Over the years I have met many incredible people who have dedicated their lives to serving God. Unfortunately, I have also noticed that some of them abuse their bodies and their health until they become run-down and diseased. I know this may sound harsh, but I believe this type of self-abusive behavior is a slap in God’s face, and I think for true change to occur it’s critical that our leaders set a good example in this area. According to Henry Brinton in an article in the USA today, He said:
“The clergy are among the worst role models when it comes to physical fitness. A 2001 national survey of more than 3,000 religious leaders, conducted by the Pulpit and Pew project at Duke Divinity School, found that 76% of Christian clergy are either overweight or obese (compared with 61% of the general population). Treatments of back problems and high blood pressure have been the top claims paid by the Southern Baptist Convention’s health insurance program in recent years – ailments often resulting from obesity or a sedentary lifestyle.”
Our bodies are one of the greatest gifts God has given us and out of respect for that gift we owe it to Him to take care of ourselves. How can we consider ourselves good and faithful stewards if we do not take care of the property God gave us? How would you feel if you made an expensive gift for someone you loved and they destroyed it? I’m sure you would be hurt, and feel they took your hard work and generosity for granted. How do you think God feels when we do not take care of the body He gave us? Take a moment to look at this situation from another angle, think about how you would feel if you had a son or a daughter who was suffering intensely because of their weight problem. Those who do know this personally can attest to the pain. Wouldn’t it be painful to watch your child struggle? Wouldn’t it be difficult to watch them miss out on many joyful things in life? Understand that this is how God feels when He watches us struggle with the bad health we may have created for ourselves or are suffering from. This isn’t the plan God has for you. In the Bible God clearly expresses how we should view and treat our bodies.
In 1st Corinthians 6:19 – 20 (NIV), it says: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own: you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.
Honor God with your body! How many of us have ever thought that way? I don’t think many of us have. Maybe if we cannot lose weight to honor ourselves, perhaps we can do it to honor our Creator. It’s natural to have the mind-set to lose weight so you will look good for your girlfriend, your husband, or for the people at your class reunion. But I ask you, why not for God? Why can’t we show Him our gratitude by taking care of what He gave us? How did this way of thinking become lost? It’s not okay to let your health decline so that your joy is stolen. It’s not okay to let your body become rundown and filled with disease. It’s not okay to miss out on all the plans God has for you in this life. It’s just not! We need to shift our mindset and begin honoring God by taking care of our bodies, instead of allowing them to become run-down, dysfunctional and diseased.