As a pastor, I can tend to focus on “spiritual” things. But God is the Creator of my physical body, and it’s in my physical body that I live my spiritual life before others. I have a tendency to let my physical health go unchecked. Sure, I have plenty of excuses such as my busy schedule, and my need to be behind a desk a lot to feed people spiritually.
For every excuse I can come up with to ignore my physical health, there are other pressing reasons to do better:
- My sharpness of mind is affected by what I eat and my activity level.
- My physical energy is affected by what I eat and how much I move.
- My body is a temple, created by the God and placed in my care
- I challenge others to live healthy, so I should set the example, especially to my children.
- When I feel bad physically it affects everything else.
The Bible is full of health guidelines. Here are 4 that I Resolve to be better in.
- Know & Maintain My Ideal weight
Scientists know that we have ideal weight based on our height. It’s called a Body Mass Index or BMI. When I quit making excuses about it, put a scale in the bathroom to weigh daily, the battle was on! 1 Thessalonians 4:4 says, “Each of us should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.” I realize there are many reasons for being overweight: stress, genetics, hormones, but the fact is, I simply eat too much. I cannot eat everything I want to eat and still maintain my weight. Ecclesiastes 6:7 says, “All the labor of man is for the mouth and yet the appetite is never filled.”
- Eat Better
Do I eat a balanced diet? I used to think it was a cookie in both hands. I need to work on controlling both the quality and the quantity of what I eat. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13 says, “Everything is permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will eventually destroy them both.”The point that Paul’s making is that eating is not an end in itself. I eat to live I don’t live to eat. It’s a means not an end in itself. And if I get those reversed, food becomes my master.
- Move More
I’m convinced but not always committed. I know that exercise would be good for me, but committing to it seems hard. 1 Timothy 4:8 says, “Physical exercise has some value.” In Paul’s day, people were very active. If Paul wrote that verse today, he’d probably change it to say that it has great value. In the New Testament times, people walked everywhere, engaged in a lot more manual labor, and ate natural foods. Today, I drive everywhere, live a sedentary life, and eat too much processed food.
How do I know when I need to Move more?
- I know I’m out of shape when I feel like the morning after and I didn’t go anywhere the night before.
- I know my body’s in trouble when my knees buckle and my belt won’t.
- I know I’m in trouble when I breathe harder walking up a set of stairs than I do when I hold Niki’s hand.
The fact is, my body was not designed for inactivity. I was made to be active. Even a daily walk will make a difference.
- Rest and Sleep
Psalm 127:2 says, “In vain I rise up early and stay up late.” The Living Bible says, “God wants His loved ones to get their rest.” Rest is so important that God put it in the Ten Commandments. He said every seventh day, I should rest. Jesus, in Mark 6:30-32, insisted that His disciples take time away. I want to make sure I’m getting enough rest and sleep.
I resolve to take better care of myself physically this year. How about you?