Why a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough

If you live well, eat good food and partake in physical exercise you will be healthy. Right?


I was recently with a friend who, like us, believes in healthy living. As we talked about some of our lifestyle changes he sounded a note of caution. There was something that had confused him. How could it be that friends who were extreme in their pursuit of healthy living suffered more sickness than him? It didn’t add up.

Man running

Here is the conundrum; some people live an almost obsessively healthy lifestyle yet their health does not improve, or even gets worse.

The reason is simple; probably not what you’d expect.

There are two very powerful motivating forces that can drive us. These two may result in the same action but the underlying stimuli are poles apart. You can be driven to act by fear or by faith.

Simply, fear is running away whereas faith is running towards something. Your quest for healthy living could be provoked by fear of sickness and disease and its consequences. Alternatively your lifestyle could be
prompted by the vision of a more whole version of yourself.

Chronic fear is bad for your health; it can impair the immune system, damage areas of the brain affecting emotions and decision-making. Living with ongoing fear may also result in fatigue, depression, accelerated ageing, and even early death. [1]

The Bible states that it is impossible to please God “without faith” and that “everything that does not come from faith is sin.” [2] Sin is not only living contrary to what God decrees, it is also living at odds with what is best for ourselves.

God does not want us to live in a state of fear, running scared from all the evils in the world. Rather, we should run towards all that is good and positive and ultimately to God himself – the source of all that is good, including our health and wholeness.

So what about healthy living? If your body is the temple of God [3] then it stands to reason that caring for your body and living well should be part of your act of faith-filled worship. As the Apostle Paul said, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” [4]

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  1. Pingback: The power of peace for healing | ChrisGoodchild.co.uk

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