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FIRST-PERSON: Are you a good steward of your health?

DALLAS (BP)–Can you honestly say, “Here am I, Lord, send me?” Think a minute before you answer. Maybe you can say, “Yes, I’m spiritually ready,” but what about physically? Do you take care of yourself in such a way that you are physically ready to do whatever God asks?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “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.”

Does your body honor God? Or does it reflect the overindulgence and laziness of this world? One of the biggest health crises in the U.S. today is obesity. It literally has become an epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two out of three American adults are overweight. Take a look at the people in almost any church in America, and you’ll see that Christians certainly are not immune to the epidemic.

As Christians, we’re supposed to be the salt and light to the world. But can the world really see a difference in us when we’re overweight and out of shape?

Because I believe I can’t be the kind of servant God wants me to be unless I take care of myself, I have committed to honor God with my body. That doesn’t mean I plan to starve myself or work out eight hours a day to get the body of a 20-year-old supermodel. What it does mean is that I carefully consider the foods I put into my body, and I make exercise a regular part of my life.

If you feel you need to improve your physical condition, ask God to help. Ask Him to reveal areas where you need to change and to give you the energy and desire to commit to that change.

Consult your doctor and partner with him or her to achieve your goals. There may be serious health problems you can improve or avoid just by making good lifestyle choices. You have the ability within yourself, with the help of God, to limit your risk for diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, strokes and many types of cancer.

God has given us the tools we need to serve Him in an effective ministry, yet many of us choose to ignore this. Can you truly say, “Here am I, Lord, send me” if you limit Him by choosing to ignore your health?
Tamara Quintana is a graduate of All Saints Episcopal Hospital School of Vocational Nursing and the director of the employee wellness program for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • Tamara Quintana