There are so many benefits to eating healthier and exercising, but sometimes when we look at the world it seems as though fitness and eating healthy can also cause people to get out of balance spiritually. Just as we can unintentionally make unhealthy food an idol, we can also unintentionally make an idol of eating healthy and working out. How do we know when fitness or nutrition has become an idol and how can we take measures to prevent ourselves from falling into this particular sin? Fitness and/or Nutrition may have become an idol if...
- You don’t feel that you have time to read your Bible or spend time in prayer, but you will not miss your workout.
- If you think more about your body and your physical results than you think about your spiritual growth and maturity.
- If not having met a specific fitness or nutrition goal is keeping you from pursuing something that God has laid on your heart.
Please know that we are not passing judgment with the creation of this list, these are just a few of the things that we pray for all of us to watch out for in ourselves and each other as we are on this journey to eating healthier and working out. Here are some strategies to help you make sure that your workout and your nutrition stay in their rightful place as just a part of your everyday worship:
- Devotion time always comes before workout time (we don’t necessarily mean chronologically but rather in terms of priority), but ideally if you are in The Word first thing in the morning then it will impact your ENTIRE day.
- You are grateful for your body as is and you consider your workout as another way to appreciate the body that God has given you.
- You remind yourself during your workout that our bodies are temples of God and you intentionally think about the miracle of what our bodies can do when we put forth the effort to exercise.
- You view food as fuel and give thanks for the food that God provides.
- You don’t condemn or beat yourself up for living life and occasionally enjoying a food that some would consider a cheat, instead you just consider it to be a food that isn’t necessarily a fuel for you so you only have it on occasion. That means sometimes you eat pizza or ice cream and you don’t run to weigh yourself. You just don’t start a habit of eating it every day. The next food that you choose to eat will be a healthier option and it’s okay.
- You appreciate all of the food that God put on this earth for us. Man can only go so far with what he is able to produce in terms of food, the best stuff nutritionally and the best tasting food is what God put here on this earth for us to enjoy.
Father, God, thank You for my body. Thank You that I am able to exercise and that I have breath. Please help me to remember to focus on You first and that everything else will fall into place, including my health. Please remind me every day, that I need to lean on You in all things, including the strength and desire to workout and the will to eat healthier. I know that You will help me to accomplish these good things that I am pursuing. I know that when I take care of my body that I have a greater capacity for Joy by removing the distractions of fatigue, inflammation and other difficulties that accompany poor food choices. Father, when I experience that Joy let me always, always use it to point back to You and so that I may use every good thing in my life to bring You glory! In Jesus' name, Amen.