A Personal Appeal to My Christian Ministry Colleagues: Please Guard Your Health!
As a fellow leader in the Body, I understand the constant pressure you are under. I do not want to add to that pressure. I also understand the amount of negative judgment you have to deal with. I am not here to judge or criticize. Instead, as a co-worker in the Lord, I want to make an appeal to you. Please take care of your health. We need you on the front lines.
As many of you know, by God’s amazing grace, I made a radical lifestyle change on August 24, 2014, breaking a 59 year habit of unhealthy eating. Yes, the same person who was a lifelong chocoholic, eating Oreos for breakfast as a boy, and who often had pizza every day of the week as an adult, is now a poster boy for healthy eating.
Feeling Younger Every Year
It is an ongoing miracle of grace, as the Lord has helped me to stay disciplined, eating only healthy foods, without exception, regardless of where I’m traveling. Or who I’m with. Or what the occasion is.
The benefits are hard to put into words.
Without exaggeration, I can say that I’m feeling younger every year that I get older, and my overall health is off the charts.
I’m not just talking about excellent cholesterol and blood pressure levels. I’m talking about not having a single headache in more than 5 ½ years. (I used to have several headaches a week.)
I’m talking about no more sleep apnea (which means no more breathing machine to travel with).
I’m talking about much more energy and a much stronger immune system. And so much more.
That’s why I’m making this appeal to each of you.
We Need You to Be a Good Steward
We need you to be strong and healthy and running your race. We need you vibrant and sharp. We need you full of life.
Your family needs you. Your congregations and ministries and organizations need you. And the world needs you too.
Will you be a good steward over your body? Will you guard the gift of health?
Of course, there are many things that are out of our hands.
There are sicknesses and diseases that are beyond our control. And none of us are exempt from accidents or calamities. Our lives are truly in God’s hands, and some of you are demonstrating your spirituality and faith by glorifying Him in the midst of sickness and pain.
But there are many things that are up to us, and we are called to be good stewards of everything the Lord entrusts to us. Few things are more important than our health.
Reason One: Thriving and Strong
You might ask, “Why write this article now? I’m glad you’re doing well, but it’s not like you just celebrated some special anniversary. Why the strong appeal today?”
Well, there are two main factors that prompted me to write.
First, I just traveled to Australia and back, with roughly 100 hours of roundtrip travel and only 72 hours on the ground to minister. (This was due to some flight cancellations and visa delays, making for some lengthy and convoluted travel routes.)
What this meant was that it was roughly 50 hours from leaving my house to arriving at my destination in Brisbane. Then, I had to speak within two hours of my arrival.
I was then home for less than 72 busy hours before leaving for Chicago for ministry, then Atlanta, then New York City. (This is not my ideal schedule; it just “happened” due to some scheduling errors.)
Time zones varied by up to 16 hours. Temperatures varied greatly. The speaking schedule was full. Yet I have been thriving and strong in the midst of it, just days short of my 65th birthday.
I am quite sure that, without my healthy eating regimen, which, again, I attribute wholly to God’s mercy and grace, I would be exhausted, sick, or flat on my back.
Others notice it too, always asking me about how I eat and live. I give all the glory to the Lord.
Yet so many of us suffer from self-inflicted conditions, conditions that would disappear totally with a healthy eating regimen. Yes, many serious illnesses can be totally reversed.
And, since we are purchased by the Lord and He owns us (including our bodies), shouldn’t we make every effort to steward our physical temples? Isn’t this part of how we glorify the Lord? Isn’t self-control a fruit of the Spirit?
If I sound condescending or condemning, please forgive me. That is the opposite of what I intend. Instead, take this as a divine invitation to vibrant health and living. It is so absolutely worth it.
Whatever carnal pleasures you might have to sacrifice by giving up your favorite indulgences will be massively outweighed by the joyful abundance of healthy living.
Reason Two: A Strong Immune System Fights Coronavirus
The second reason I’m writing this article is that my travel route took me through Hong Kong, and concerns about the coronavirus were everywhere. (See my recent article for more on this.)
A strong immune system is our greatest line of defense against this kind of flu (or even the common flu virus), which could literally mean the difference between life and death. At times like this, we benefit greatly from a healthy lifestyle.
Again, our lives are in God’s hands, and I do not boast about tomorrow. Instead, as a recipient of the Lord’s transforming mercy, I commend that same mercy to you.
May you be blessed with discipline, self-control, and thriving health, running your race so as to win and finishing well.
I’m cheering you on!
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Jezebel’s War With America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.