Life after Lent?

2 04 2013
Chelsea Butters-Wooding

Chelsea Butters-Wooding

March and April can be interesting months for people trying to make health behavior changes. For many, the excitement of making New Year’s Resolutions has worn off. However, March brings the tradition of Lent, where people choose to “fast,” or remove foods or pleasures from their lives in recognition of Jesus’ fast in the wilderness that lasted 40 days (Matthew 4:1-2). This time of year can renew motivation for making healthy changes. In fact, some of the most common sacrifices people make for lent include giving up alcohol, sweets, smoking, and fast food. But what about after Easter? What if you continue looking to faith for strength in making healthy choices?

There are a number of different verses in the Bible that relate to health and wellness. Even more verses talk about finding motivation, strength, and courage through faith. First and foremost, it is important to recognize that God loves us. As it says in Psalm 139, God created us wonderfully and thinks about us constantly. Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39), and from that unconditional love we can find strength to make change. When talking specifically about living a healthy life, the Bible talks about our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit, and that we should glorify God in our body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Christians are called to do everything to the glory of God, including what we eat and drink (1 Corinthians 10:31). In other words, we can look at exercise and eating healthy as a way to worship God!

Making healthy choices is not always easy. However, we can rest assured that God is there with us to help us make better choices if we lean on Him for strength. The Bible talks about God’s hand guiding us, that He is always with us, and that his strength will support us (Psalm 139: 10, 18b). In fact, the Bible says that we can do “all things through Him who strengthens” us (Philippians 4:13). Ultimately, if we ask, God will strengthen and support us (Isaiah 41:10).

So what does this all mean with regards to healthy changes you are making? We all face temptation. We all face times that are harder than others to stay “on track.” For Christians, there are a few unique tools to turn to when things get a bit more challenging.

  1. In moments of temptation, pray. When we pray, we can pray for anything from success (Psalm 118:25), to peace (Psalm 122:6), to healing (James 5:13-14). When we pray and ask for something, we are told that it will be given if we believe (Matthew 7:7, 21:22). God blatantly says that when we ask things in His name, He will do it (John 14:13-14). Praying is not only a source of strength and peace, it is also a moment for us to switch our focus to the positive as we give thanks to God for all that we have and all that He does.
  2. If you are having trouble eating when bored, try pulling out your Bible or looking up verses online to keep you busy. The Bible is a source of endurance and encouragement that provides hope (Romans 15:4), and can be a proverbial light to a dark path (Psalm 119:105). In fact, Scripture is said to be a form of sustenance for man, similar to food (Matthew 4:4). In moments where your motivation might be waning, grab the Bible, open to your favorite chapter or verse, and find some strength from reading God’s Word!
  3. Find motivation from the love and support God provides. God’s love for us is unconditional. He sees when we mess up, love us regardless, and can give us the strength to do something different. We do not have to carry the burden ourselves, God is there alongside us to help and strengthen us. If you feel as though you are struggling trying healthy behaviors on your own, looking to God for some extra support to keep pushing through.

We are not perfect, but according to the Bible God is perfect, and He can provide us unending strength and motivation when we feel we can’t do it on our own. In the program we are all about finding skills that work for you … Why not give faith a chance, and see how God might be able to lend a hand?

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One response

11 04 2013
Amy

This was wonderful! I’m so happy I came across this. Thank you Chelsea!

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