There are few topics that make spiritual leaders squirm more than the topic of how we care for our bodies. We would like to stay on the “spiritual” topics and far away from what we eat or how much we exercise. Or as one pastor said; “now you’re meddling!” We like to think that we can get a free pass on at least one area of our life and not give up our glorious Italian Beef, dipping with juice. (or whatever your particular guilty pleasure is)
It is easier to see our daily devotional time as more “spiritual” than an exercise program. Clearly the maintenance of our bodies doesn’t get the same focus as other aspects of discipleship. (not a lot of nutrition classes in seminary) Additionally, we don’t disqualify spiritual leaders because of being obese.
I am not advocating instituting some sort of diet inquisition, but let’s turn the light on in this subject because it does matter how we care for our bodies. Our body is the vehicle that we were given to do the work he gave us to do. In other words, it is hard to preach from a hospital bed or minister from the grave.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne was an extraordinarily gifted Presbyterian minister who died at the age of 29. He was a tireless worker often going without food or sleep to proclaim the gospel. On his death-bed he recognized he had made a crucial miscalculation.
So what will be your excuse if your ministry is cut short because you have not cared for your body? Do any of us want to show up in heaven early because we weren’t able to discipline our eating habits or get out of bed to exercise? If you’re feeling a little convicted by this line of questioning … good. Just remember that the strength you have to live every other area of your life is available in this area too. One of the fruits of the Spirit is discipline therefore God grants us the ability to control what we put in our mouths and the power to get into an exercise routine.
I love this verse …
Is it God’s will that we honor him in the stewardship of our bodies? Does he get glory when we maximum our bodies performance and fulfill our calling? Of course he does! Therefore, he will grant us whatever we need to make this happen.
Pray for it!