this trend to imply that thin people are better Christians than fat people. In my experience, body fat and love for Jesus do not correlate.

On the other hand, I do think that we should seek God’s council and put God first in anything we do, including cooking, eating and working out. I think exercise is a great way to glorify God, who gave us amazing bodies that can lift heavy weights, run marathons, and hold yoga poses. I think eating well is a great way to glorify God for the amazing variety of plants and animals he has given us to eat.

Bethany brings up a few wonderful points. First, one’s weight isn’t always a matter of whether or not you gorged on cookies; it’s tied to genetics, culture and economics as well. Second, we’ve all met people who are so focused on dieting and exercise we have to wonder if they have an unhealthy obsession with health. I’m sure you can find people on either end of the health spectrum whose relationship with food has become physically abusive.

The Bible does give us some guidance on the issue; Jesus clearly tells us to rely on God when it comes to food. In fact, he makes it a line item in the Lord’s Prayer: we are to ask God for our daily bread. He later teaches that there’s much more to life than worrying about food and clothes. In the Old Testament, God provides manna for the Israelites during their meandering journey through the desert.

All of these Biblical references to food seem to add up to an admonition to enjoy what God gives us in moderation and with respect.

What other Bible passages discuss food? While we all know that gluttony is expressly prohibited by the Bible, the line between enjoying food and pigging out isn’t always crystal clear. Where do you personally draw the line? Do you even think about it?

13 Responses to “Is thinness next to godliness?”

  • This is an ouchy one. If you look in the pulpit today…Pastor’s are even a great example of gluttony. All those carry in dinners I guess. :)

    I have been dealing with the issue of gluttony for 9 months now. It’s been a blog focus of mine. I has been a life long struggle. I do not sit and gorge on cookies but I’ve struggled with my weight since I was 7 years old. Thank you, thank you for the part about how our love for God is not about size. So true!

    I think each of us have different sins that cause us pain. For some it’s gluttony. I know it’s not easy to overcome but with God we are overcomers.

    I have to sit and ask for God’s power to fight my selfish will. I guess a special kind of “will-power”

    A great book I read is called, “Love to Eat, Hate to Eat” by elise Fitzgerald. It has many great points in it about sins involved in eating….too much or too little.


    • Chris Salzman says:

      “I think each of us have different sins that cause us pain. For some it’s gluttony. I know it’s not easy to overcome but with God we are overcomers.”

      One of the things I think we should all learn is that through our own power we’re pretty much incapable of anything.

      “Thank you, thank you for the part about how our love for God is not about size. So true!”

      Until reading Bethany’s post over on that this post riffed off of i don’t think I had fully thought this issue through. It’s amazing how easy it is to fully blame ourselves for something that might be mired in circumstance. Especially when it comes to body issues.

      Anyway, thanks so much for your thoughts, Jennifer!

    • Jackie says:

      I’m right there with you! However, I often nurse a pack of Oreos when I’ve a had a hard day. I need God’s power to fight my selfish will also. Phillipians 4:13

    • Angela says:

      Just reading your comment, and wanted to say I too have struggled with weight since I was 10. Not as early as you, but still at a young age. There is a site called:
      Here you will find a site called the Lord’s Table, and you receive a mentor and they teach you biblically on how to loose weight. This is a free site, and it has helped me so much. So, please enjoy and don’t give up.
      Be Blessed!

  • Leslie says:

    Any suggestions on how to not let gluttony with food rule you. i have a hard time not making food such a priority. i seem to always have an appetite for it

    • Karen Ericson says:

      It’s all in what you focus on. Here’s what Jesus said-
      Matt 6:31-34

      31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

      When I was 23 my doctor told me that I needed to exercise 20 minutes a day to get rid of muscle cramps, migraine and prevent diabetes. I’m basically a clumsy, non-athletic type and the only way I could do this is to forget becoming an athlete and just enjoy walking, biking, and stretching. I’m 49 now and can still do whatever I want. When I quit focussing on being an athlete it was much easier to do 20 mins a day. I chose to focus on how good it feels in my muscles and pray while I work out. I can handle 20 minutes.

      I believe it’s the same for food- my doctor told me not to eat prepared foods but real food. For some reason in the US we associate “feeling better” with food. While eating well does make us feel healthy, our inner feelings are best healed by studying the Bible and praying each day. Too much sugar is a depressant. Exercise also relieves stress and anger and provides energy. But both are only temporary solutions for inner heartache. It takes a daily quiet-time with prayer, confession and Bible Study to get the joy we all seek.

      Another trap I fall in- is to get caught up in how things taste and not listen to my body tell me it’s full. I find comfort in Jesus words that we don’t need to worry or think so much about food, being thin, or what we wear (as long as it’s modest). I’ve chosen to have “eat right and exercise so I can do whatever I want as I age” as my objective. It takes the pressure off for thin perfection- which isn’t what’s most important anyway.

      Joni Eareckson Tada is a great example of an extremely beautiful woman who’s blessed so many lives. It’s the Spirit in her heart that makes her so beautiful, and her humility and willingness that makes her able to serve God.

    • Angela says:

      My sugestion is to go to and do the lessons on the Lord’s Table.

  • […] today, I come across this post called Is Thinness Next to Godliness?, which links to a post Does God Want you to be Thin? which links to a post This New Life of Veg. […]

  • LordsLight says:

    Yoga in not good source of exercise for Christians. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
    In 1989, the Vatican declared that Eastern meditation practices such as Zen and yoga can “degenerate into a cult of the body.” Despite the Vatican statement, many Roman Catholics bring elements of Yoga, Buddhism, and Hinduism into their spiritual practices. From Wikipedia

    • New Life says:

      I am in strong agreement with this! I glad you made a comment about this. I believe there is not way to practice yoga and not be subtlety or not so subtlety influenced by it. Any pose you do in a yoga class is a pose created for worshiping a God other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Please do not be deceived by the ways of this world!

    • Holly says:

      Who is to say that as Christians we can’t meditate upon scripture, listen to songs of worship or even pray while we assume “yoga” pistures. Why as Christians can we not exercise and improve flexibility without the attachments and hangups of another culture. I enjoy tacos that doesn’t make me Mexican

  • Angela says:

    I agree about yoga isn’t good; we have to learn to stay focus on the word and do exercises that doesn’t come from people worshing false gods.
    I posted lastnight a site that is awesome for many areas in our lives such as loosing weight, and if by any chance someone is having struggles in their marriage then there is a study called a united front. Go to This has helped me so much, and I believe it will help those who are seeking help on here. Blessings!

  • Kim says:

    I have a saying in my ministry Take Back Your Temple: “It’s not about size, it is about stewardship.” I was once 85 pounds overweight and that was due to my tendency to gluttony and also choosing to indulge in “deceptive food” as Proverbs calls it – processed foods that impact your brain chemistry so that your natural “stop” signals are dulled, and so you eat more.

    However, God showed me how to overcome this through his word and I lost weight. I’ve seen many people who are thin, but they are still gluttonous. They just hide the results on their body because they are in bondage to bulimia!

    I have an article about this on my blog that I hope helps anyone who is struggling with this issue:

    God bless you!

    Kimberly Floyd
    Take Back Your Temple