When I was young, I wanted to be fast and strong. Swimming, biking, running, weights, creatine, two-a-days, long ocean swims—I did them all. I even prodded myself with verses like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and 1 Timothy 4:8. But through the years I’ve changed, or rather God has changed me. I still do some of the things I used to do then to stay physically fit, and eat a whole lot better than I did then (thank you, Hallie). But I don’t want to be fast or strong or anymore.
Back then I wanted to win the race; now I just want to finish the race well. I want to be of the greatest use I can to the Lord for as long as I can. And I know that whatever I am physically is in the same category as what I have financially, both are areas for stewardship. Physical fitness as a stewardship issue is a different perspective altogether than what the world tries to sell us. The world says we need to be thin, strong, fast, and beautiful… so we can be loved and be happy. The gospel says the opposite about the purpose of our bodies. Returning to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 with a little more maturity than I had when I memorized it as a teenager, we read,
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Christian, you are loved, and your happiness is secured in the price paid for you at the cross of Christ. Therefore, you don’t have to use your body, diet, or health to earn what you already have in Jesus. Instead, you can use your body to glorify God. The goal is now glorifying God with what you have rather than striving for the fleeting beauty or biceps you cannot keep. Even if you’re facing significant health challenges or years of unhealthy living, you can still decide today to begin glorifying God in your body as you rely on the Holy Spirit.
The reason I mention this now is because I know so many of us set health goals in January. And by late January, we’ve “hit the wall,” and have maybe discovered we’ve been pursuing physical health from impure motives. Now is the time not to redouble our efforts but to repent and seek to steward our bodies for God’s glory rather than our own. After all, we believe in a bodily resurrection. Jesus was crucified not just to save your souls but physical bodies as well.
So don’t just win a race, finish the race.
Chili Cook-Off - The snow threw off some of our ability to advertise, but the chili cook-off is still on. If you are planning on submitting a chili entry, let April Sumner know. If you are coming as a taster, then follow this last name guide, bringing enough for you, your family, and some extra:
- A-L: Bring a side or topping to go with chili
- M-Z: Bring a dessert
- Online Directory - You should’ve received information on how to opt-in to our online church directory. If you didn’t, let Samantha know (firstname.lastname@example.org).