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Pastors, Your Physical Health IS a Spiritual Matter

2. Balance your diet.

You need to focus on controlling both the quality and the quantity of what you eat.

Do you eat a balanced diet? A hamburger in both hands? I was on a seafood diet—If I see it, I get to eat it.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13 says, “Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will eventually destroy them both.”

The point that Paul’s making is that eating is not an end in itself. We eat to live, we don’t live to eat. It’s a means, not an end in itself. And if we get those reversed, food becomes our master.

3. Commit yourself to a regular exercise program.

Most of us are convinced, but not committed. You know that exercise would be good for you, but committing to it seems hard.

1 Timothy 4:8 says, “Physical exercise has some value.” In Paul’s day, people were very active. If Paul wrote that verse today, he’d probably change it to say that it has great value.

In the New Testament times, people walked everywhere, engaged in a lot more manual labor and ate natural foods. Today, we drive everywhere, live sedentary lives and eat processed junk foods.

How do you know when you’re out of shape?

  • You know you’re out of shape when you feel like the morning after and you didn’t go anywhere the night before.
  • You know your body’s in trouble when your knees buckle and your belt won’t.
  • You know you’re in trouble when you see your friends running and you hope they twist an ankle.
  • You know you’re in trouble when you breathe harder walking up a set of stairs than you do when you hold your sweetheart’s hand.

The key is training, not straining. If you want to get in shape fast, exercise longer, not harder. Commit yourself to a regular exercise program. The fact is, your body was not designed for inactivity. You were made to be active. Even a daily walk will make a difference.

4. Get enough sleep and rest.

Psalm 127:2 says, “In vain you rise up early and stay up late.” The Living Bible says, “God wants His loved ones to get their rest.”

Rest is so important that God put it in the Ten Commandments. He said every seventh day, you should rest. Jesus, in Mark 6:30-32, insisted that His disciples take a vacation.

Make sure you’re budgeting your time wisely. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep.

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Dr. Rick Warren is passionate about attacking what he calls the five “Global Goliaths” – spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy/poor education. His goal is a second Reformation by restoring responsibility in people, credibility in churches, and civility in culture. He is a pastor, global strategist, theologian, and philanthropist. He’s been often named "America's most influential spiritual leader" and “America’s Pastor.