Pounds of Love

by Mark Einspahr

One of the big things we hear at Christmas is how much weight we are all putting on. We don’t eat right, and we eat too much, from the middle of November to the first week of January.

In January, we seem to hear about nothing but losing weight. OK, we hear about trying to lose weight.

I believe weight is like matter; it can be neither created nor destroyed. There is the same amount of weight in the world now as there always was. It just keeps getting redistributed. When someone loses it, others gain it. In this matter of weight, I happen to consider myself someone who always takes one for the team. I take the weight other people are losing. Much like being a table-mover, it is something I can do to help out.

By now you may have surmised that I am a big guy and need a way to justify my size without having to exercise and diet. For me, diet is a holy word. I try not to say it without really doing it. Some people say it is just die with a “t” on it. I joke that it is “dying” with a cross, because for me, diet is much like being crucified, it hurts. (I know it’s not really like being crucifi ed, but you get the idea.)

Our sin is also a terrible weight for us. It weighs us down. It destroys our body, and it destroys our relationship with God. Unlike pounds, though, we can’t get rid of sin by diet or exercise. In fact, we can’t do anything to get rid of it. Jesus’ saving work on the cross is the only way we are freed from its eternal consequences, from its weight on us. He covers it up with His clean cloak of perfection, and then God doesn’t look at our sin; He looks at His Son’s sacrifi ce for us. Kind of like our spouse, who knows we are big and wants us to get thinner but loves us and looks past all that.

Just like too much weight for too long can cause fatal health problems, so sin kills also. If we didn’t get rid of our sin we would die, and what a terrible death it would be: permanent and eternal separation from God. God, though, can change the rules. Just as He created matter and the laws of physics but doesn’t have to obey them, so also His love is not a thing of only so much. No, His love is constantly being offered and given to us. He shows us His love in the Babe of Bethlehem, in Christ’s life lived for us here on earth, and in His death for us on the cross.

Christ is our eternal weight-loss plan when it comes to sin. It is cheaper than Jenny Craig, more permanent than surgery, and easier than working out. The only thing we have to do is believe and repent, which God empowers us to do if we let Him.

My New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, the weight of my sin by letting the Holy Spirit work His way in me, by letting Him bring me closer to the one thing that can help me lose the weight of my sin, Jesus Christ, my Savior.

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