Why Does God Want Us To Be Healthy
God wants us to be able to go where he sends us. He wants us to be able to do the things that he calls us to do and participate in the plans that he has for us alongside him. And he has given us a blueprint to be able to do that.
Our health, is a reflection of him. I am not talking about things that are outside of our control. We live in a broken world, and sin and the consequences of the fall are rampant. But even with potential chronic diseases or birth challenges, we can live a life that shows that God is greater by being the best versions of ourselves, healthy and whole, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Biblical Truth About Your Physical Mental And Spiritual Health
A cultural analysis and biblical response by James C. Denison, PhD, Erin Kerry, CNHC, and Lane Ogden, PhD
As the calendar turns from one year to the next, we turn toward resolving to do better in the new year than we did in the previous year. Many of us make promises to ourselves to eat better or exercise more, or to be more consistent in our Bible study, or to be more available to our family and friends.
These are worthy goals.
However, researchers report that only about 8 percent of us are successful at keeping our resolutions.
So how can we do better at trying to be better, especially when it comes to our health goals for the new year?
First, set God at the center of your resolutions. Talk to him about the ways in which your new year should be different from your previous year.
Second, realize that many of your goals can likely be categorized under seeking better physical health, mental health, and spiritual health, the three central topics of this paper.
Third, understand how intricately connected those three aspects of your health are and how important right thinking is to being healthy in body, mind, and soul. Youll notice that theme throughout the three major sections of this paper.
Lastly, I am a Doctor of Divinitya theologian. I am not a medical doctor nor a counselor or psychologist. Thats one reason why I asked Erin Kerry, CNHC, and Dr. Lane Ogden to write about physical health and mental health, respectively.
Ever Notice That We As Humans Can Be A Little Weird About Self
We can feel guilty about it, or feel like its selfish or unnecessary. In particular with my walk with God, I can make the mistake of zoning in on self-denial, and thinking self-care isnt important to him.
In my mind, I can believe that God prefers me when I say yes to every request, pushing through any limitation.
I can think that he doesnt like it when I set limits. Or when I choose to take a break, or take time to strengthen or to heal. Setting boundaries feels selfish when God does so much for me.
Lets be clear: Self-denial isnt just important as a Christian its key. Our lives center on God and not on self now.
Read Also: Do Unto Others Bible Verse
Second Listen To The Body Youve Been Given
When you chronically overeat and use food as emotional comfort, you can alter hunger hormones that help your sense of hunger or fullness. You can also warp your natural hunger hormones by adhering to strict food rules that cause you to put all your trust in some magical, one-size-fits-all plan for eating. You may overcomplicate eating and obsess over what you are or are not having. You may often take on the last supper mentality and eat everything in sight before starting a new eating plan because you worry that you will not get to experience pleasure from your food in the future.
Instead, lets acknowledge that we have been given everything we need for a godly life . Trust Gods provision for you through the food you have available to nourish you and the many processes he has given you to listen to your bodys cues for fullness and digestion.
Align Yourself With Gods Promises Of Mental Health
Choose to cancel the negative thoughts and feed your faith. When you think of things above, God will supernaturally impart peace of mind. Renew your mind by declaring His promises.
- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
- and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7
- The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:9
- Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.Deuteronomy 31:6
It is all about making the decision to be self-disciplined. The Spirit provides His fruit for our good so that we may come into agreement with the Lord and His will.
You May Like: Do Unto Others Bible
So Whether You Eat Or Drink Or Whatever You Do Do It All For The Glory Of God 1 Corinthians : 31
When you bring God into your healthy eating, it changes everything. Striving to honor Him in your food and drink choices will bring not only a heart change, but it will also change your choices.
I used to think of food in two camps there were reward foods and punishment foods. Everything that tasted good , I considered a reward.
Everything that was good for me vegetables, whole grains, etc I considered a punishment. Im overweight because of my poor food choices, so I have to force myself to eat these foods.
But what if all food, the healthy and the not-so-healthy foods, could be eaten for the glory of God? What if you considered Him in your grocery shopping, your portion sizes, and your calorie counting? What if you sat down to dinner every night with a heart of gratitude for the plate in front of you, knowing food was a way to care for the gift of the body God has given you?
A Treasure Hunt Unveiling God’s Ultimate Plan For Your Health
Think of God’s Word as a treasure map that leads straight to the healthy life you’ve always dreamed of. It reveals how you can move from a sticky, lackluster life to one that is full of energy and hope.This practical Bible study will reveal the truth about the foods you eat and provide simple tools to begin improving your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.You won’t believe how much life can change when you grab hold of the treasures God has provided for you.
“Our bodies were made by God and for God. We are to honor Him through living a healthy lifestyle. In Treasures of Healthy Living Bible Study, Annette Reed and Dr. Richard Couey equip us to maximize our bodies for God. This Bible study is packed with helpful information. Read and apply to live!” Pastor Steve Reynolds, Capital Church, Annandale, Virginia and author Bod4God
“For over 30 years my wife and I have been using the bible as our ultimate guide of health. We believe God has provided His dietar laws for our benefit and are convinced our lives are much healthier as a result. The teachings of biblical nutritionist, Annette Reed, are a must for any believer or Christian organization desiring to learn more about healthy living from a Scriptural perspective. It’s a rewarding journey you won’t want to miss.”
Don’t Miss: 7 Books In The Catholic Bible
How To Increase Your Healthy Thinking
The anatomy and physiology of your big brain means that it is independently and spontaneously generating thoughts all the time. Thats simply what it does and is supposed to do. I once had a patient who accurately and succinctly described his brain as secreting thoughts. What those thoughts arethe content of what pops out of your brainis outside of your conscious choice or control, perhaps even your awareness.
However, this is vital to realize: you most certainly have an impact on what happens to those thoughts after they pop in. Therein lies your power. But the other side of the double-edged sword may appear, and you fail to use your power to intervene. If youre going to feel differently, you must think differently.
In the absence of an intentional effort to change, your brain tends to develop patterns of thought or belief systems that become ingrained or automatic. You tend to continue to think the way that lifeevents, circumstances, and teacherstaught you to think. You get stuck in what might be called thinking habits and tend to accept them without question .
Examples Of Exercise In The Bible
So what does it mean to take precious care of Gods body that He has given us? While there are no biblical references to using an elliptical in the Bible, there ARE several references regarding fitness. For instance, Ishmael was an archer , some soldiers were viewed as weight lifters , some were swimmers , others oarsmen , and there are several references to running whether to deliver news or for the training of physical athletes . In Jeremiah 12:5, the Lord even uses a local foot race as a metaphor to compare the difficulties and challenges of Judah and Babylon.
If you have run with footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?
Probably one of the most famous verses on running is 1 Corinthians 9:24-26,
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Recommended Reading: Rhema Bible College Tuition
What The Bible Says About Health And Fitness:
1 Corinthians 6:12-13 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.
Food should not master us. Drink should not master us. Our master is God alone. The choices we make should be made as victorious believers, living for Gods glory.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
We are stewards of our bodies, which are temples of the Spirit who lives in us as believers. As good stewards, we should be responsible and take care of it, as something that does not belong to us.
Maybe you are generally healthy and can get away with eating a pint of ice cream after the kids go to bed without putting on 3 pounds overnight. Does that decision demonstrate self control and good stewardship? Could there be repercussions for it later on?
*None of the information in this post or blog is in any way intended to be medical advice. If you believe you have a health problem, we encourage you to see your health care provider.
The main point is, do the best you can with what God has handed to you.
Joy to you!
Five Suggestions For Better Temple Care
Every January, millions of people make the New Years resolution to get healthy and/or lose weight. Dieting is a billion-dollar industry, and it thrives in January like no other month.
There is no shortage of information on how to improve your health. It takes a simple Google search to find the latest science on how movement and nutrition impacts your health. Every health expert has an opinion. Every nutritionist and personal trainer has the magic cure to our health goals.
But what does the Bible have to say about the importance of physical health for believers?
Does your physical health and how you take care of it matter to God?
Recommended Reading: What Is The Chronological Order Of The Bible
How To Be A Poor Communicator
From start to finish, the priority in the biblical landscape is relationships with God, with others and with my self. Relationships which are ultimately reconciled through the work of Christ . The biblical concept of wellness that incorporates this reconciliation, is captured in the Hebrew word shalom, meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completedness.
Its a whole-of-life wellness body, mind and spirit. It is perhaps this very essence that the Wellness Industry is in pursuit of.
So, how do we find this healthy balance of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing in our lives? What does biblical wellness look like?
It would certainly have to start with peace with God. Old and New Testament alike instruct us firstly to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. Trusting in Him alone worshipping Him alone delighting in Him alone . And this is not just for the start of the Christian life when I first get what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me at the Cross, but an entire life-long journey to deeply re-orient my fickle heart. Shifting my identity. Finding deep emotional safety in His presence emotional safety that can heal and restore and transform. Having my life switched on with Kingdom purpose. Releasing guilt and shame.
Proverbs 3:7-8 tells us that this fear of the Lord will bring health to our body as well as our souls!
We deeply need this deep stillness.
What Does The Bible Say About Spiritual Health
While keeping the body healthy is important for both praising Gods creation and ensuring we have the strength to continue giving thanks, bodily health is only one aspect of health and wellness. We also cant forget about our spiritual health. Fortunately, the Bible has much to say about how to work toward the health of your spirit .
Take Proverbs 4:20-22: My son, be attentive to my words incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
The first lesson the Bible gives for those working toward spiritual health is to ensure we are approaching life with joy and goodwill toward others. Proverbs 17:22 states, A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 16:24 also says, Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
What appears to be of the utmost importance for spiritual health is the seeking and willingness to accept God in your present life. Matthew 6:33 says, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. James 5:13 also weighs in on achieving spiritual health: Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
To summarize, the Bible instructs us to take care of our bodies, not overindulge in food or drink, and seek spiritual health through being kind to others and praying.
Also Check: What The Bible Says About Creamation
What Does The Bible Say About Taking Care Of Our Bodies
Image source: Pixabay.com
While you may strive daily to look and feel your best, what really motivates you? Is it that size 4 dress you have been wanting to get into for years, your upcoming high school reunion, your brush with a weight-related medical condition or perhaps your desire to feel young again?
There are hundreds if not more reasons that could be noted for taking care of your body. How often, though, do you stop to think about the fact that youre not your own? That your life was purchased with a price and you, if you are a professing Christian, are to glorify God in all you do including what you do with your body?
May I suggest to you that before any other reason, this should be the first reason that you take the time and energy to care for your body
Caring for your body glorifies God, it demonstrates a good testimony to others and it gives you the energy that you need to do Gods will, spreading the Gospel.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, we are told to do whatever we do to the glory of God. In Isaiah 43:7 we are reminded that we were made by God to glorify Him. That is our primary purpose in life to glorify God. If you choose to not follow a healthy lifestyle, to not eat in a healthy manner, to not practice self-control, to not exercise, and to not care about your body, you are choosing to not honor God.
The Body Is a Temple
Do you not know that you are Gods temple and that Gods Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
We Are Called to Do Gods Work
Where Does The Bible Talk About Mental Health
As noted above, the Bible does not speak of mental health in the same way that we do today, but the concept of mental health is integral to all of Scripture.
A focus on mental health is a focus on pursuing Gods redemptive plan for us and the world, seeking to proclaim the kingdom of God and the wholeness and healing provided through Christ. Paul closes Thessalonians with this prayer, requesting that The God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ . Paul demonstrates that sanctification incorporates the whole self, seeking to rectify the curse of sin and restore Shalom. This emphasis on pursuing God with our whole self was part of the foundational mission for the people of Israel, designed to keep them centered on their Creator and Redeemer even through slavery and the wilderness wanderings, summarized with the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. Jesus reiterates this command as the first and greatest command, adding with all your mind in .
Don’t Miss: How Many Times Does Bible Say Fear Not