Q: Every time my son visits me, he gets after me about my weight. I admit I'm on the heavy side, but I don't see what difference it makes since I'm happy and I don't have any health problems. After all, the Bible doesn't say anything about this.
— Mrs. C.J.
A: Actually, the Bible does speak about this, both directly and in a more general way. And I hope you'll take what it says seriously, because even if your weight isn't causing you any health problems now, eventually it will — as every doctor will attest.
One reason the Bible warns us against obesity is that it's often a sign that food has become too important to us — in other words, a sign of gluttony. The book of Proverbs says, "Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat" (Proverbs 23:20).
Proverbs also uses vivid language to warn against gluttony: "Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony" (Proverbs 23:2).
One of the characteristics of a person from whom God has withdrawn his blessing is that "his face is covered with fat and his waist bulges with flesh" (Job 15:27).
But the deeper reason we need to avoid too much weight is because it eventually damages our health. God gave our bodies to us, and he wants us to take care of them. The Bible says, "You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Take your son's words seriously. He loves you, and he doesn't want to see you harm your health. But more than that, take God's word seriously, and make a commitment to honor Christ by the way you live — and eat.
Q: What is your definition of sin? I do some things that I know some people might call sinful, but I personally don't consider them bad since they don't harm anyone. But how do I know if God considers them sin?
A: The Bible actually uses several words that we translate as "sin," but they all have the same meaning: A sin is anything that isn't pleasing to God. It may be something we do or say, or an evil thought or selfish motive — but whatever it is, it isn't God's will.
Have you ever asked yourself why God doesn't want us to sin? It isn't because he wants to take all the fun out of life and make us miserable — not at all. Instead, God loves us, and he knows far better than we do what is best for us. He also knows what will hurt us or keep us from true happiness, and when we do those things, we only hurt ourselves. Sin always hurts us — always.
Some things are clearly not God's will. He has told us about them in the Bible, which is his word. But what about other situations, such as those you've allowed into your life?
Let me ask you some questions. Have you prayed and asked God if these are pleasing to him? Would you be ashamed or embarrassed if others knew about them? Would they lead a younger person astray? I recall the advice a godly man told me many years ago: "If in doubt — don't!"
The real issue, however, is this: What place does Jesus Christ have in your life? Make sure of your commitment to him, and make it your goal to follow him every day. The Bible says, "Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:11).
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn., 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM; or visit http://www.billygraham.org.