By Joel Comiskey, Living in Victory: 9 Spiritual Truths for Transformation and Renewal, July 2022
Many believe that the way they treat their bodies has no bearing on their walk with God. They do not exercise regularly or eat healthy food. Nor is it a priority. Spirituality, yes; physical health, no. They subtly have placed a wall between the two.
They are offended when pastors and leaders bring up healthy living. After all, isn’t this a private matter? Why waste time talking about physical health? “After all, the body will soon perish and our spirits will remain forever,” they say. People are open to hearing about spiritual and eternal principles but not about the proper care of their bodies.
I have a close friend who is the head nurse in an urgent care facility in Washington. He sees patients all the time who check into urgent care due to excess eating, drinking, unhealthy eating, and so forth. He told me that people often think that their bodies are their own and that they can do anything they want with them. But he has seen firsthand how selfish this is. Why? Because a person’s health immediately affects those closest to them. The husbands, wives, children, family members, and friends are the ones who nurse the patient back to health, visit them in the hospital, and generally sacrifice because of the poor choices their loved ones have made.
When I’m coaching pastors, I often ask them about exercise, sleep, and food intake. After all, discipleship extends to the whole person, not just the spiritual.
A while back I was doing a seminar in New York, and I noticed the pastor was “snacking” incessantly (lots of donuts). I know this pastor very well and he has often confessed to me that he wanted to lose weight. As we spent time together and I observed his habits, I challenged him about healthy eating. God stirred him to change during the following weeks and lately, he feels new energy and vitality. Yes, this is part of the discipleship process!
For July let’s look at caring for the temple of God. I’m referring specifically to exercise, sleeping sufficiently, and eating healthy foods. We talked about taking a day off in June, but let’s extend this to other areas. We will write 25 blogs on this important topic. If you’d like to receive these blogs in your email inbox, click here. We’ll cover:
- July 03-09 (due date: July 01): Biblical base for taking care of our bodies. Our bodies, after all, are the temple of God.
- July 10-16 (due date: July 08): Exercise. Studies have shown that sitting too much and not exercising is hazardous to our health. How are you doing in the area of exercising?
- July 17-23 (due date: July 15): Sleep. Mario Vega mentioned the importance of sleeping regularly in one of his blog posts in June. Studies have shown that most people need 7 hours of sleep. Sleeplessness negatively affects members, leaders, and pastors. Are you getting enough sleep? What can you do to improve your sleeping?
- July 24 to July 30 (due date: July 22): Eating healthy foods. Christians can easily talk about sexual sins and vices while neglecting the negative consequences of over-eating or feasting on junk food. Positively, eating healthy food renews us and gives us more energy. We’ll explore this area.
- July 31 to August 06 (due date: July 29): Preventative medicine. Exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating well can keep us out of the hospital. Yes, we’re going to die. And no, I don’t believe that God heals all the time because total healing will take place in heaven. I believe that before Jesus takes us to heaven, we should be as healthy as possible.