Do you believe your physical health is a spiritual matter? As pastors, we tend to like to focus on “spiritual” things. But God is the Creator of our physical bodies, and it’s in our physical bodies that we live our spiritual lives out before others.
Pastors have a tendency to let our physical health go unchecked, and we have plenty of excuses, such as our busy schedules, our calendar being heavy with meal-centered meetings and our need to be behind a desk a lot to feed people spiritually.
For every excuse we can come up with to ignore our physical health, there are other pressing reasons to consider it.
- Our longevity in ministry can be cut short by poor health.
- Our sharpness of mind is affected by what we eat and our activity level.
- We challenge others to live healthy lives, so we should set the example.
- Our physical energy level rises to the demands of ministry if we’re in shape.
- Our bodies are temples too, created by the Master Craftsmen and placed under our stewardship.
The Bible is full of health rules and guidelines. I want to remind leaders of just six principles from God’s word about building a healthy body.
When you feel bad physically, it affects everything else. Shakespeare said it’s hard to be a philosopher with a toothache. I’d say it’s hard to be spiritually alert when you’re physically dull, when you’re tired, fatigued, out of shape.
1. Maintain your ideal weight.
Scientists know that you have an ideal weight based on your bone structure and your height.
1 Thessalonians 4:4 says, “Each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.” I realize there are many medical and glandular reasons for being overweight and having weight problems, but the fact is for many of us, we simply eat too much.
You cannot eat everything you want to eat and still maintain your weight. Ecclesiastes 6:7 says, “All the labor of man is for the mouth and yet the appetite is never filled.”