I’m not going to say waist size is even a top 10 issue in the ministry, but in our superficial society we can assume our personal appearance communicates a good deal about our character.
- Would you listen to a doctor who smokes in his office?
- What about a dentist with bad teeth?
- What about an expert on Christian living who lacks self-control?
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, (Titus 2:11-12, ESV)
Self-control is a bigger issue than what we eat, but a chronically overweight clergy might not be the right people to lift up the banner.
I’m saying all this from personal experience. Over the last year I’ve lost 75 pounds.
You can see the pictures above.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed about personal interactions:
- most people show more respect
- some people even admire the changes I’ve made
- young people are more ready to listen when I talk
- acquaintances around town keep asking what’s changed in my life
You can imagine the doors to Gospel impact that have opened. People are curios, even if they don’t realize that my change was deeply spiritual before physical.
I’ve also noticed a change in how I process the daily burdens of ministry.
- more energy to relate to others
- food is not my comfort after a bad day
- running alone often becomes a prayer retreat
- my best ideas for teaching come while while out jogging
- the beauty of God’s creation is often in my mind from my time spent outdoors
Let me encourage you to think this over. I’m started a running blog about my journey, if you’re serious about making some changes you should check it out.
Your comments are welcome below. I’d love to hear what you think. Should pastor’s pay more attention to their own health? Is my thinking on this issue just a matter of worldliness?