So here’s the thing. The media and world have become obsessed with being thin and ripped and all of us looking like models and body builders. It’s a fad, just like being overweight and pale was a fad a century or two ago, and it will pass. A lot of Christians are quick to criticize this fad because it’s based on self, self, self and can very easily morph into making fitness and health your idols. Also, when people don’t reach their goals because they were too unrealistic given their lifestyle, biology, finances, and time, they get discouraged and their self esteem plummets.
But…what if we do it from a godly point of view? God has given us these bodies, and they are his temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Is it right, then, to poison yourself and to let yourself become soft and unhealthy? This is a hard one because most of us don’t think in these terms and because it’s extremely difficult to change your lifestyle, especially, I’m sure, when you have a spouse and kids and a job (I wouldn’t know). But, just like we take spiritual care of every other part of our lives, it’s our job to also take care of our physical bodies, and to do it for God’s glory. Think about this: what kind of testimony would it be if churches were packed with severely overweight, unhealthy, tired, depressed people be? Well…that’s kind of what’s happening.
We don’t have to be body builders and super models. But we have a responsibility to look after our bodies, just like we have a responsibility to look after our spiritual lives and everything else God has given us. We are stewards of HIS money, HIS property, HIS people, and HIS temples, our bodies. Look at the amount of effort and care Solomon took in building the temple; well, now our bodies are God’s temple, so shouldn’t we exercise the same effort and care?
God has been convicting me about this for some time, and I’ve started doing something about it a few times. Every time I’ve had to stop because of some serious sickness or injury, and then starting after I’ve lost all that ground is very discouraging. However, now that I’m on my own and am the only one responsible for what I put into my body and what I do with it, I’m starting again. I strongly urge you to pray and think seriously about this. And, if nothing else, think about this: the more energy and health you have, the more time and energy you will have to do what God wants you to do.