Many of us, though well intentioned, use bible scripture to minimize the benefits of living a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s such a shame because its when we’re healthy, energized, confident and feeling great that the light of Christ shines even brighter for others can see. It’s not vanity to focus on your body, in fact, if you don’t make time to get healthy, you’ll be forced to make time for sickness and disease and that will take a lot more time and effort on the back end.
There are 2 scriptures that can lead us into believing that we should not focus on our physical bodies:
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Tim 4:8
It’s true that both of these scripture place a higher value on our inner man; our heart; our soul but know that God also cares about our ‘outer man’ which is how the bible refers to our bodies.
Based on these two scriptures, we can be led to think that God does not cares if we’re overweight but I think if we dig deeper we can see that this in fact is not the case.
Let’s look at some of the things that we know for sure that God cares about:
- God care about whatever keeps us from fulfilling our purpose and destiny. Ephesians 2:10 tell us that, “ we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” 1. We are His workmanship— how amazing is that?! Secondly, He created us for good work yet we all know people who are so bound by their weight that they are so unhappy, they physically and emotionally are unable to walk in their anointing because their weight physically stops them. Maybe you’re that person. Be encouraged by the thought that God has prepared good works for us to do. Use this knowledge as a goal to get healthier. What has God called you to do? Are you able to do it?
- God cares about what we care about. One of my favourite scriptures is found in 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” It reminds me that God cares about everything I care about, everything that worries me and causes me anxiety. Being overweight can be all-consuming. It occupies space and time that God wants. If you’re overweight and its causing you stress and anxiety then know that God cares.
- God cares about our total health, not just our the spiritual aspects. In 1 Thes. 5:23, the apostle Paul divides human nature into three parts – spirit, soul, and body and prays to God on behalf of the converts, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let us too pray to God that all aspects of our human nature be sanctified and strengthened.
- God wants us to glorify him in our body. Our physical bodies cause us much trouble. Imagine if we did not have physical bodies. Imagine no insecurity issues, jealousy issues, gluttony issues, lust issues and the list can go on and on. Yet our Father saw it fit to give us physical bodies that would glorify Him. Our responsibility (reasonable service): keep it holy by taking care of it. In Romans 12:1, Paul addresses the crowd by stating: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Yes, He Cares
So, my answer is that God most certainly cares if we’re overweight but not in the way that we care. Not in a ‘you’re should be a size 8 not 18’ sort of way or whether we’re the right proportions or if you can fit into a pair of skinny jeans.
His care and love for us extend far beyond anything that we can comprehend. He cares because he knows that being healthy will have an impact on generations to come; He cares because he knows your outer body is a physical manifestation of what’s going on inside your mind and spirit and He want to free you of the bondage and challenges that comes with it; He cares because taking care of our health (like our finances, relationships, family and careers) are seeds that when managed well increase our capacity and prepare us for greater things to come.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.~ 3 John 3:2