by Rick Warren — May 14, 2022
From God’s Prescription for a Healthy Life
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
Did you know that you can honor God—and benefit yourself—by managing your body well? When you make healthy choices, you’re honoring God by taking care of the body he created. And you’re also giving yourself gifts, like making it more likely that you’ll have plenty of energy, a sharp mind, a bright smile, and a strong body.
The Bible says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).
But making healthy choices isn’t always easy. This is something I’ve learned firsthand. Every happy memory from my childhood is connected to food. But every sad memory in my life also is connected to food. And so is every memory between those two extremes! Food is something I’ve often relied on to an unhealthy degree. That’s why they call me “Pasta” Rick!
Over the years, I’ve discovered three reasons why it can be difficult for you to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
You rely on willpower. Willpower is fantastic in the short term. But the entire time you’re relying on willpower to reach a healthy goal, you’re forcing yourself to do something your natural brain does not want to do. That’s why willpower alone is exhausting. You need more than simply your own energy.
You have the wrong motivation. Making a goal all about “you” isn’t enough to keep most people going. I can’t tell you how many diets I started simply because I wanted to look good, feel good, and live longer. There’s nothing wrong with those things; they are legitimate goals. But your health goals should go far deeper than that. Being in good physical shape has spiritual significance.
You try to change on your own. You weren’t made to go through life alone. You can’t just say, “One of these days, I’m going to change.” If you could change on your own, you would. But you can’t—so you won’t. You need help. You were made for community.
So, if willpower, wrong motives, and trying to change by yourself doesn’t work, what does work?
First, rely on God’s power. Whatever your weakness is, you’re probably going to struggle with it for the rest of your life. So you’re going to need more than just your own efforts and motives to reach your goals. You’ve got to plug in to God’s power. The Bible says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT).
Second, find a partner or a coach to support you and hold you accountable. At Saddleback we encourage everyone to join a small group—because you can’t commit to making healthy choices on your own. The Bible says, “Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings” (Galatians 6:2 GW).
Because God created you, he wants you to manage your body in a way that brings glory to him—and that helps bring health to you!