It was announced this week that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. I am part of that statistic, unfortunately. When someone mentions BMI (body mass index), I tend to laugh and say, according to that chart, I’m too short. But the truth is, I’m six-feet-tall, weight 259 pounds, and I am obese.
The study’s results do not surprise me. It’s obvious Americans are fatter, less active than ever before, and have plenty of excuses at their disposal: sedentary lifestyle and desk jobs, abundant technology use, and our infatuation with cars to take us wherever we want to go, rather than walking or riding a bike. Government officials spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to help people get healthier but here is the truth: it’s not the responsibility of medical professionals or politicians to make us healthy, it’s up to you and me.
I am choosing to improve my physical health and spiritual well-being.
I am choosing to immerse myself in God’s Word to deepen my relationship with Him.
I am choosing to eat more wholesome foods and less processed foods created in a laboratory.
I am choosing to exercise at least one hour every week day.
I don’t need a senator or the president of the American Heart Association to tell me eating a bag of chips is bad for my health, I know it’s bad because I feel guilt afterwards … not to mention feeling like garbage when I eat garbage! I know eating a bag of chips is senseless, but it’s up to me to utilize free will and make mature decisions at meal times. The same is true for our spiritual health.
We did everything for you that parents would do for their own children. We begged, encouraged, and urged each of you to live in a way that would honor God. ~ I Thessalonians 2:12 (Contemporary English Version)
In this passage, Paul is speaking to the people (church) in Thessalonian and he is ultimately pleased by their steadfast faith and mature lifestyle, but this is not a time for relaxation. If you are stagnant or not moving forward to improve yourself, you are essentially moving backwards.
To combat their lackadaisical approach to life, Paul encouraged Thessalonians like a parent would their child – as God encourages me to draw closer to Him. But it’s important to remember one seemingly insignificant word in the perspective of our physical health and spiritual well-being.
Medical professionals cannot make us exercise more and eat less, we must choose the healthy lifestyle for ourselves.
God will not force His will on us, we must choose to abide in Him rather than our selfish desires.
God does not require us to be in relationship with him either, but He wants it more than we can imagine. And, if our hearts and minds are in tune to God’s desires, instead of earthly or selfish things, then we will want to be in relationship with Him too.
God does not beg me to attend church, small group fellowship, or read Scripture regularly, but these are ways I connect to Him so my words, actions, and behavior honor Him.
I walk into the gym under my own power, no one is pushing me through the door, and in doing so I hope to honor God by taking care of the physical body he has given me.
It’s all about choice.
Last Monday, my choices were not good. I went on an emotional eating binge. Afterwards, I felt miserable, of course, and the scale reflected my poor choices. I acknowledge that I ate like an irresponsible mad woman.
Today, however, I choose to eat smart, eat less, and burn more.