This Friday, a quick question: is it good to strive to live a healthy lifestyle?
Let me give a bit of personal background. As many of you know, I am a fairly avid runner. I do it for the challenge and the discipline that comes with it. I try to stay active and so does our family.
The personal background is mentioned to establish my position: I don't think I'm extreme either way when it comes to healthy lifestyles. I don't freak out over every ounce of every single thing that goes into my body; I'm not a reckless junk-aholic either. Very few are on either extreme.
Let me say two quick things about eating healthy:
1. It can represent God well.
If you are striving to eat well or get in shape, much good can come from it. You can improve your health, your discipline, cut some other unhelathy things from your life besides food, and you can set a good example to those around you.
If you strive in a way that seeks to please God, you will represent God well. While none of us control our own destiny, a Friday night date with a box of Ho-Ho's probably isn't recommended for longevity. In general eating better and exercising should increase your chances for a longer life. A longer life means more impact you can have on others, especially your family. I think we'd all agree that God is pleased when we seek to maximize this life serving Him.
Treating your body with self-control and respect shows the fruit of the Spirit growing in your life. Refer to Galatians 5 for some of these principles.
This points people to God and allows Him to be glorified as you seek to live for Him. The other way of striving to live a healthy lifestyle is not so great . . .
2. It can be a god.
If your end goal is to lose more weight than so and so, or just to lose weight in general, you might have an issue. The goal to lose a certain amount of weight or run a better time in a race than so-and-so can be all consuming.
If you don't have an appropriate motivation for doing something, the only person that can be glorified is you. So, is it possible that eating healthy and exercising can become a god that distracts you from your worship and service of the one True God? Yes.
Scripture bears that out. Jesus taught that prayer (PRAYER OF ALL THINGS!!) was being used for self serving ends. He challenged his listeners to pray in ways that didn't draw attention to themselves and kept them humble.
Anything good can become a god. Live a healthy lifestyle and give God the glory with the results He provides!