Friday, April 23, 2010

Health Is a Heart Thing

Mike Anderson Director at the Resurgence

We recently ran a very controversial article titled Pastor, You're Probably Fat." This post is to answer some of the questions that people had on Facebook.

Healthy doesn't equal holy

Jesus is the only one who can save us—not an Atkin's diet or a Crossfit exercise program.

The Spirit is the only one who sanctifies us—not Chuck Norris' newest infomercial workout machine or the latest Dr. Oz meme.

Jesus must be our comfort and our satisfaction—not food. Jesus is the one who makes us perfect—not tight abs or big muscles.

So should we stop caring about our health?

No! Absolutely not. Your health is important because you are a steward of the body God has given you. He created you—he built you to need x number of calories each day, to need exercise to keep your energy up, to eat healthy food, and to get a certain amount of sleep.

Health as worship

The lie of health is that it will make you closer to perfect. Many people buy into this lie and turn exercise into an idol. Some stop eating enough or throw up their food. Still more get depressed and turn to food as a comforter in hard times. If this is you friend, you're buying into the lie.

The truth of health is that God created you to worship and enjoy him. He's given you one body, mind, and spirit to worship with. Any pursuit of true health must be to be toward the glory of God.

Love your God

God calls you to worship and enjoy him above all else. When you worship him you realize that your body isn't your own kingdom, but a tool he's given you to worship with. Your health gives you energy to be joyful in him. A healthy diet keeps your mind sharp to study his Word. A solid sleep pattern keeps you alert to spend time in prayer. You wouldn't have much success chopping down a tree with a dull axe; you have to keep your axe sharp. In the same way, you should keep your health as sharp as possible.

Love your family

Many Christian leaders are deceived in thinking they are more holy because they spend all of their time in ministry and then squeeze in a little time with family. If you don't actively pursue exercise and a healthy diet, you're depriving your family of energy, years with you, and a healthy example.

Love your mission

God has given you a general mission to be a disciple who makes disciples, and he's given many of us a specific mission. Ministry is physically taxing. It takes energy to preach, it takes rest to not blow out your adrenal glands with the stress of messy situations, and you can't pig out on caffeine & carbs if you want to maintain a long ministry.

Some Scripture for meditation

Think about these verses and what they tell us about the way to view our bodies:

"Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself."
Philippians 3:19-21

"Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags."
Proverbs 23:20-21

Originally posted at by Mike Anderson Director at the Resurgence

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