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?Weight? on the Lord: A spiritual approach to a growing dilemma

Issue Date: 
Sun, 02/01/2004
article reprinted from the UMConnection: Commentary
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February 4, 2004


VOL. 15, NO. 3



Weight on the Lord: A spiritual approach to a growing dilemma

All across this land of ours a health-related problem is out of control. A problem that once was only prevalent among the gluttonous of a privileged society in ancient and medieval times now manifests itself among all classes of society including the very young.

I am referring to the issue of obesity in America.

The alarming statistics of obesity-related heart disease has come to bear on all of America financially, including our annual conference, as we struggle with the high costs associated with health care.

Obesity is now the number one health care issue in our country. To make matters worse, recently a link has been discovered between obesity and some forms of cancer.

Can the picture be any clearer? Can being a part of the solution be any timelier?

The action taken by the members of the annual conference session last June, to pass the increased cost of medical care along to our churches and all participants, is but one small part of the solution.

The Board of Pensions and Health Benefits will be seeking other means of addressing this growing problem in the months ahead. Our hands are tied. In order to continue to provide excellent benefits for our participants, we must recommend more changes to the policies of our Medical Expense Plan.

I am asking all of you to help us by becoming personally involved. We all can be part of the solution to the super-size it mentality in our society today.

After many years, I am embarrassed to say, I personally ignored all the warning signs. I ignored the doctors and the pleas of my spouse, but no more.

One year ago, I made a new covenant not another New Years resolution doomed to fail, but a partnership agreement with the One who never fails. I simply asked the Lord to tell me at each meal when to stop when I was no longer hungry, instead of allowing me to eat until I was full.

I discovered there is a big difference. Its not a diet; its part of my spiritual growth as a Christian. To date I have lost weight and my blood pressure has dropped.

I am most thankful to God for this change. I have no goal as far as pounds are concerned; my goal is to please God.

As the season of Lent approaches, let us truly participate in the spirit of wholeness by prayerfully looking at ourselves, asking the tough questions about our eating habits, and seeking the God who provides so bountifully for us.

Pray that God will fill your temple with truth and you will discover that God will actively provide for your physical needs. Put your weight on the Lord and enter into Gods rest as we struggle together in unity with one another and the loving God living within us.

I pray that God will enlighten your desire for change, whether you are overweight or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

I pray that churches will address this serious problem by holding pastors and others accountable. Consider sponsoring a YMCA membership for them. I pray that healthy clergy and laity will consider mentoring with those who struggle with their weight and agree to be prayer or exercise partners; after all we are a connectional church.

Together we can address this serious problem and be a part of the solution.

Pray for me. Ill pray for you. Let me know how God is successfully working in your health struggle to eat properly. With Gods grace we can report to this years annual conference that we are a healthier group than the year before.

The Rev. Daniel Wright is pastor on the Davis Memorial-McKendree Charge in Cumberland and chairman of the Baltimore-Washington Board of Pensions and Health Benefits. He can be reached at

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