Diet and God

Speaking to the young Timothy, Paul wrote that “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things…” (1 Timothy 4:8).

When people look at that verse they usually see Paul’s advice to take godliness and spiritual training seriously. And that’s good.

But that isn’t ALL he says. He also says that “physical training IS OF SOME VALUE.”

That means it does in fact have value. As I’ve said before, physical health is a spiritual matter. The reason for this is not only because God has made us, but because followers of Jesus are temples of the Holy Spirit to praise and serve him in this world (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20).

I’m not suggesting everyone needs to be able to run a marathon or lift double their weight at the gym. But paying attention to your physical well-being impacts your wellness, and therefore, your capacity to serve God.

So today I’d like to suggest one thing which is a component of physical well-being… and it might hurt a bit. It’s something I’ve seen quoted several different places so I’m not sure who said it first. And some of you might really dislike me for saying it! But here it goes anyway:

You can’t out exercise a bad diet.”

To be honest, I don’t like that statement. I don’t like it because I wish I COULD out exercise a bad diet. I like snacks and chips and chocolate! After 9pm my self-control dies a quick death and I want to head for the fridge!

But I also know it’s true. I’ve personally seen the benefits this past month as I’ve radically changed my eating and snacking habits. I’m not perfect; and I still like to indulge once in a while. But it’s no longer the regular habit it used to be.

The good news is that (a) I physically feel better, (b) I feel less guilty about what I’m putting into my body, and (c) I’m being more proactive about my wellness so I can serve God and others with greater strength.

You can’t out exercise a bad diet.”

By Matthew Ruttan

Click here to see a 17-second video about what I’ll be preaching on this Sunday at Westminster.
—“Up!” is published 5 days a week and returns on January 28.
—Bible quotes are from the New International Version.

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