My favorite post-er boy, Keith Brenton, thinks I'm getting grumpy as I lose weight. If you want to know about my weight los for charity like Keith does, goto 40 Days of Fat here. By the way, Keith is right.
I think it's a terrific metaphor. What it takes to make me healthy requires that which makes me grumpy. I jog. I do situps. I do pushups. I eat less (and I LOVE food). However, despite the fact that it is not gratifying, it is satisfying to have run, to have done situps and have done pushups.
This series of posts is meant to prompt some self-examination of the individual's relationship to church, to God, and to self.
It is my belief that the church needs to do what it takes to lose some weight. (Now, if you just interpreted that to mean "how to get rid of church members you don't like," then just log off now. It's not what I mean).
What I do mean is that we Christians have habits that are "normal" for our particular church culture, but are actually perpetuating a sickness, much like a couple candy bars a day will lead to heart disease, but not right away.
I live in the Bible Belt. Many people here are very proud of their belt. They feel safer, morally superior to people in other places, think the North is a "mission field" (While their own communities are just about as unchurched), pity "those poor people" who are not...well..not just like them.
Now understand, this is a certain merger of church culture, Southern culture and a certain strain of patriotism. However, it is not unique to the south. This kind of social bias cuts across all lines. So, without some penetrating self-examination, these biases will be invisible and therefore continue. I guess what makes me blog about this is that I am personally in the process of finding these blindspots and it is most disturbing.
So, my job is to find the habits (heart, sould, mind, & body habits) that make me churchy, but not Jesusy and find another way to live. I need better habits, and I'm not just talking about reading the Bible more or praying more. What I mean is to reconstruct what it means that I am the church. I am urging you to do the same.
When I started losing weight, White Chocolate Kit Kats had to go. It was not just a choice, it was a feat. It was ending a relationship. It was the end of a mindset. It was the end of an emotional expectation that came with the White Chocolate Kit Kat. And you know what, it bothers me. I get a little grumpy in the convenience store when I see what I cannot have, but want so much.
This is the same process we Christians needs to go through in order to get healthy in our souls and our minds and our hearts.
We must lose our spiritual fat that has come from too much churchiness and not enough Jesusness.