The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit

By Al Earley - A Religious Point of View

Hostess Twinkies were invented in 1931 by James Dewar, manager of Continental Bakeries’ Chicago factory. He envisioned the product as a way of using the company’s thousands of shortcake pans which were otherwise employed only during the strawberry season. Originally called Little Shortcake Fingers, they were renamed Twinkie Fingers, and finally “Twinkies.”

Our food is very important to us. We love stories about food. (Admit it, you were curious where I was going when I started writing about Twinkies.) Many of our conversations are about food, where we get it, how we prepare it, and what is our favorite. It is one thing that will be very familiar to us when we get to heaven, as Jesus told numerous parables that include the heavenly banquet table. (I’m hoping my section of the heavenly banquet table has a big plate of fresh baked Krispy Kreme doughnuts on it. Since there is no death or illness in heaven they would also have to be zero calorie doughnuts!).

There is no New Year’s Resolution more common than to lose weight. This is definitely a first world problem that many people have to deal with. And it is worth dealing with because our bodies are not ours. They are given to us as a gift, and we are to take care of them so we are healthy, and better able to serve the Lord. Paul writes in I Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”

I offer some very general thoughts about having healthier bodies for you to consider. First, all problems are spiritual. If you have issues with food that makes it hard to change your diet you need to pray and seek guidance from God, or even a counselor to discern what the spiritual issues are that keep you from eating in healthy ways. Many people use food to pacify emotional problems. Unless you address the spiritual roots of those emotional problems it is highly unlikely that you will lose weight by making a resolution.

Second, give your desire to lose weight to God. Relinquish control to Him, and be willing to do the hard things God will put before you to make lifestyle changes that can result in your desired loss of weight. God wants you to be healthy, and He knows things you can’t think of without His help to bring the lifestyle changes that will result in success. Continually take your desire to God in prayer.

Third, change your resolution from losing weight to becoming healthy. Weight gain is the product of numerous bad choices that cause poor health in addition to extra weight. Further, give yourself at least as long to have success as it took you to gain the weight. I have found that there are four major areas that must be addressed to become healthy and they require a lifestyle change. These include a healthy diet, regular exercise that you can and will do, proper amounts of sleep, and proper intake of water. Neglecting any one of the four will result in a failure to become healthy.

Fourth, don’t go it alone. We Americans can be so independent that we curse so many things we could successfully do if we would work with others. It is the rare person who can change to a healthy diet without others cheering them on. There are fewer people that can stay on an exercise program by themselves. Who can you share your desire to sleep more and drink more water that you can trust to hold you accountable? It is easy to give up when no one knows you are giving up.

Are you healthy enough to do all the missions and ministries God has designed for you to do? Will that be true in 10, 20, or 50 years? Are there spiritual problems you need to address? Have you ever included God in your plan to get healthy? What changes in your lifestyle need to be made to allow you to have a strong and healthy body? Who are the people you can trust to hold you accountable in your journey to a healthy body? I pray that this next year is richly blessed with a healthier and a stronger body to serve the Lord.

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By Al Earley

A Religious Point of View

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