Gary Thomas offers tips and stories about physical choices in his book, Every body matters: Strengthening your body to strengthen you soul.
Gary explains that key for us to understand is the proper motivation behind intentionally caring for our physical health.
“Taking care of my body isn’t a matter of wanting to look good or wanting to feel well, it really a matter of being a steward of a gift that has been entrusted to me by God.”
When we see our bodies as gifts to be stewarded instead of things we own, it helps us avoid idolizing our physical health while we work on it.
How our physical choices relate to our spiritual choices is not something we often consider. However, Gary points the historical perspective that bad physical choices can lead to bad spiritual choices.
Gluttony (overindulgence) and sloth (laziness) are two examples he gives. If we easily give into every desire we have for food, are we easily giving into desires we have for sin? If we are too lazy to clean our house or apartment, are we too lazy to engage in spiritual disciplines like prayer and tithing?
This is not meant to be a guilt-trip. Many do struggle with their bodies and with eating disorders.Thin does not equal holy. When we’re in Christ we are pleasing to him, no matter how we look.
For some, though, an obvious lack of physical health is symptomatic of deeper spiritual problems. We should consider how our physical health can support our spiritual health.
“How does what we feed our body, how much we feed our body and what we do with our bodies, how does that affect our soul? How does that affect our witness?”