America has an obesity problem, which is not surprising when you think about our obsession with fast food. In 1970, we spent about 6 billion dollars on it. By 2001 that figure had grown to 110 billion. We now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. We spend more on it than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music–combined!*
We Christians also tend to pick up a lot of extra weight if we’re not careful. Not around our hips, but around our hearts. And not by gobbling up burgers and fries, but by swallowing Satan’s lies. In John 8:44, Jesus called the devil “a liar and the father of lies” and many, if not all, of his deceptions are designed to weigh us down and make our walk with the Lord more difficult.
For example, Satan will try to weigh you down with guilt by telling you that God hasn’t forgiven you. He’ll try to weigh you down with anger by telling you that God hasn’t been fair to you. He’ll try to weigh you down with doubt by telling you that God hasn’t kept his promises. He’ll try to weigh you down with fear by telling you that God isn’t in control after all. Or he’ll try to weigh you down with hopelessness by telling you that God has abandoned you.
The writer of the book of Hebrews understood our tendency to pack on these pounds, and the danger of it. That’s why he said, “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down…” (Hebrews 12:1) He knew what every good health nut knows, that first and foremost, getting fit means saying no to fat. Push-ups and sit-ups are fine, but they will have little effect if you keep shoveling in the junk food.
Perhaps today would be a good day for you to step in front of a mirror and check out your spiritual waistline. (Are those love handles I see?) Imagine how much happier you would be if you weren’t dragging around that extra weight. Maybe it’s time for you to recognize Satan for the deceiver he is and stop swallowing his lies.
For further reflection read Revelation 12:9 and John 8:32
*Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 3