I am blessed by God to have become a personal trainer last April and that has helped me become more aware of fitness and health in society and as an individual. Although some may say that health should not be a part of religion, I believe that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit within us. When we choose to follow God, we choose to surrender every part of our lives and wholistic being to Him: body, mind, soul, and spirit. This means that everything we do is spiritual. God wants our eating, drinking, talking, dreaming, secret thoughts, singing, and dancing to be glorifying to His name.
It's easy to see two extremes in health: obsessive or apathetic. Both can have negative consequences and the obsessive often becomes self-idolaters or more concerned about their own health needs over other people's needs. All the while the apathetic often become gluttons or drinkers who feed their emotional needs food and become lazy, causing their body illness.
So much of what we do radiates from our minds and hearts. Exercise is not purely physical but mental. It releases endorphins in your body and can help you relieve stress. The brain determines how hard you will push yourself in an exercise and what you will get out of it. Likewise, eating is mostly an emotional battle as your brain and conscious decide what foods you will be giving your system as fuel.
Thanksgiving is coming up which is a holiday of American gluttony and self-indulgence. Instead of being thankful for lives and health and choosing to praise God and serve others, we decide to become hoards. We cook fattening foods and sugars that cause disease and stuff our faces with them pretending that we will never again have food in our lives. Then we sleep, watch tv, and stuff our faces again. The next day we rush to the store to embark in consumerism and buy buy buy more goods for our-self. After days of lounging around, we return to school, and then back to gluttony and goods for Christmas. After which we realize we are unhealthy and have gained weight and start the massive dieting and exercise regimen of New Years Resolutions.
I believe that God wants to help us be healthy as He created the human body to thrive. Before sin there was no sickness or disease in the Garden and there will be no illness in heaven. I have heard it said that people who can practice self control good enough to control their appetite, can overcome almost any other discipline. I do believe that the appetite is an idol many many Americans give in too and that practicing discipline over our taste buds and stomachs could result in much good. This is possibly why Jesus himself fasted for 40 days in the desert and one of Satan's main temptations was for him to eat bread when he was hungry. Indeed the first sin in the Bible was one of eating something that looked delicious.. yet something God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat.
God pleads with us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to Him, this is our spiritual act of worship.
What has God impressed on your heart to re-surrender to Him today? Ask God to help you learn to be healthy. Give Him reign over your physical body, your soul and emotions, your food preferences. Watch and see how the Lord will guide and bless.