Romans 14:20-23 says “Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”
Let that sink in for a quick minute. There’s so much conviction in those two scriptures that I don’t even know where to begin. Isn’t it amazing how scripture can just speak to us, and meet us where we are? I mean here we are reading God’s word and trying to steer clear of actions that are forbidden by scripture but sometimes scripture is silent on certain topics. And when that happens, we should follow our conscience. Today we’re going to talk about following our conscience and how to walk in the spirit, as we learn to invite God into our weight loss journey.
I want to highlight how this scripture says that we’re blessed when we DON’T feel guilty for doing something that we’ve decided is right. BUT!!!! But!! IF we have doubts about whether or not you SHOULD EAT something; you are sinning if you do!” I mean, what!? Have you ever started a diet, and KNEW what you wanted to eat, and then ate it WITHOUT caring about whether or not you should!? I mean…when we cheat on our diets; we know we shouldn’t do it. But we do it anyhow. The scripture says, “If you do anything that you believe is not right, you are sinning.” So, we need to begin our discussion today with the definition of sin. We sin when we know what we should do, and we don’t do it. That comes from James 4: 17. And it supports everything that Romans 14 is telling us today. and I believe it applies to us when we are trying to lose weight too. You may still be asking, How? Well, as this scripture in Romans outlines; it’s in our knowing. Our conscience. We all have one. We all have that inner knowing and that conscious awareness of what we are doing when we cheat on our diet’s. So how do you stop doing it? Right? Isn’t that what we’re all after?? How do you stop cheating on your diet? How do you actually activate listening to your conscience? When we cheat on our diet’s sometimes, we call it self-sabotage and we feel stuck in our habitual sabotage. Or, maybe you just like to think of yourself as a foodie who can’t say no around certain foods. And in THAT definition, many of us find it acceptable to be stuck b/c after all, we’re foodies. Whatever it is, it is the very thing that is keeping you stuck in your fat pants. You already know what you shouldn’t eat. But could this perpetual state of cheating actually be a sin? Romans 14:23 says that not following your convictions is a sin to you. So, what are your convictions about food when you’re trying to lose weight? What are your convictions, your strong beliefs, about what you should and shouldn’t do while you are trying to be obedient to a meal plan? And for that matter, what has God convicted you on regarding food? What has he been saying to you about your weight loss? Very likely if you’ve listened to any of my podcasts, you know that I encourage Christians to invite God into their weight loss journey. It is not just a one and done prayer. It is a daily engagement. For some of us; it’s hourly. Romans 14:23, says that if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something you are sinning if you eat it. For you are not following your convictions.
So, what are your convictions? You likely have strong beliefs about food but perhaps you’ve never paused for a moment to think about them. Most of us have strong convictions about our love for food. That’s not the problem; we need to understand what God is trying to say to our hearts in terms of what we KNOW about the wrong foods and IN THAT KNOWING, are the real convictions worthy of discussion. Many of us don’t know how to obediently live in alignment with those convictions once we identify them. So, has God convicted you in any area regarding your food? Has he brought to your attention any errors or truths about food that you’re maybe mildly ignoring? For me, I received a lot of conviction in my heart about wine. I used to run to it every time life was hard; not God. And when I prayed for God to help me lose weight, HE convicted me about the role that wine Had in my life and HE showed me the effects that it was having on my mind and my body. He also pointed out to me how it was affecting my family, in ways I had never even considered. I was convicted and convinced that I had to walk away from it. I had to walk away from my reliance on it, the wine, being the very thing that made me feel better instead of asking God for help. So, what has God convicted you have on your menu? Is He speaking to you about the Friday night pizza that derails you every weekend? Or maybe the endless bowl of chips and salsa? Or the nightly bowl of ice cream that you go to for comfort before bed? Romans 14:23 says that if we have doubts about something it is a sin if you eat it. You likely know what food stands out in the doubt category. Foods that you KNOW you shouldn’t eat. You don’t just doubt that you should eat them. You know it. But you still do. These are the foods that are giving you comfort or even taking up residence in your thoughts with some degree of frequency. So, I have a question for you. In the past, as you’ve set out to lose weight and you’ve chosen a meal plan to follow, have you ever found yourself cheating and then reasoning the cheat because you had a life situation that supported just eating of the cheat food? Maybe a celebration or a difficult day. Whatever it is you have a doubt about whether or not you should eat it and, what does Romans 14 say about this? Oh yeah! It is a sin if you eat it. And what are the wages of sin? What is the cost of that cheat? Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin are death. No, eating the lasagna and drinking the diet Coke followed by three bites of your husbands’ piece of birthday cake won’t kill you. But it does kill your ability to lose weight doesn’t it? It does keep you from truly walking in obedience to the plan you’ve chosen to follow. We Are never free of the consequences of our choices. I encourage you to pray about what I’m sharing with you today. It is my belief that when we are weak around food and we’re trying to lose weight, we are not horribly bad people. We just haven’t learned to invite God fully into our weight loss journey. But when we invite him in, he convicts of the truth. And when we see the truth, when we see what foods we should stop eating, we work to obediently avoid those foods, via his strength, not our own. This is how you walk in the spirit in your faith on your weight loss journey. When you feel a cheating thought enters your mind or you find yourself tempted, know that it is not God tempting you! He’s not going to suddenly allow you to go off the narrow path without consequence. It is your sin nature trying to take the lead. I encourage you to realize that you cannot serve two masters. You either serve your flesh or you serve the spirit even on your weight loss journey. Your strength, your true strength to overcome this cycle of defeat is found in your spirit. Don’t doubt God, he will help you, but you need to practice asking him for help. Identify your meal plan and use the tools that I’ve shared all over my podcast and via my blog, or inside of The Seeker’s Method, to activate your obedience. Again, Romans 14:22 says that “Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing what they feel is right.” Lean on God more and you will BE BLESSED! Doesn’t that feel better than guilt & doubt? Defeat doubt in weight loss. Listen for conviction in your spirit and let that guide your steps as you practice being obedient…even in weight loss.