Want to exercise but can’t seem to make the time?
Or maybe you can’t justify the expense and effort to eat healthier foods, then make the time to prepare them?
For many of us, we truly desire to be in better health, but when the rubber meets the road, it’s hard to do what it actually takes to see the results we want.
There’s a powerful story in the Bible that can teach us about commitment to our health and how I believe God wants us to live in this area of our lives. It’s the story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12:41-44.
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.'”
So what does this have to do with my health, you may be asking?
As Christians, we know that God owns everything and has called us to steward them—our finances, our gifts, our health, they all belong to him. But he has called us to be representatives of it all—stewarding it in a way that is responsible.
In the same way that scripture tells us that our bodies are not our own, they belong to God, we have a responsibility to care for them.
“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
So, let’s go back to the widow’s mite.
Jesus’ principle here teaches us a few things about how God wants us to steward everything in our possession.
1. Steward with trust
Whether it’s 10 pounds, 100 pounds, or 300 pounds we want to release, God wants us to trust HIM to meet ALL our needs just like the widow trusted by giving ALL she had. There was no Plan B for her and there was no opportunity to take matters into her own hands if things did not work out as she hoped. She did not keep one mite and give the other—she gave it. She trusted God 100%!
Can you say the same for you on your health journey? Are you giving all you have, or are you holding back? Do you really trust God to help you achieve a healthy weight, or do you keep taking matters into your own hands. Do you keep jumping from diet to diet and program to program, or are you submitting this journey to Him and listening for how He is leading and guiding you? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself these questions.
We know that Jesus was pleased with her offering because she gave all she had. She did not hold back. And, we can believe that He will also be pleased with us when we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to him.
2. Steward with the right spirit
In the story of the widow’s mite, we learn that the spirit of giving, or of anything else, determines the value of the gift more than the amount. Her two mites were of more value than all those who gave out of abundance.
God does not call us to do anything begrudgingly or conversely from a place of vanity like the other rich givers. He calls us to glorify Him in our body. He calls us to give from a place of sacrifice and worship.
So ask yourself, when you think about exercise and healthy eating, what is your predominant thought? Too hard? Too painful? It’s deprivation? No time? Is it to weigh a certain number on the scale or to have the perfect body? The fact of the matter is, that the manner in which you portray healthy habits in your mind, will also determine your level of success or failure.
If you envision healthy habits as painful or as a means to fix other problems in your life, you won’t stick with them very long. If you envision them as a form of worship or sacrifice to God—a way to glorify God in your body long term blessing in your life—you will be more likely to stick with them, even when the going gets tough.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1 NIV
3. Steward with the right thinking
The widow gave from where she was at. She gave what she had. She did not wait until her circumstances changed before she gave. She opposed the faulty mindset that says, “I’ll give when I have more.”
Too often we say, “I’ll start my exercise program when I have more time; when I have more money; when my life finally settles down.” The problem with this thinking is that it’s always in the future and we keep putting it off. The next thing you know, 10 years have passed and we wonder where the time went and where all the excess weight came from. It also puts you in the driver’s seat and does not allow you to rely on God to meet your needs.
There will never be a perfect time to start, so if this is your mindset then it’s time to change. Today is a good day to start, regardless of how much time or how much money you have. You can always do something. And you can be confident that God will bless those small steps. Whatever we give sacrificially to God, we can be assured that He sees it and is pleased, just as He was with the widow.
For today, reflect on your stewardship of your body. Where do you need to make some adjustments? Check your trust, your spirit, and your thinking. Place your trust in God and ask Him to guide you towards a lifestyle of worship and sacrifice. Ask him to help you become more like the widow. Just start from where you are right now.
Yours in Health,