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Friday, August 1, 2008

Stewardship

As Christians, we frequently hear the term "stewardship," usually in reference to money. I can't count the number of times I've heard a sermon on stewardship where the gist was the acknowledgment that everything we have is ultimately God's and that we should take care to use it wisely and for His glory -- and also always tithe to return a small portion back to Him. On a few occasions I have heard a preacher use the term stewardship when referring to our Christian responsibility for showing some care and respect for the beautiful planet God created for us. Never once, however, have I heard a preacher talk about stewardship in regards to how we care for our own bodies. Maybe it's because very few of the preachers I have ever known actually take good care of themselves. (I suppose, it would seem a tad bit hypocritical for a man of rather substantial girth to be touting the virtues of nutritious food and regular exercise...)

It is not my intention is to be critical or judgmental of others who do not take their health as seriously as I do. It's just that if we are called to serve God and our fellow man, doesn't it make sense that we should take care of ourselves so that we are strong, healthy and able to fulfill His calling? While I have yet to find Scriptural foundation for it, I can't help but think that the Jewish food laws were intended to protect the health of God's chosen people. And yes, I know we are not required to adhere to those laws now, but I do believe they had a purpose.

I believe God created amazingly beautiful and complex bodies for us that are composed of many interdependent and intricate systems. We are indeed "fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:14) Personally, I cannot see how anyone can deny the handiwork of our Creator and choose instead to believe that humans and all of the vast array of living things on this planet came about through happenstance. It is because I have such awe and reverence for His highest creation (human beings), that I believe it is our duty to care for the bodies He has made for us. In addition, I believe He has provided for us everything we need to nourish and maintain these amazing bodies.

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