It’s usually around this time of the year that I get serious about my diet. I become increasingly aware of the fast-approaching hot summer days, which call for an increased exposure of skin. The warm weather also means an invitation to be more active outdoors.
Unfortunately, we often leave it too late to pay attention to our health which, when neglected, can deteriorate over time. We develop unhealthy habits, which in time manifest as ailments in our bodies. But we need these bodies to carry out our purpose. I once heard a gym instructor say: "The body has no spare parts, so take care of this one." The truth is that we only get one body and it has to last us a lifetime.
Of course, over time, with age and childbirth our bodies go through major changes. When I was expecting my first child the midwife said: "Bye-bye Barbie." But Barbie is fake anyway. Why are we so obsessed with our appearance and an unnatural standard of image?
The Bible says that we are created in the image of God; that He formed us. He knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We were created on purpose for our purpose. But we seem to be preoccupied with worldly image.
While I believe in putting your best foot forward, I still maintain that it’s more important to have a healthy mind and body than to feign the perception of perfection. We should love the way God made us and do our best to take good care of ourselves, especially since the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
1 Corinthians 6:19 says: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" So then, it’s not so much how we look to the outside that matters but that our true wealth lies within.
The book of Daniel gives an account of how a young man refused to defile himself with food from the king’s table that had been offered to idols. Instead, he chose to only eat vegetables and drink water. There was concern that Daniel would not grow in strength and appearance as readily as everyone else on mere vegetables and water, but Daniel pleaded for a 10-day trial period. At the end of the 10 days it is said that he looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food of meat and wine. It would seem that the sacrifice Daniel made to honour God with his body landed him a reward far above the sacrifice.
The Bible says God gave him knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning, and Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. Not only was Daniel healthier and better nourished than those who defiled themselves, but he was also wiser. When the king talked with him, he found none equal to Daniel; he was 10 times wiser than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom, and so he entered the king’s service.
While I’m not suggesting you have to become a vegetarian, I am observing the significance of one’s diet. I’ve heard it said: "You are what you eat." But this scripture gives a whole new meaning to the term "brain food".
Now, more than ever, we’re faced with the importance of being healthy in mind and body. COVID-19 reminded us all of our need for stronger immune systems and to become more mindful of what we put in our bodies. We must cherish our bodies from the inside out and become more conscious of what we feed ourselves, rather than how we look.
Just like we put proper fuel into cars to ensure their maximum performance, let’s fuel our bodies with great nourishment and sound mind so that we can live long, healthy, and purposefully; not necessarily picture-perfect, lives.
Beloved, I pray above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
I wish you health and wealth in this season.