So you finally purchased your dream car, and with it comes an instruction manual on proper use and care. In bold type, one instruction read, use only premium gasoline; anything else will damage the car. Because you want to enjoy your vehicle for a considerable time, you did as you were told and carefully followed the instructions. To do otherwise will cause the car to not perform at its best and possibly become a danger to you and others. Additionally, since the manufacturer was the one who made the car, they must know what would be best, right?
I have identified as a Christian all my life, but I only became a faithful follower of Christ approximately ten years ago. Now that I acknowledge God as my Father and Jesus Christ as His son and my Savior, I must follow his every instruction about my life, correct?
I have been around many Christians from all walks of life, and I find it most interesting that many do not embrace the need for a healthy lifestyle even though they consider themselves faithful followers of Christ. Strangely, they cannot see the connection between faith and health. Of course, many will quickly argue that leading a healthy lifestyle is not salvific. Now it is not my objective to unsettle anyone or say whether it is salvific, but I felt that this topic is worthy of much consideration.
I do not believe one can reach their highest calling in Christ by destroying their bodies through poor health practices. As Christians, we serve God with our minds and body; therefore, we must keep ourselves in good health to serve God effectively. Consequently, a healthy lifestyle that involves adequate exercise, good nutrition, and mental health go hand in hand with our worship of God. If this was not the case, I do not believe God would emphasize how and what is good for us to eat throughout the Bible.
God wants us to be free from sin and sickness. In other words, the Gospel saves us from sin, and good health keeps us from sickness to serve God in spirit and truth. Therefore, if you are toxic and sick in your body, best believe that this could also affect your mental faculties, which may explain why you are so frail as a Christian or give in to sin so easily. A healthy body and mind go hand in hand.
Whenever I feel mentally stressed or sick in my body, I cannot think or do anything else. Everything becomes a task, and I struggle to move from point A to point B. My body felt too weak to do just about anything, and my mind lacks focus. All I can think about is how weak and unwell I feel. On the contrary, I can do anything when I feel at my best. My mind is sharp, and I can better make sound decisions, study and understand the word of God clearly and praise him haughtily.
Another thing you are to realize is that the devil uses our weakness to attack us and lead us to sin against God. If you place as much emphasis on health as you do your spiritual walk with Christ, you would be a force to be reckoned with; think about it.
One of the things God gave to man in the garden of Eden was his diet. Let us take a look:
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon all the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you, it shall be for food” (Genesis 1: 29).
God gave this diet to Adam for nourishment. God knew that it is within us to be intemperate; therefore, he not only told Adam what to eat but also what not to eat. He further stated:
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17).
Adam and Eve did not physically die when they disobeyed God, but this act changed everything completely. Humanity became compromised, and the perfect world God created for them was no more. Adam and Eve were sent out of the beautiful garden of Eden to face a life of sin that involves sickness, death, hardship, suffering, and more. Life became what we now experience and know today.
As time passed and humanity began to grow, God did not abandon us but still wanted to save us from sin and death. So not only did His only begotten son step in to be our ultimate sacrifice or connection back to God, but God also gave us laws on the type of lifestyle that He wanted us to live. He gave us the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. Although He wanted us to eat a plantbased diet, Man’s original diet was given in the garden of Eden); the fact that man wanted a flesh diet, he met us where we were at, and He gave man the permission to eat meat but with strict guidelines on what we should and should not eat. See Leviticus 11.
Several other scriptures also attest to how important good health is.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1st Corinthians 10:31).
The way we eat and drink is a form of worship to God. But unfortunately, some foods we eat have devastating effects on the mind and body, thus affecting our worship. There is a saying, “too much of one thing is good for nothing.” Therefore, it is our duty as Christians to ensure that we take the necessary steps to be in good health.
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
God gave us our bodies, but it still belongs to him. Therefore, we cannot destroy ourselves through bad habits and unhealthful practices. On the contrary, we must keep our bodies in the best state possible so that they can serve God and us.
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things” (1 Corinthian 9:25).
The Bible tells us to be temperate in not just some things but all things. For example, overeating and drinking until we are drunk. If there is anything we are doing excessively to harm our bodies, we must make every effort to stop. Be it spiritual or healthwise.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2).
Now, this is one of my favorite scriptures, and if you explore it on the homepage, you will see it there. According to this scripture, God not only wants our souls to prosper, but he wants us to be in good health. It is not much more precise than this; Christians are to embrace a healthy lifestyle because they are followers of Christ, a light, and a source of inspiration to others. How can we expect to tell someone about God looking all sickly in their sight? Therefore, we are to be overflowing with good health.
In the same way, we follow the instructions when we purchase a car or take medication the doctor gave us; we must aim to do the same for God. He created every single one of us, so He knows everything good and bad for us. We are to follow the specific instructions that God gave us to live a healthy and holy life. We cannot afford to hold on to what is easiest or what we think is important because we are not our creator. Our maker gave us an instruction manual to follow step by step carefully. We must embrace a healthy lifestyle as much as we do our spiritual life. We must eat well, exercise, rest, and do everything reasonable and beneficial to us to be in excellent shape for God, ourselves, and others.
Let us all strive for a higher calling in Christ by leading a healthier lifestyle. Let us glorify God in our bodies by treating it well.
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