The physical body is not an enemy to righteousness. Rather, it is a servant to be tamed and then used.
To a very large extent, a person can control the following things about his body:-
- The shape of his body - whether he is smart or clumsy will depend on him.
- Size - whether he is slim and handsome or fat and clumsy will depend on him.
- Weight - whether he is normal weight or overweight will, to a large extent, be determined by him. If he eats without discipline, he will possibly be over-weight. Almost all overweight people commit the sin of gluttony. There are, however, other gluttons who do not show this in their body size.
- Muscles - whether a person’s muscles are strong or flabby will largely depend on whether or not he exercises his body.
- Teeth - whether or not his teeth are clean depends not on God but on him.
- The believer who is bent on pleasing the Lord Jesus will discipline his body. He will control:-
- what he eats
- when he eats
- what quantities he eats
- how he eats.
He will not eat what will prevent him from building the strongest physical body with which to serve the Lord. His motto will be: “Everything that enters into my mouth must be such that helps me to be the best soldier that I can be for the glory of the Lord Jesus. I will ensure that everything I eat gives me the best looks that will say, ‘This is what Jesus is like.’”
With that goal in view, he will ask himself about every food placed before him, “Will eating this food help me to be like Jesus and to look like Jesus?” If eating anything will create a bad impression of the Master he represents, he will say, “No.” When he has eaten enough, he must say, “No,” to any invitation from inside or outside to have a second helping. He must not pack excess weight on his body in order to please someone who would be offended if he did not eat. He must not commit the sin of gluttony to please anyone. How can he afford to displease God and please man? If he is overweight, he must immediately do something about it. When a man is ten or fifteen kilos overweight and condemns the person who commits the sin of immorality once, I wonder who is more to be blamed - the overweight man who commits the sin of indiscipline over food as a way of life or the person who committed one act of indiscipline over his sexual urge?
When a Christian has decided to fast, begins the fast and somewhere along the line gives up the fast because of a temptation to eat, that one is a fool who put his hands to the plough but looked back. God takes no pleasure in such fools. Hunger is largely a feeling. It will not kill. Infact, the feeling will go away when resisted.
No believer should just eat anything, anywhere and at any time. He must be conscious of what he is doing. He should eat with thanksgiving. He must seek God’s approval for all that he wants to put into the temple of God, which is his body.
All who want to represent the Lord must dress in a disciplined way. Their clothes must be clean and presentable. Their bodies must be washed and they must look serious and responsible. That believer whose teeth are not brushed, whose body has a strong body odour because of no care and whose clothes single him out as a beggar, is unlikely to be taken seriously by anyone. Many people are likely to think that whatever he has to offer cannot be more serious than his looks say he is. Some unbeliever said, “By my looks and my dressing, I must preach my gospel.” Should a believer develop a philosophy that demands less than that from him?
We know that the body can be trained to serve in any direction. If it is trained to need two meals a day, it will find that sufficient; and if it is trained to need five meals a day, it will complain when it is given only four meals any day. If it is trained to accept dirt, you can go without bathing for days, but if it is trained to be clean, it will react if a bath has not been taken for twenty-four hours.
The choice is yours, then, as to what you make your body into. If you want your body to best represent the Lord and serve the interest of the Kingdom, you will pommel it and subdue it, and so transform it into a servant. The beginning of the process will be unpleasant, but at the end it will be a useful servant to help you to accomplish great things for God. Will you do something about it?