The beginning of a new year tends to be a time when people resolve to eat better and exercise more in the upcoming year. Often these plans begin well but dwindle in the months ahead. Perhaps what’s missing is the scriptural foundation for wanting to be healthy. When our goal is to align with God’s desires for us, we’ll tend to maintain a more consistent motivation for healthy living. And, we’ll also tend to be more prone to pull on His power to get there rather than rely on a self-help plan based on a weight goal or number of steps on a tracker.
Scriptural Principles that Should Motivate Us Toward Healthy Living
These principles can guide and motivate us as individuals. They can also provide some insight into how we as a Church can help others pursue healthier living.
- God wants us to be good stewards of our bodies, treating them as “temples of the Holy Spirit” remembering that the whole of who we are belongs to Him, not just our spirits. Even the way we treat our bodies is a means of bringing glory to God. — Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
As His Church, let’s encourage one another and provide training on how to be good stewards in all areas of our lives. We’ll tend to occasionally teach and/or preach on financial stewardship, maybe even time management, but what about taking care of our physical fitness?
For more: Biblical Stewardship Resources
- God looks for a holistic response toward Him in accordance with how He made us with a body, mind, soul, and spirit. The greatest command is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mk. 12:30).
And so, as His Church, let’s minister to the whole person, integrating physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and social health and wellness. Let’s be understanding and sensitive to the needs of one another, not just the spiritual, knowing that when one aspect of our lives is hurting or unhealthy, it can affect other areas.
- Jesus came to this earth and died in our place so we can “have life, and have it to the full” (Jn. 10:10). Certainly that includes the whole of our lives here and now, not merely in our spirit or future heavenly abode. In the beginning of that verse, Jesus also said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;”. When we don’t take care of ourselves, we can become our own enemy, robbing ourselves of the energy and drive to fully enjoy all He has for us.
As His Church, we can disciple people in how to experience that abundant life spiritually but also physically as is possible on this side of eternity. Let’s help people learn to prevent problems that could affect the rest of their being. Let’s mean it when we say we want people to become “fully” devoted followers of Jesus.