The man was about the size and shape of a refrigerator, except with extra padding in front—padding that pushed him away from the table and his food. Like the man, his food was considerable: a full Scottish breakfast (bacon, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, an egg, and toast); a bacon and egg filled bun; two bottles of Pepsi; two cappuccinos; two desserts.

It was the man’s business. It was the man’s body. It was his money. His bill for one meal was as much as ours for two. Moving seemed to be a problem for him, even though he looked like he was in his early forties. He grabbed and pushed everything he could get his hands on to haul himself out of his chair and get to his feet. When he moved forward, he limped on both legs as if his knees hurt. Some folks have medical conditions that contribute to obesity. The man was probably hungry and with a body that big, it must take food fuel to move it. Still, I thought part of his overweight problem might be the excesses; a filled bacon and egg roll on top of the full breakfast, the two desserts, two bottles of pop and two cappuccinos.

When do our excesses become someone else’s business? When do we not have a right to our own bodies and to treat them however we want?

The Biblical answer is that we do not own our bodies. God does. God created us. Then He purchased life for eternity for us through the death of His Son Jesus. We are twice owned by God. “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19.

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple are you.” 1 Corinthians 3:17.

Because sin entered the world through Adam and Eve and sin brought death into the world, we all begin the journey toward death at our births. God didn’t want this or intend this—His plan was always eternal life. That’s why our bodies have great capacity for healing. But old age and death approach as steadily as a fish being reeled in on a rod until the net slaps under it and catches it. None of us can halt the day of our death, but we can fight against the excesses that destroy our bodies, the temples of God; gluttony, alcoholism, drug use, smoking. We can’t stop the reel and escape the net—but neither should we willingly leap into it.



Proof…You Really Are What You Eat

Whoever said, “You are what you eat,” had it right. Our rough collie, Angel Joy, is a living testament.

Angel Joy developed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For nearly a year, life at our house was miserable. Angel Joy’s stomach made runaway train sounds at night. She woke me up repeatedly to take her outside because of constant diarrhea. After each trip outside, she had to be cleaned up before we went back to bed. She lost stamina and energy. Our daytime walks decreased in length. A few times I picked up the fifty-pound dog and carried her part of the way back. Every few days, I had to cook chicken and rice for her. She had pills and tube medicine to take three times a day.

Because it took so long to diagnose and the vet wasn’t completely assured that IBS was Angel Joy’s only problem, expensive and time-consuming medical procedures were planned that would require us to take her nearly 200 miles away. As a stop-gap measure, the vet put Angel Joy on a gastro intestinal dog food. For treats, she could have cooked chicken – nothing else.

Even the vet was amazed at the result. For the first time in nearly a year, we slept through the night. Angel Joy re-gained the weight she had lost and recovered the joy reflected in her name. Walks lengthened as her energy and stamina returned. Anything Angel Joy eats – other than the special diet food and cooked chicken – causes a return of IBS symptoms, even something as seemingly insignificant as one fry that drops on the floor.

There is a spiritual parallel to this. Proverbs 23:7 says that as we think in our heart, so we become. Jesus said it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person, not what goes into the mouth, because we speak from what is stored in our hearts.

The cliché, “Garbage in, garbage out,” is as true as “You are what you eat.” We become what we allow to pass through the physical gateways of our body, our eyes and ears. Whatever we read, whatever we watch on television or movies, whatever we hear – all these build us into what we become.

The Bible provides a reliable filter for spiritual health, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there in anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8.

Guarding physical and spiritual health in 2015 builds us for now and eternity.DSCF6402