BLESSING #19: The Blessing of a Proper View of Health
“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” (Albert Schweitzer)
In his book God Is the Gospel Pastor John Piper makes the basic point that “When you trusted Christ, you got God!” Absolutely. But what else did we “get” when we believed the gospel?
My friend Mike is as lost as lost can be (as I was before Jesus saved me). And he has got me to thinking about all that I have as a believer. So I’m making a list . . .
Our culture, it seems, is health-obsessed. Vitamins, exercise machines, weight loss programs, skinny photo-shopped models, plastic surgery, diets and diet pills, and multiple over-the-counter and prescription drugs all scream at us: “HEALTH! You must be healthy! Here’s a pill for this problem! Join this weight-loss plan right now! You don’t have to suffer with the heartbreak of psoriasis!”
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m grateful for advances in medicine, programs that help me live longer, and practical steps I can take to be healthier. I just wonder if we’re too addicted to better health than we ought to be. Has it become for some an idol? For that reason, I believe that we Christians —
19. WE HAVE A PROPER VIEW OF HEALTH!
THE BLESSING Of course we should make healthy choices in what we eat, how much we exercise, how we treat the one body God has given us for this life. But, for some, perfect health has become their god.
THE BIBLE What, then, would be a biblical view of health? Several principles occur to me: (1) We should acknowledge that our bodies are given to us by God (Gen. 2:7, 18-25); (2) we should agree that our bodies are not our own (I Cor. 3 and 6); (3) we should take care of the physical part of who we are (Eph. 5:28-29); (4) we should honor God even in our “disabilities” (“Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Ex. 4:11); (5) we should seek healing if such is God’s will (James 5:14); and (6) we should honor the Lord even in our infirmities (2 Cor. 12).
ACTION STEPS 1. We believers need to model a balanced view of health, avoiding either the extreme of neglect or the worship of our bodies. We believe that matter matters, that God made our bodies, and we should be good stewards of our physical beings. List one practical step that you can take each day this week to live a healthier life.
2. Read Romans 12:1-2 in a different version of the Bible each day this week and write out several implications for your health and fitness.
3. I have been greatly helped on this issue of matter mattering to God by reading Michael Witmer’s book Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life? Consider reading that book along with a friend and discussing it.
PRAYER 4. Sometimes unbelievers think we Christians care only about the spiritual. Share with your friend some of your concern about your physical health and how our bodies matter to the Lord. (554 words)