A pulpit and pew study of 2,500 clergy found that 76% were overweight or obese. I’ve heard many pastors preach that their lips have never tasted alcohol, but I’ve also noticed many of their feet have never touched a treadmill.
In my younger years, I played a lot of basketball and ate whatever I wanted without gaining weight. When I worked out, it was strictly for vanity purposes. Today, my focused has changed from working out for vanity purposes to working out for energy.
Around my junior year at college, I realized I was packing on some extra pounds. And it only got worse after I graduated. A few months after I was married, my pants were tting tight … and this was before the days of skinny jeans. I went to the mall to buy some new pants and discovered that the pants in the next waist size up were also tight. I had gone up not one, but two waist sizes.
I’ve now been married 18 years and since that tight-jeans moment I have lost over 100 lbs. But, it was a seesaw battle. I would lose 20 lbs and then gain 25 lbs, lose 20 lbs again and then gain 30 lbs. I was stuck in a pattern of gaining the weight back and usually a little more. It wasn’t until I understood why changing my mindset was as important as changing my menu, that I began to see greater results.
Ministry is stressful. I know, understatement of the year. One of my mentors, Gary McIntosh, once told me, “Your church will only grow at the level of pain that the Senior Pastor can withstand.” In Sam Chand’s Leadership Pain, he says, “Growth equals pain because growth equals change and change equals loss and loss equals pain therefore growth equals pain.” I couldn’t agree more.
As our church starting growing and the pain increased, I once again began “growing” with the church. I was digging my own grave with a fork and a spoon. I knew
I Corinthians 6:19, but often I was guilty of treating my body more like a trash can than a temple.
Although I’m tempted to share personal strategies I’ve used over the years, I’m convinced changing behaviors without changing beliefs is a waste of time.
Romans 12:2 tells us that we will not transform any area of our lives without the renewing of our minds. So here is challenge for you. Write down ten reasons why you want to get healthy and review them often.
Here are a few things on my list to help get you started.
- Increased energy will help me accomplish more with my family and church
- I will sleep better at night
- I desire to model good health for my children
- I will make better decisions and be more focused
- I a m doing this as a way to show love to my wife and children
- When I a m overweight and unhealthy, i a m putting myself and food above god and my family
- God tells me not to overeat, it dishonors him when i disobey
- I desire to pray and lead the way to healthy as a model to my congregation
Your body is an amazing machine designed by God, but it doesn’t come with a warranty, you can’t trade it in, and repairs can be costly.