God’s Glory and Our Benefit
by Nettye Johnson
n the realm of health and wellness, we live in confusing times. God has enabled humanity with knowledge and medical advances to control diseases and extend life. Understanding of the human body is unprecedented, yet for the first time in modern history, the life expectancy of our children is shorter than preceding generations. This reduction of life is not related to increases in crime, drugs, pollution or global warming. The cause is obesity. Sixty-nine percent of adults in this country are overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven of the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the United States have weight-related factors. As a people, we are increasingly sedentary, overfed and undernourished. Millions are dying or living with decreased energy, activity and health, due to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disorders, stroke and other chronic conditions. At the root of much of this suffering is a severe case of fork and couch. Let’s look close to home. In 2015, Louisiana had the 4th highest rate of obesity in the nation, and new data from Gallup-Healthways ranked Baton Rouge as the most obese city in America.
APRIL 2016 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine
A look at the church pew population is shocking. A Pawtucket Heart Health Program study found people who attend church are more likely to be 20 percent overweight and have higher blood pressure and cholesterol numbers than individuals who do not attend church. This should not be. We are connected to the creator and the church is meant to be an active agent for help and healing. Poor physical condition limits this important work. A change must come. Our bodies are important to God. He knit them together in our mother’s womb. These fearfully and wonderfully made creations are earthly homes for our soul, and temples for the Holy Spirit. God cares about our bodies, and He desires that we be in good health. We should care and desire the same (Psalm 139:13, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 3 John 2). Unfortunately, many see weight gain as an inevitability of our culture. Others connect steps to healthy living with the superficiality of vanity. Both views are untrue. Healthy weight management is connected to deeper issues of life, quality of life and good stewardship.
If you need and want to do better with your weight and health, jumpstart the process with these three steps:
1. Make it a God thing In the Body of Christ, poor nutrition and overeating is an accepted and protected vice. Daily, eating choices follow the desires of the flesh. We don’t consult the Holy Spirit and keep God on the periphery – until sickness comes. Then we fervently call on the Lord in prayer to “fix it.” Consider the common grace uttered before meals. Many ask God to “bless the food we are about to receive for the nourishment of our bodies,” then proceed to feed on items with little to no nutrition. Imagine the change if instead of asking God to bless the food we choose, we sought guidance and blessed God with our food choices. Positive change comes when we align our actions (eating, activity — all we do) for the glory of God.
2. Get a Health Team and a Health Plan Without knowledge people perish and knowledge of self is critical to health and wellness. Routine body measurements, laboratory tests, screenings and risk assessment make