There’s been an interesting change in my life since I left full-time ministry. There are actually quite a few changes, but one significant one is that I’m in much better shape. I feel healthier and have more energy than before.
Part of this comes from the fact that my ministry schedule ran at a breakneck speed, especially when you add on raising five kids and trying to have a healthy marriage. This is the case for many people, not just those in ministry. When we get busy, it forces us to find time somewhere. Oftentimes our health is the ‘somewhere’ we end up pulling it from in one way or another.
This was evident when Michelle and I were in France. We did a river cruise for much of the trip and we were quite a bit younger than most people aboard. We watched many people who’s health was no longer good (likely for a number of reasons) trying to make the most of their time. I couldn’t help but wonder what my body will feel like when I am that age.
What makes taking care of our body even more challenging is that we often spiritualize this process and assume that our health isn’t as meaningful as other areas of our life. This way of thinking is actually connected to something called Gnosticism from a few thousand years ago. The historian Bruce L. Shelley explains that “Gnostics believed… the spiritual element is the true identity of persons who are aliens in the material world and body (which the Gnostics regarded as inherently evil).” Basically, spiritual stuff is holy and physical stuff is evil. Today, Gnosticism is viewed as a second-century heresy, but it still lingers in the way we tend to think of our bodies.
It doesn’t need to be this way. In fact, if you follow Jesus, it shouldn’t be this way. The author Lore Ferguson Wilbert argues that “Our entire faith hinges on the fact that Jesus came in a body and died in a body and was raised in a body. God must care deeply about our bodies.” If we try to remove Jesus’ physical body from our faith in Him we lose more than we may realize.
Here’s my challenge to you: What’s something good you can do for your body this week? It may mean fueling it with food that may not taste as good but will actually make you feel better afterward. It may mean getting outside for a bit and revisiting a way you used to exercise. It may be taking a nap or drinking more water than normal. As you’ve probably noticed, the ‘rest’ of us is affected for the better when we physically feel better.
What would you do for your body if you prioritized it and believed God cared deeply for it too?What would you do for your body if you prioritized it and believed God cared deeply for it too? Click To Tweet
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