Dwight Fletcher | YOLO: Physical life - Part 2
We can all agree that to stay as healthy as possible we have to actively participate in our own care. Last week we began exploring what God says about physical life in relation to the 'you only live once' - YOLO - pop culture. We discussed that many Jamaicans have adopted a very nonchalant attitude toward the health of our bodies and make statements like "we're all going to die anyway, so why does it matter how."
In fact, the Ministry of Health says that Jamaicans are not maintaining healthy lifestyles through daily physical activity or good nutrition. So, in response to this, they have created the 'Jamaica Moves' campaign recognising the urgent need to change this norm.
To enjoy the abundant life that God has planned for us, we have to consider what we eat and stay active through physical exercise. We have to be active participants in our own care. Last week we started looking at physical disciplines to help us live a healthier life such as, looking at what we eat and staying active - exercising regularly.
Today we continue to look at some other ways to achieve this.
1. TAKE TIME TO REST
One of the biggest causes of deteriorating health is that we overwork our bodies without taking the necessary rest. We need time off to rest and be restored. In the Bible, God commands us to set aside one day of the week to rest from our normal work and to focus on Him. And the Bible calls it a Sabbath day. Jesus said it this way: "… the Sabbath was made to benefit man, and not man to benefit the Sabbath. 28 And I, the Messiah, have authority even to decide what men can do on Sabbath days!" Mark 2:27-28 TLB.
How does taking a Sabbath day, a day set apart from work, benefit me?
a. It benefits us by giving us some rest.
b. The Sabbath is about focusing our attention on God. We need a day set apart so that we are off from all of the distractions that turn our focus from God.
The next physical discipline that honours God is:
2. COMMIT TO SEXUAL PURITY
Most of us have probably never thought of sexual purity as a part of physical care, but our bodies belong to God and honouring God with our sex life is a very important part of physical care.
In God's eyes, sex isn't bad. It's not dirty. However, when we step outside of His plan for our sex lives we get hurt and we sin against Him. 1 Corinthians 6:13 TLB says it this way, "… sexual sin is never right: our bodies were not made for that but for the Lord, and the Lord wants to fill our bodies with Himself." Sex, outside of God's prescribed way not only hurts our physical bodies, but hurts our relationship with other people and greatest of all it hurts our relationship and our closeness with God.
Every sexual act is a giving away of yourself … male and female. When we have sex with someone we weld our souls to theirs. God created sex to make a strong, powerful bond that creates healthy, stable families into which children are welcomed. "…don't you know that if a man joins himself to a prostitute she becomes a part of him and he becomes a part of her? For God tells us in the Scripture that in his sight the two become one person." 1 Corinthians 6:16 NLT.
Then we need to:
3. DEVELOP A GODLY SELF IMAGE
In our culture, we put way too much emphasis on how we look and what others think about us. We are either wilting under the pressures of 'fat-shaming' commentary or seeking to get healthy to look 'good' for the daily 'selfie'. So, under a carefully layered coating of makeup, synthetic hair and waist trainers, brawny weight lifters' shoulders and pectorals, we hide our true beauty. But, God created human beauty in many different forms that find their genesis in his glorious image. As Genesis 1:27 NLT says, "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
The only way to overcome a poor self-image is to develop a Godly self-image. Your identity and view of yourself is not based on what the world expects you to be, but on how God sees you. God determines the standard of beauty, not Cosmopolitan or GQ, and He says that you are "... wonderfully made..." Psalm 139:14 NIV. God carefully and meticulously created you with tremendous potential. He was intentional in putting you together for the purpose that he planned because He loves you.
I know that we all struggle in one or more of these areas - eating right, exercising, resting well, maintaining sexual purity or having a Godly self-image. So, consider what area you are most challenged in and seek to improve it. Make a decision this week and take time to write down what you plan to do so that you better honour God with your body, and, are able to do and enjoy all that he has purposed for you.