By Stan Wiens
Recently, a Pastor emailed me to find “the guy” writing the downloads on the Health Project website. He said, “I needed to contact you and tell you that I repent. I repent of not being obedient to God for my physical health. I have led poorly and am a terrible example to my wife and family. I repent, and I am beginning to change. Thanks for helping me on my journey.”
Have you considered your physical health as a spiritual discipline and an obedient response to God? “True north” for your health starts with understanding how God designed you! As I mentioned in the first article, God’s design IS the foundational beacon that brings clarity to our voyage.
Good health starts by acknowledging that God designed us in His image, therefore stewarding our bodies is the only appropriate response to honour the creator. In Ephesians chapter 5, Paul is talking about wives and husbands loving each other and comparing it to the bride of Christ, the church! Paul then slips in this almost undetectable comment at the end of the passage, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…in the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, after all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church". Are you feeding and caring for your body just as Christ loved the church?
God created us to eat real food and to be active. Our body functions best when we eat natural and whole food, combined with a daily routine of activity. To violate God’s design with a sedentary lifestyle and eating too much processed food compromises the health of our body’s design. It’s like sailing without a rudder. Some may argue that caring for our physical bodies is not as important as our spirituality. This is a big mistake on at least two counts. First, we are created in God’s image (this includes our bodies). Second, when our health deteriorates, our ability to serve and minister are compromised, at the time in life when we have gleaned wisdom through experience and can effectively mentor others. Our physical, mental and spiritual health are deeply intertwined AND it is all spiritual. One impacts the other. (For further study, look up Docetism, the heresy Paul addressed, of elevating the spiritual above the physical).
I believe it is disingenuous to make our “mature” spiritual life ONLY about disciplines such as prayer, bible reading and journaling. Expanding our spiritual growth to include caring for ourselves physically is the lasting way to successfully move forward to becoming healthier.
Maybe it is time to acknowledge that you have ignored your health and perhaps IT IS time to repent.
When we embrace God’s design as the starting point for healthy living, and developing our health choices as spiritual discipline, we will be fixed on the beacon that never moves.
The next article will look at the practical steps you can take to develop healthy habits one step at a time.
The Health Project: Coach