Both are important if we truly value what God has given to us.
| by Kirk Giles
When one of my children returned home from school with a hand drawn picture of our family featuring the Michelin tire man, I knew something needed to change. I asked who the man was standing in the middle of the picture and was quickly told “that’s you, Dad.” This moment started a journey that I am still on—a journey of understanding that taking care of my health is as much a reflection of my spiritual perspective as it is my physical perspective.
- One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer; one in 11 will have lung cancer (Movember Canada)
- 24 per cent of men are considered obese (Statistics Canada)
- Mental health is a growing challenge—four out of every five suicides are committed by men (Canadian Mental Health Association)
These and other statistics remind us that we should never take our health for granted. However, we also need to look at our health for reasons that go beyond self preservation.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
John Piper describes it like this: “I want to make sure that I don’t mislead anybody that Christianity is just a set of ideas or just a way of thinking or just a way of getting the soul to heaven, when in fact it is has everything to do with your body as well as your soul. It has to do with everything your body has to do with—food and sex and sleep and talking and smiling and frowning and laughing and playing and working. When Christ paid the debt for us to go free, He paid for our body as well as our soul.”
As men, we do not often connect our spiritual life with our physical life. Yet, according to Scripture, how we care for our body is very much connected to our spiritual life.
Your ability to be a godly father, husband, worker, servant in the church, and ambassador of Christ in the community are directly connected to your physical health. Your ability to be strong and persevere in times of adversity is directly connected to what you believe in your mind about who you are in Christ.
Men who neglect their health are guilty of sin by devaluing or disrespecting the gift God has given to each of us; or worse, placing food or comfort up as idols. Worship is really the bottom line of what we are discussing in this edition of Seven. Taking care of our body in a way that shows we desire to worship God is to prepare and strengthen our body and mind for the important relationships and activities in which He has designed us to represent Him.
As you read this edition of Seven, I urge you to pray and invite God to show you the ways He wants you to move forward in glorifying God in your body.
Kirk Giles is the president of Promise Keepers Canada. However, his most important roles as a man are husband to Shannon and father to Carter, Joshua, Sydney and Samuel.
The article above is featured in the May/June 2013 issue of SEVEN magazine.