The following are excerpts from Common Sense Biblical Approach to Health and Fitness.
The Bible strongly correlates obedience to God’s commandments and longer life:
The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened .
1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
It’s remarkable how many Biblical principles affect health and longer life expectancy, like the need to work, being content, and not worrying. Take for instance the verse from Proverbs 17:22 that reads:
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Research shows that laughter does the heart good, by expanding the linings of blood vessels and boosting blood flow.
In one study presented to the American Heart Association researchers found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in various situations when compared to people of the same age who did not have heart disease. Part of the study asked participants questions like what you would do if someone spilled a drink on you. If the answer is laugh, or find it amusing, then you answered correctly on the side of health. People that find humor in situations, instead of finding reasons to fly off the handle, are less likely to have heart disease. So, here we find yet another correlation to Biblical principles like patience, being slow to anger, and not worrying. Further proof that, as the Bible teaches us, a merry heart is like medicine, thus, the opposite must be true for anger.
Mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead build-up in the coronary arteries, which can ultimately cause a heart attack.
The Bible doesn’t teach us that we should never get angry. It teaches us to be slow to anger. Many times the Bible says God was angry at sin, but it also says in Psalm 145:8:
There are many other sins that correlate to out health as well, but the Bible also addresses health issues directly as well.
Did you know overeating is a sin? I once heard Adrian Rogers mention in one of his sermons entitled, “Healing of Body, Soul & Mind,” that Baptists laugh at overeating, not realizing it’s a sin just as much as drinking and smoking.
Rogers said Dwight L. Moody, evangelist and founder of the Moody Bible Institute, once said he was asked to pray for a preacher friend of his that was sick, but he refused saying he would not do it because the preacher ate everything in sight. Moody said, “Why should I pray for God to cancel out what he’s done to his body ‘til he repents.”
Now I’m not saying I believe we shouldn’t pray for somebody who gets sick. I only mention Moody’s position to illustrate a point. We have to take responsibility for what we do to our bodies. We can’t eat processed junk food poison and sit all day long without expecting to see some form of negative consequence to our body. Junk food leads to gluttony simply because the more sugar we eat, the more our bodies crave in order to get the same level of satisfaction the next time we eat. Sugar is like an addictive drug.
Adrian Rogers humorously said, “We live off of half of what we eat, and the doctor lives off the other half”. He mentions Proverbs 23:2, which says, if you’re a man given to gluttony, put a knife to your throat.
1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: 2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
Now whether or not the Bible is specifically speaking to over eating alone in the above passage, I’m honestly not sure, as the mention of the ruler could have something to do with the particular situation, but there are other verses in the Bible seem much more clear cut in my opinion. For instance, Deuteronomy puts the drunkard, rebel, and the glutton in the same context.
And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
And, further on in Proverbs 23, the drunkard and glutton are put in the same context.
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
Apparently, riotous men can be translated into the word “gluttons” if you compare to the New American Standard version which changes “companion of riotous men,” shown in the King James Version, to “companion of gluttons”.
When you also consider how many times fasting is mentioned in the Bible, you have to come to the conclusion that food is something that may be enjoyed, but shouldn’t control us. Self-control and putting God before everything else, including food, is something I think it’s safe to say the Bible teaches us.
The next couple of verses illustrate how the Bible depicts someone negatively that makes their belly God in their life.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
This next verse has been used for years by preachers illustrating why we shouldn’t smoke, but, if it can be used for smoking, then it seems logical that it could also be used to warn us not to put harmful foods into our bodies as well.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
The craving for food got the children of Israel in trouble:
17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. 18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. 19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? 20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out , and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? 21 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; 22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: 23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
Again, this is just another example showing that the Bible teaches us that we can be guilty of putting our food cravings above God.
Now we have to assume that God would not have us to hurt ourselves on purpose. So, doesn’t it proceed logically that we are going against the will of God when we put food to our mouths that we know is not healthy or when we put too much food to our mouth making it harmful to our bodies?
Obviously, God wants us to enjoy life. He gave us everything in nature, including sunshine that provides vitamin D, and good tasty natural food that is healthy for us if we’d just eat it. I think if you monitor your weight on a regular basis you can tell really quickly whether or not you are relying on food a little too much in your life.
Eat in moderation. God gives us good sweet stuff like honey to eat, but warns us against over indulging with it.
16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
1 Corinthians 10:31
31 Whether therefore ye eat , or drink , or whatsoever ye do , do all to the glory of God.