“I have been bought with a price and I belong to God. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. “~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
When I ask myself if God cares if I’m fit, this verse makes me think that maybe He does.
I was in a downward spiral; becoming a fat, sloppy shadow of the person I once was. I had spent my entire life tiptoeing on eggshells to appease the alcoholics in my life. I was co-dependent, believed every mean spirited word that was thrown at me, and my only friend was food. And that wasn’t even a good friendship. I was fat because I was unhappy and I was unhappy because I was fat.
One day I woke with a determination to find the person I had once known. She was inside me somewhere, buried beneath the Boston cream donuts and macaroni and cheese. But there was one problem. I didn’t feel I was worthy.
Who was I to deserve being strong and healthy? Who was I to deserve being able to take time away from my family to work out? Who was I to deprive my daughter by not allowing foods that were my weakness into the house? Who was I to deserve having a voice or being happy?
I was nobody. So I did nothing.
Then one day it dawned on me. My body was a thoughtfully crafted, one of a kind, handmade gift, created just for me by God. Each idiosyncrasy shaped with care, each strength and weakness laid with purpose. My body was a precious gift, and I was trashing it. It was just as if I took the scarf my mother knit for me before passing away, and trampled it into the dirt, tearing the threads, destroying its beauty, disrespecting my mother with each grinding of my heel.
By disrespecting my body, I was disrespecting God. Suddenly taking care of the gift He gave me – my body – mattered. It wasn’t me I was tarnishing, but Him.
But, does God care if I am fit?
God never looks in my mirror and wishes I was someone else. He loves me no matter what. He loves me no more when I am strong and healthy than He did when I was overweight, diseased, and unhappy. His love never fails.
But my love did. I had failed my daughter by not being a good example of health. I had failed myself by letting others determine my worth. And I had failed God by letting my life become too dark to let His light shine through it. By learning to respect my body – the Gift God gave to me – I learned to respect myself too, and found greater strength in my relationship with Christ along the way. This new way of thinking is what inspired me to change my lifestyle, develop a healthy mindset, and create Strength for the Journey; Forging Faith and Fitness on facebook because I believe that God wants us to be fit.
Now, each day before I rise from bed, I offer a simple prayer: “Dear God, let me honor you with respect by caring for this temple and keeping it from disrepair. Let me strengthen its foundation to withstand all storms. Let me allow your light to shine through the windows of my soul. Let all know who I serve through my kindness and love. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Do you think God cares if you’re healthy and fit? Do you ever feel guilty when you buy healthy foods for your family instead of junk food or when you take time to work out?
After Melinda Patton’s daughter moved away to college, she decided she had no more excuses keeping her from being in shape. Three years and 55 pounds ago she began a journey to become spiritually and physically strong and in the process discovered her passion and purpose in forging faith and fitness. She is now studying for her Personal Training certification and manages a facebook page called Strength for the Journey; Forging Faith and Fitness. Through her page, she encourages and empowers others to create strong and healthy bodies for Christ.
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