Living a Healthy Life as a Christian - Funmbi Oo - Nutrition, Diet, Health Care, Weight Loss and more

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For many years now, I have noted that when it comes to sharing Healthy living and lifestyle messages, churches and pastors were the hardest to reach. Infact, the message went over like a lead balloon. People were addicted to their ice cream suppers, barbecue cookouts and coffee socials. This was even more evident to anyone who stops by a restaurant chain or food kiosk in/around the church premises after a Sunday service. I have also been a guilty partaker of this ritual. You would see individuals or gatherings of people, who have obviously just been to church, ordering all this fat-laden food and then say, “Let’s pray together: God, bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies.” The deal is they should have prayed before they ordered, “God, help me order stuff that will glorify You!

Autumn Marshall, a nutritionist at church-affiliated Lipscomb University in Tennessee, once explained that most evangelical Christians don’t drink, smoke, curse or commit adultery. “So, what do we do?” she asked. “We eat!”

Scripture speaks especially harshly about gluttony, linking it with poverty. Gluttony can indicate excessive eating and drinking, and it does refer to a ravenous, nearly unstoppable, appetite. It is to food what greed is to material wealth, a craving that cannot be satisfied. It is usually associated with a loose and undisciplined lifestyle – disobedience, stubbornness, and rebellion (Deuteronomy 21:20). The fruits of gluttony were laziness and poverty to the glutton (Proverbs 23:21) and shame to others (Proverbs 28:7).

While the bible condemns gluttony, it just appears to be a more acceptable vice. It has been smiled upon in modern times. Though never listed on the death certificate, you would probably be amazed at how many diseases have gluttony and other nutritional excesses as a root cause.

Daniel recognized that food and drink affected nutrition and health (Daniel 1:8, 12-16), and Solomon speaks of deceitful ‘delicacies’ and warns us not to desire them (Proverbs 23:3). Many modern foods have been robbed of their vital nutrients and contain ingredients that may fill our bodies with elements that take the place of nutritious foods. The excessive use of foods high in sugar and fat takes away from the nutritional balance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which contain fiber and other nutrients for good digestion and overall health.

First and foremost, we are not to satisfy our selfish and harmful appetites but rather to use our bodies to bring glory to God as most churches have become used to satisfying their spiritual hunger with God and their growling stomachs with junks. But I am happy to say that more and more people and churches are becoming more open to the message of the body being God’s temple and our need to honor it (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). It is pretty amazing as to how quickly the body (the way God designed it) responds to regular exercise and eating correctly.

If you struggle with eating right, as a Christian, and achieving a healthy lifestyle, God’s Word has both encouragement and admonishment:

  1. Be accepting. God designed your physical make-up. Refrain from criticizing His creation (Psalm 139:13-16).
  2. Be grateful. God has given you a triumphal new nature at your conversion. You are admonished to give thanks to God who gives you victory in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57)
  3. Be careful. The bible, speaking for moderation and against gluttony, condemns over-indulgence (Proverbs 23:20-21) and promotes resisting extra helpings of rich foods that add additional inches.
  4. Be disciplined. Achieving temperance in eating will strengthen other areas of your life. Paul proclaimed that although all things were lawful for him, he refused to be brought under the power of any (1 Corinthians 6:12) because all things were not helpful to him (1 Corinthians 10:23).
  5. Be active. Regular exercise will help you to reach and maintain ideal weight. Activity also improves productivity, cardiovascular stamina, and mental alertness. The writer of Hebrews encourages believers to run with endurance (Hebrews 12:1; see also 1 Timothy 4:8).
  6. Be persistent. Just as Paul finished the race (2 Timothy 4:7), you, too, can persevere if you set a goal and move forward victoriously to achieve it.

These are major steps in the right direction for a huge portion of our population who is ripe and ready for this message. I am sure you can imagine how thrilling it is for me to see more and more pastors and churches becoming more receptive to a nutritional approach and a healthy lifestyle. May their numbers continue to grow and the message spread, until someday, in some way, the whole world would see that you don’t have to be sick or overweight!

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