Something’s been bugging me.
In most circles of Christians it would be completely unacceptable to make jokes about a person’s alcoholism, drug problem, gambling or porn addiction. It would be the epitome of gracelessness to do such a thing.
So why is it OK for people who are believers in Jesus to make fun of fat people?
Now, I’m not saying that EVERY overweight person is a food addict. Some people truly just need to shift their diet a bit and work out a few times a week, and they’d be fine. For them, food may not be a heart-level struggle.
But still, we never know someone’s full story. We don’t live in their heart and know what challenges they face in that area. Why is it ok to belittle them?
I’ve lost count of times I’ve seen a Christian make a joke on Twitter about overweight people. While I don’t like it, I understand. It’s easy to use Twitter to get a laugh because, let’s face it, you don’t have to look at the people you’re poking fun at.
But that’s not the extent of it. I once heard a Christian leader make fun of an overweight colleague’s “man boobs” – in front of him and others in the organization. It broke my heart because of the message it sent.
“If you’re fat, we can joke about you. Your sin is a laughing matter.”
If we are a community of grace, we don’t pick on people about their sin. We help them through it. Or at least we should.
So I’m asking that we extend grace to those struggling with their weight. Instead of making jokes about how they look, find out their points of pain, and offer encouragement. Get to know their story.
It may not be all that different from your own.