I have always considered myself quite fit and healthy. That was until a few weeks ago when I went to the doctor. He did a pretty routine checkup and then said to me words I will never for get. He said:

“Hans, if you keep eating like you are and not exercising you will be morbidly obese by the time you are 55! You don’t want to be a dead pastor at 55 do you?”

Well, to say the least, these words  shocked me into action. I now go to the gym three times a week and have started out on a diet. I have already seen results and my energy has increased dramatically.

Pastors have a lot on their plate. We have sermons to write, leaders to train, people to visit, our families to tend to and so many other things to do. Our schedule means that taking care of ourselves is put way down our priority list. So a lot of us eat badly because bad food is quick and we don’t exercise because we don’t have the time.

This kind of living poses two theological problems:

1.  Stewardship: God Has given us two things that are extremely precious. Firstly time and secondly our bodies. How we use our bodies affects how we use our time. If we eat well and are fit we will use our time more effectively because we will have more energy. So whether or not we exercise or eat well becomes a stewardship issue. Are we stewarding the resources of time and our physical bodies that God has given us well?

2. Character: Character is doing the right thing at the right time no matter what it costs and no matter what we feel like. If we are not exercising or eating well it says something about us as individuals. It says that we are lazy when it comes to the important but not urgent things in life. This is theological because it is God who calls leaders to have great character (1 Timothy 3).

What changes do you have to make in these areas?

  • Have you ever thought about planning out what you will eat for a week and sticking to it? So much of the time we eat junk because it is convenient.
  • Have you put times in your diary where you are going to drop everything and exercise? If you have do you keep them?
  • Have you got someone holding you accountable to your eating and exercising?

Brothers and sisters, God has given us one body and one life. Let’s steward these resources well.

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