A Different Kind of Healthy

For the Christians:

I am a Christian and I take no shame in it.  However, there are times that I am ashamed in how we Christians act.  There are many ways that Christians are to be different than the rest of the world, and I think that how we live healthily is one of them.  Here are a few scenarios:

  1. You go to the gym.  You work out–really hard–because you want to lose weight.  Or maybe because you want to look sexy.  Or maybe because you want to impress the hottie next to you.  Or maybe simply because you like striving for a goal and accomplishing it.  
  2. You eat healthy.  In fact, you count every calorie (or point) that enters your mouth.  Or maybe you are obsessed about eating local…or organic…or paleo…or you are detoxing.
  3. You watch your weight.  And I mean watch every single ounce that is gained or lost.  You feel great when your weight is down and ugly when it creeps up.
  4. You eat.  You drink.  You are merry…and I mean all the time.  Merry to the point where you realize that you don’t know how to say no anymore and it has taken a toll on your body.  Merry to the point that your merriment is dependent on what you are eating…and drinking.
  5. You run.  And you want everyone to know about every run that you go on.  Running is what defines you.
Here is the deal…none of these things I mentioned above is bad or wrong.  But as Christians, we are meant to worship God and only God.  The problem with all of us is that we start turning good things into ultimate things if we let them go unchecked.  There is more to life than looking sexy, or eating locally, or weighing ___, or delicious food, or quality drink, or running and accomplishing goals.  We can be passionate about these things but we cannot let them rule us and consume us.  God loves me the way he created me–and he loves that I take care of my body so that it is the way he created it to be.  He loves it when I take a jog in nature and worship him and talk to him.  He still loves me when I am 5 or 25 lbs. off my ideal weight.  He created taste buds to enjoy food and he created things like coffee beans that make coffee and grapes that make wine.  He wants us to use the things he created (like food) for the purpose that it was created (nourishment, enjoyment, and healing).  The fact that God became human so he could redeem humanity…so that he would redeem ME…is life changing.  We care about our bodies because He cares about us.  Is the gospel affecting the way you think about health?  It should…because we have more to live for than the next workout or the perfect plate of food.

Five ways to glorify God while living a healthy lifestyle:

  1. The human body is a beautiful, amazing creation that reflects a beautiful, amazing God.  The way it regulates, heals, thrives and responds help us understand on a small scale how complex and brilliant God is.
  2. Do you ever walk in the produce section of the food store or farmers market and think about how all these foods that God gave us from nature are for our nourishment and enjoyment?  It sheds a new light on thanking God for our food.  
  3. It may be easy to feel ugly when you compare yourself to others.  God created everyone unique and made no mistakes.  When we realized that we are loved and accepted by the God of the universe through Jesus Christ, it puts things into perspective when we aren’t loved and accepted by those around us.  
  4. There are many foods that taste good.  I can allow myself to enjoy freely and praise God for his good creation.  I can celebrate good things in life because God is good.  I can do these things because God is my God and food is not.  
  5. God created the body to respond well to exercise.  It gives endorphins and can be fun and makes us healthy.  God is the mastermind and we get to enjoy these benefits.  Our greatness is not dependent on how well we exercise…true greatness is recognizing that we are nothing and all glory goes to God.  

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