Put Down That Twinkie

Erik Cooper —  January 9, 2013 — 1 Comment

I have to confess, they hooked me.

I was still nursing the disappointment of an emotional Indianapolis Colts wildcard loss to the Baltimore Ravens when I stumbled on everyone’s favorite January reality show, The Biggest Loser. Nothing can ease the pain of hanging your Andrew Luck jersey in the closet for the last time like watching 400 pound men get obliterated by a 5’2″ female drill sergeant.

“You’re acting like a fool! I need warriors! Be strong or get out!”

Jillian Michaels is hard core. (It kind of reminded me of putting away the Christmas decorations with my wife).

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But while the physical drama is definitely entertaining, it’s the back stories that always suck me in.

“My father died and indulging helped me deal with the pain.”

“I’ve been an outcast since junior high school. I never fit in.”

“I’m afraid of failing. I figured being fat kept the expectations low.”

The truth is, weighing 400 pounds is rarely a random occurrence. And it’s not always an issue of laziness (although butter and cheese are usually contributing factors). It’s often deeply rooted in hurt, rejection, tragedy, insecurity, and fear. The stories remind me of my time as a pastor. Of the issues we worked to help all kinds of people uncover and move past. Of things I honestly still wrestle with in my own life at times.

And that’s when it hit me: A whole lot of us are skinny and still weigh 400 pounds.

We numb the pain inflicted by abuse, brokenness, and loss.

We wait for the acceptance of others to make us feel good about who we are.

We allow fear to keep us trapped in a less-than version of ourselves.

We gorge on ego. We binge on self-deprication and false humility. We guzzle risk avoidance like it’s $2 milkshake happy hour at Steak ‘n Shake. We stuff our spirits with fried chicken, deep-dish pizza, and double-stuff Oreos and wonder why we’re sluggish, hopeless, and miserable.

And then God gently calls to us with the love of a father, “before we can fix the outside let me address what’s inside.”

You want acceptance? It’s yours. You want peace? It’s yours. You want wholeness? It’s yours. You want love? It’s yours. It’s already yours! Because of what Jesus has done for you, you don’t need to spend your days trying to do it for yourself anymore. You’re free to love. You’re free to give. Because that longing you’ve been desperately trying to fill has already been satisfied by the work of Christ.

Put down the Twinkie. You don’t need to binge on all the false substitutes that never really fill you up anyway. Be bold. Be courageous. Be fearless. Because of Jesus, you can shed those pounds and get to living.

Real life.

One response to Put Down That Twinkie

  1. Yup and amen!

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