Your body doesn’t matter (and why that’s a lie).

I recently spent a few hours in the ER wondering if I was having a heart attack.  Two very important things happened that day.  First, I didn’t have a heart attack.  And second, I didn’t bring anyone to Christ in that ER visit.  And in my current condition, my days of bringing anyone to Christ are numbered.  If I am called to be a soldier of Christ, I had better start treating my body that that of a soldier.

We’ve all heard of the airline safety speech.  “Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help others.”  You’re no good to anyone if you’re no longer here.  We know the people around us who seem to give it all for their kids, their spouse, their co-workers and even complete strangers.  And that’s amazing.  That the life of sacrifice we’ve been called to live.  But we also know the people who are doing so at great expense to their own health.  Is this okay?  Is this God’s plan?

You can lose your life by answering your calling to rush into burning buildings or do a mission trip into the most dangerous parts of the world.  But that’s not me.  My life is at risk right now but not because of the calling I’ve received.  My life is at risk because I am 85 pounds overweight and borderline diabetic.  That’s not the way God designed my body to work.  And I’m starting to see that I can’t answer His calling if I’m not running the way He intended.

Time is the problem.  Simple as that.  I don’t have time to eat healthy so I end up in another drive through.  I don’t have time to exercise.  I don’t even have time to drink enough water in the day.  But for me, that’s all a lie.  I’ve spent more time in a drive through line than it would take me to make my own breakfast.  I’ve blogged instead of walking a few miles on the treadmill.  Here’s the real question: Can I fully answer God’s plan in my current condition?  I don’t think so.  If God thought I could fully serve him in my current condition, then he wouldn’t have designed me to operate in a healthier condition.  God doesn’t make mistakes.

This morning I am telling you that I matter.  My body matters.  My ability to stay on this planet long enough to help as many people as possible matters.  And my reasons for my current condition aren’t even real reasons.  They are lies that I have gotten very good at telling myself.  And I need, we need, to stop listening to those lies.

Our bodies were designed by a Creator who wanted us to do amazing things.  But to do those things, we need to run our bodies the way they were designed to run.  I am making a public commitment today to honor God and his design of my body by caring for it the way he intended.

Who is with me?  Whether you’re at the pillar of health and vowing to stay there, or you realize your body isn’t running the way our Creator designed it, we can all answer our call better if we equip our bodies better to take action when called upon.

We were built to be heroes.

It’s about time we started caring for ourselves like heroes.

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30 thoughts on “Your body doesn’t matter (and why that’s a lie).

    • Wow! You are in the “Way Back Machine” on that one. It’s been a while since I wrote that one, and I was worried when I saw your comment. I thought, “Man, I used to be even dumber than I am now. Who knows what I might have written way back then?!?” Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Sadly, I am drinking Diet Coke right now. I think I need to re-read my own stuff from time to time.

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  1. I spent a few hours in the ER recently too, I thought the same thing as you and found out I was just fine (except for those pesky physical symptoms)… once the truly scarey things were eliminated from the equation I was faced with taking inventory and prioritizing! My body was rebelling against stress. I need to let go of a few things, I know that now, and where better to place the worry, stress and anxiety? He’s been holding his hands out to me the whole time…

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    • I had no idea! So glad you are okay. I agree about the pesky symptoms. “You seem to be fine Mr. Voigt.” You mean except for the bizarre fluttering sensation from my heart that dominates all of my thoughts?” “Right. Other than that… you’re good to go.” So we’ve both been led to the Source. And that’s a good thing. Side note: That Amazon thing is dead. Funny story. I’ll call you about it.

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  2. Thanks for the answers I needed. For me it’s not so much about weight or health, but being so overcommitted in life and ministry that I’m dropping too many balls. That’s not the person I think is effective for God. Going to need to step down from some ministry positions so I can do a few things well.

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    • It is very hard to focus on the main thing. I have a hard time even identifying what “the main thing” is most of the time. I’m working on being better about seeking those answers in prayer. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. As someone who (sometimes) actually enjoys running – I can say that I think the Lord enjoys running too (and probably every other form of exercise). He is there when I run and we sometimes talk when we run. Even if we don’t – He is there. So go for it…. honour Him in whatever way seems right to you. But remember that He is there with you…

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  4. me says:

    Dang it, James, you got me again. And I can’t even claim ignorance because you put this insight into my mind a long time ago. At least I do drink half a gallon of water, or more, every day and I bought a bag of grapefruit yesterday instead of a package of sweet rolls, if that counts at all.

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      • me says:

        It is a start, isn’t it? And the interesting thing is that I wasn’t trying to ‘be healthy’, I was just hungry for grapefruit, and I considered it a bonus when I realized the bag of six grapefruit was a few cents cheaper than the package of rolls I didn’t pick up. A cosmic reward for making the right choice, or maybe a dash of divine humor. In any case, you did a good job of reminding me that my body is the vehicle I’ve been provided to move down the path that is mine, and it’s my job to keep it in working order so that I reach my goal according to the plan for my life.

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  5. Well said, Jim.

    I’ve been grappling with this issue for far too long and I, too, need to get my body to a shape where I can be of better use to God. I, too, am called, but I, too, would not survive too long on the mission field in the current shape I’m in.

    Diabetes and Heart Disease are both in my family, and I need to make a commitment to take control before I no longer have the choice. Another commitment to walk alongside you with healthier eating and exercise.

    Keep me in prayer, though, as this has been such a struggle for me my entire life.
    I have been healthy.
    I have been skinny.
    Before.

    I don’t know how I got back here… to this place.
    Yes, I do. Too many emotions and giving up. An, “I don’t care anymore” or “Who cares?” attitude.

    (Maybe I just found another topic to blog on… just thinking about it brings the emotions back up to the surface.)

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    • You don’t have to do all the caring yourself. I care too! It’s easy to put ourselves at the back of the bus. It feels like doing the right thing for ourselves requires setting God aside and we don’t like doing that. And that’s possible. It’s definitely easy to get so self-absorbed that there is no room for God. But the middle ground does exist. And if we’re sold on the fact that we are created for a purpose, then we need to be sold on the fact that the best tool to fulfill that purpose is the body we’ve been given. I will pray for you and we will walk alongside each other and make some disciples along the way. Good plan? 🙂

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  6. You have written what I only dare think. I like thinking. I don’t like running (as designed). Your timing and words are perfect. Sounds scary. Sounds necessary. Sounds godly. One public commitment from me to add to yours. Thank you.

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  7. Amen. Few years ago I stepped on the scale and saw 267 come up. It completely terrified me and kicked my butt into action. My wife and I went on a cleanse and I lost nearly 70 lbs. Lately, I have been struggling with the food nemesis, but this post has encouraged me to get back on track. Thanks, bro!

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