Looking good is not what matters



“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.”

– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

As a result of knowing God, of being in a relationship with God, and being saved by the grace of God through Christ, It is important for Christians to honor God in all we do.

We hear all the time how we should honor God in our marriages, in how we train-up our kids, at work, in how we let our lights shine before men, in how we treat others…

All good stuff, all important, and all biblical.

What I find lacking however, is Christian emphasis on how we can and why we should honor God with our bodies with disciplined eating, exercise, and physical fitness.

That being the case, I started adding eating and fitness advice and tips to the blog back in January so, if eating better and/or getting in better shape has been a goal of yours, I hope you’ve found these posts informative, inspirational, and that they all glorify God.

Anyway, call it a lack of forethought if you want but I’ve got nothing planned for the Fitness Friday post this week so the rest of this is going to be stream of consciousness in the hope that it makes sense to someone.

A while back, six months maybe but I’m not sure, I was drying off after taking a shower at a gym I don’t normally work out at when some guy looked at me and said I must have the perfect diet.

An uncomfortable moment since I always go well out of my way to avoid talking to naked men in the locker room but I acknowledged him as kindly as I could with, “Thank you, I’m not perfect but I do try.”

Although I thought the brief exchange was a little weird and uncomfortable, it made me feel good because someone thought that I was doing all the right things to stay in shape.

Sadly, and this is a little hard to admit, it also made me feel convicted because what I told him was a tad untrue. Not saying I don’t know what the right things to do are or that I don’t try when I honestly do. What I am saying is that my dieting efforts at the time had mostly consisted of putting the old adage, “you can’t outrun a bad diet” to the test.

While for years I woke up at 4:30 six days a week to work out for an hour, drank protein shakes, plenty of water, ate plenty of fruits and vegetables, shunned sodas, ran three miles on my lunch break, rarely drank alcohol, didn’t smoke…  Good stuff for sure but I also ate bacon, cheeseburgers, tacos, BBQ, half a container of ice cream several times a month, cookies, donuts, a few boxes of candy a week, and so on.

Truth is, the objective reality of my situation was that I was the picture of health on the outside but a total mess on the inside which not only landed me in the ER; it also got me to totally change my thinking and way of life.

I think much of my attitude regarding food is exactly the same kind of attitude Christians are guilty of too much of the time these days.

In other words, it’s easy for Christians to “look the part” by going to church, saying they love Jesus, reading the Bible daily, praying before they eat, or even by having a Christian blog. It’s far more difficult however, for Christians to come to the realization that the things we do or believe in, even though we know we shouldn’t, are harming us in ways we may not be able to see and we need to change.

While my problem mentioned above was purely physical it isn’t hard to compare the poison I was putting into my body in the form of food to the poison Christians might be putting into their minds in the form of a belief in evolution, an acceptance of homosexuality as normal, a casual attitude towards sex outside of marriage, a belief that the Bible is not the infallible Word of God, the opinion that abortion is an acceptable form of birth control, or the belief that the death and resurrection of Jesus are events that can only be believed by blind faith.

What about showing kindness to others, helping the needy, witnessing, giving, studying The Word, loving our spouses as Christ loved the church, training up our children? Are we lifting some serious weight there or are we doing just enough to look good?

What about porn or movies and TV shows that are lousy with adultery, nudity, profanity, and every other form of debauchery imaginable?  Do we think these things are OK in moderation?

Granted, unbiblical thoughts, actions, attitudes, and beliefs won’t land anyone in the ER but, unless those of us who need to make some pretty serious spiritual lifestyle changes, they could very likely ensure our walks with God may not be as healthy as they look.

And that’s what I think about a lot lately. I know Christians are saved by Grace through faith but…

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Categories: Christianity, Fitness

Tags: , , , , , , ,

27 replies

  1. Amen to this post. We as people need to be real. Besides, it’s not as if we can fool God. He already knows us beneath the illusions we sometimes present.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we do sometimes believe we can fool God, I know I have been guilty of trying

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is ourselves we fool.

        Lot of people call themselves Christians these days, but they never make a serious study of the Bible, and they don’t make certain their children study the Bible. Therefore, we are not prepared to live as Christians. Too many don’t even know what that means.

        When I was younger, I did much the same as you. I exercised, and I avoided obviously unhealthy foods, but I still ate too rich a diet. Part of the reason for that is that I did not know any better. To eat properly, we have to learn how to eat properly. If no one makes the effort to teach us what a good diet looks like — that a good diet is even important — we can go quite a few years before we begin to understand the need.

        Similarly, I learned the difference between good and bad, and I was taught about Jesus. However, no one with authority over me insisted that I make a serious study of the Bible. My parents made certain I went to Sunday School. There I was taught about the Bible, but I did not read the Bible. That is not the same thing. Therefore, as I grew older I was easy prey a for public school system that regards the Bible as unimportant.

        If the Bible is unimportant then Christianity is unimportant; there is no reason to love Jesus.

        If we think Christianity is important — if we love Jesus — then we need to spend time in His Bible. We need to exercise and build up our faith.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good thing, ‘cuz I’ll never be that ripped.

    Like

  3. Wow, that exchange in the locker room wouldn’t made me insanely uncomfortable!

    I really like your take on this. I’ve seen this verse applied to health a lot and only recently did I actually go look at the original context to find that the original intent was not to promote physical fitness (which probably should have been obvious).

    Like

    • True Rebecca, I believe the original intent was sexual purity but I did what many do and applied it to health.

      I am glad taking this liberty didn’t detract from the intended meaning.

      I think being made uncomfortable was actually key here. If I wasn’t, in may have just moved on without giving it another thought, instead it gave me pause.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes and I thought it was interesting to learn that. It seems so difficult to keep everything straight to me. There are so many verses that were misapplied during my childhood, I’m still untangling the web!

        Liked by 1 person

        • As long as the verses didn’t contain core doctrine, you will be fine.

          I am in ministry and learn wither new things or more about something I thought I knew all the time. I think that is one of the beauties of the faith, so much to learn, so much growing to do.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Some of them did but mostly pertaining to the Law.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Did you grow up in a legalistic church? I didn’t grow up in a church at all.

            Liked by 1 person

          • No I grew up in a great church, but multiple legalist communities (homeschool mostly).

            Liked by 1 person

          • Homeschooling parents do tend to be more legalistic than many people but, depending on the degree, that isn’t always a bad thing.

            Liked by 1 person

          • In this instance it definitely was. Most of my friends have now left the faith because they’ve been lied to about the bible actually says. It’s a horrible thing, many have tried to kill themselves because it just from despair.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That is horrible, I will definitely keep them in my prayers. Are you OK?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Not OK, I guess that was a bad word choice. Are you coping? Do you have a support system?

            Like

          • Oh don’t freak out! Haha not at all what I intended. I’m alright. 🙂 I’m kinda the “camp counselor” so when someone feels bad I am the person who listens and in one instances I had to call authorities, but that was a few years ago. A lot of legalism has practical aspects to it, so I understand you are saying. 😉 The ends are generally a good goal, but the means in which they approach the goal are not so good.

            My husband has been my support system and previously I sought counseling for myself as well. I’m writing a book to help them now, which, in turn, has helped me tremendously. I’ve gotten pretty good over the years about knowing my limits when listening and being with them because it does effect me, but I have more healthy coping mechanisms than they do. Thank you for praying. ❤ I really appreciate it. The hardest aspect for me is their spiritual health. I expected to live my whole life and the next one with them, and I know for some that just won't happen.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Well you did have me concerned.

            I am glad you are able to help people now, could be God has been preparing you for this for a long time. When I counsel people through difficult times I always tell them that their story will make them relatable to in a way many are not.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I understand that, I forget it isn’t everyone’s normal. I’ve been wondering that lately. I’ve even had a few atheist tell me that! Which, doesn’t make any sense because they don’t even believe in God but they speak with genuine conviction that He has led my life to where I am now and to the book.

            Liked by 1 person

          • A lot of atheists are very reasonable people. Doesn’t take a personal belief in God to understand that Christians believe that God leads them.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, that is the opposite of what I was taught growing up. I understand that but the folks I’ve taught to actually seem to believe what they are saying, like a weird cognitive dissonance is going on in their brain. They’ll talk for a while and then reel themselves back in when they realize what they’ve said.

            Liked by 1 person

          • A lot of atheists are friendly to faith and maybe close to a conversion. Are these encounters online or in person? Evangelical atheism is popular online but people are more genuine and kind in real life.

            Liked by 1 person

          • They are both. 🙂 I’ve never heard of evangelical atheism, can you define it?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Evangelical atheists are those like Richard Dawkins who go out of their way to share their “faith” and convert others as opposed to those who simply lack a belief in God.

            They are very common online but very rarely do I see them in person.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Dude that Steve F. guy above my comment spams everywhere…just sayin’

    Liked by 1 person

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