“Physical health is a spiritual discipline.” ~Rick Warren
“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1Cor 9:27 ESV)
Our small group is currently doing the “Transformed” study by Rick Warren. It is a seven part series with focuses on spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial and vocational health. It’s good stuff, people. Last night we began our study on physical health.
I have always done a fairly decent job in taking care of my body. I am by no means perfect. For example, my friend, Lisa, and I ran 12 very long miles Sunday. Did I replenish with the appropriate balance of carbs & protein? No, I rewarded myself with this….As I said, not perfect. But I felt like I’d earned it. I knew a bag of overly processed, onion “flavored”, sodium filled rings was a poor choice but I felt justified. So last night we fire up the DVD and one of the first Scriptures shared was 1st Corinthians 6:12:
“Everything is permissible for me-but not everything is beneficial.”
God has given us the right to choose what we put into our bodies. We are provided with a plethora of options, both healthy and not so much. Where we often make the mistake is thinking as our culture dictates: it’s my body, I’ll do what I want. Besides, my choices don’t affect anyone but me.
Food is fuel. Think of it like this, if you went out and bought a beautiful, high-performance sports car, would you put low-grade gasoline in the tank? The truth of the matter is, your body performs at a higher level when you fill it with the proper nutrients.
Then there is the fitness side of our physical health. Something Pastor Rick said in his message really resonated with me, “How you treat your body is a reflection of the body of Christ. It is not about vanity.” (Loose paraphrase)
There was a time when I worked out excessively. It was my number one priority. The more I saw results in the mirror and on the scale, the more time I devoted to my physique. And it had nothing to do with honoring God with my body. I wanted to look good, plain and simple. It became addictive to the point that it was detrimental to the rest of my life. Exercise was my idol.
While it is good to maintain a fitness routine, just like anything else if done in excess, it can bring you to ruin. Our physical health is all about balance.
- Making wise choices with what we eat.
- Taking care to not consume things which are harmful to our bodies.
- Incorporating physical activity to keep our bodies fit and able.
If you or I are not healthy, then we are not going to be of much use to anyone. It’s difficult to give of your time and talents if you are rundown, stressed out or sickly. You must take care of yourself in order to take care of others.
God is not seeking perfection. Don’t make the mistake of idolizing someone who you perceive as having the perfect body and healthy lifestyle. Focus on being the best version of yourself, not somebody else.
The first Scripture our Autumn learned when she was itty-bitty was Psalm 139:14, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Yes, we are. Each one of us, completely unique individuals created to do something magnificent. Don’t let your health be a stumbling block along the path that God has set you on.