I’ve been praying. A lot. And I don’t mean about the things I normally pray about. I’ve been praying about my efforts in the field of nutrition. See, here’s my concern: There’s absolutely no point in having an incredibly long, vital, and healthy life on this earth only to die and spend eternity in hell because we didn’t accept the gift of eternal life in heaven given to us by Jesus Christ. So I began wondering if all the efforts towards a healthy lifestyle are worth it. For two reasons:
1. The most important thing in this time on earth for each one of us is that we fulfill God’s purpose for our lives, which is knowing Him and helping others to do the same; and
2. In numerous places, the Bible tells us that trials and sufferings develop perseverance, faith, and character in us. So is having a chronic disease like cancer or diabetes really a bad thing in the scope of eternity?
These two thoughts prompted a lot of heart analysis on my part through prayer. And in a very real and obvious way, God responded by saying, “There are enough things in this world to give us trials and sufferings without us inflicting them upon ourselves.” Proverbs 22:3 says, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
So it really comes down to this: Do you believe the studies that show cancers, diabetes, obesity, and many other health problems are self-inflicted? If so, I believe you will (if you haven’t already) make efforts to be prudent about them.
Now I know there are many, many things in this world that are unforeseeable. I’ve heard of many situations in which parents who have led their children on a very healthy lifestyle have lost a child to an accident or unpreventable disease. These things happen. A lot. That is the #1 reason why we don’t need self-inflicted consequences on top of all that.
When we work towards a healthy lifestyle, we must not do it in a manner that believes we can control our future. The Bible says “Every day of my life was recorded in your book,” (Psalm 139:16) and also “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
We must do it in a way that shows worship and reverence to God for the precious life He’s given us here. It is also a lifestyle of self-control for which God is the only leader of our lives, not food and/or addictions. After that, whatever happens is up to God. But at least our consciences will be clear in times of trouble and we will not be living a life that is reckless and self-destructive. How can that bring honor and glory to God?!
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2