We pray at the church altar to slay a number of sins. Afterward, we return to our seats like victorious conquerors. But in all of our praising and shouting “Hallelujah,” one sin in the Body of Christ continues to punch us in the gut: gluttony.
“When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies for that food is deceptive.” (Proverbs 23:1-3)
Fried, high fat, high sodium, sugar and preservative-laden foods, the American diet has overfed and undernourished us. We’ve made it fashionable to be large but we’re hardly in charge. Adult and child obesity rates continue to rise with significant health consequences. While we need not be Skinny Minnie, a lack of self-control and unhealthy eating has enslaved many in the Body of Christ to compromised health, hospital beds and pillboxes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. We’re losing this battle by the mouthful.
Though our earthly vessels were not created to last forever, let’s not hasten to the grave. In addition, carrying out God’s call on our lives will prove difficult if our health is compromised. For this reason, Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to “lay aside every weight…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
Could you run the race with endurance in your current health state? If not, here are at least four suggestions to begin restoring your health and bring glory to God:
- Detox. Toxic Relief, a book written by Christian physician, Don Colbert, M.D., contains natural recommendations to rid our bodies of toxins found in food and the environment. Colbert explains that a buildup of toxins overwhelms our vital organs and causes an array of distressing symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, anxiety, emotional disorders, hormonal imbalances, cancers, heart disease and more. Colbert provides processes for deep-cleansing our body’s filter (the liver) to restore our energy, reclaim health and shed toxic fat. I’ve benefited from Colbert’s recommendations and highly encourage you to read his book.
- Fast. Why should we deny ourselves the food we enjoy? In addition to giving our digestive system a rest, fasting places us in God’s presence and builds godly character—particularly self-control. Fasting helps subdue fleshly appetites as we submit to God’s will. Humility through fasting shifts our focus from pleasures, concerns and demands on our lives to God and His priorities.
- Lighten up, don’t overeat. Similar to a sluggish computer overloaded with junk, overeating and eating unhealthy foods places an enormous strain on our digestive tract. Many make meat the main feature and vegetables as the side dish. We achieve better outcomes by eating smaller portions and consuming water soluble fiber foods (foods that dissolve in water) as the main course. Some examples include avocados, bananas, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. (Tip: use the slow-cook or old fashioned oatmeal instead of instant oatmeal. In the processing of instant oatmeal, the hull is removed which spikes blood sugar once consumed)
- Exercise and develop a personal plan. “Everyone should find an eating and workout plan that works well personally for them,” says fitness trainer and Kansas tennis coach, Bryan C. Hayes. “Everyone’s body responds differently to food and workouts. Be wary of fad diets and quick fix workouts. Instead, make what you’re doing a lifestyle.”
Our body is the temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells. If you’ve begun restoring your health, hat’s off to you and keep going. If not, start now. I love you. I want you here and healthy. I want you to run your race with endurance. Satan delights in wrecking our lives. Don’t give him the ammunition.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17)