Just recently I engaged in a conversation that accused The Echo Life of preaching the gospel of health, wealth and prosperity, that we were preaching the “name it and claim it” theology. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. So what exactly are we doing here? In fact, we are talking about things that add further action to the typical Christian life — things that certainly don’t make life easier. We stand for so much more than simply living life day-in and day-out, waiting for death so that we can escape to a heavenly reward. The bottom line is that we’re called to build the Kingdom of God. Here on earth.
How can we travel the road of Kingdom builders if we don’t believe that we experience profound spiritual truth through physical acts? If we cease to operate as Christians in the physical realm, how could we ever benefit the Kingdom?
If we are truly called to build the Kingdom, the very Kingdom that Jesus taught was at present, but not yet fully established, then it makes sense that we would want to give ourselves every opportunity, indeed every chance, to develop ourselves spiritually, physically, and mentally until our last breath. It is the whole person living at maximum potential that will bring the maximum benefit to the Kingdom.
Simply, we believe that the body is beautifully and wonderfully made. It was designed to be put to use as a sacrifice for the benefit of the Kingdom of God. Would we be so careless with this precious life to focus our efforts only on spiritual formation and the wellness of the soul, as if the body did not matter?
Would we sacrifice the body for such a result: A mature soul in a unmaintained body that cannot, due to neglect, carry the message out into the world? Again, if profound spiritual truths are experienced through physical acts, are we not robbing Peter to pay Paul by forsaking the body for the soul? There will be a glorified body and eternal reward waiting for us upon the resurrection and it is absolutely in our best interest to follow the teachings of Jesus. But, the resurrection does not give us warrant to sit on the sidelines. Until that day, we must live balanced lives that include spiritual formation and physical wellness if we are to truly be prepared to offer our lives as living sacrifices for Christ’s sake.
Proper nutrition, exercise, and the right amount of sleep are just a few examples of actions that have been shown to reduce health risks and increase longevity. Is it not our duty to the Kingdom of God to do what we can, with what we have, to the best of our ability for the benefit of the Kingdom?
If, yes, then it follows that we have a responsibility to take care of and steward our bodies to give ourselves the most amount of time to build that which we’re called to build, the Kingdom. We are given one life to live, one opportunity to offer our very best to the Kingdom, and I, for one, want every possible opportunity to get it right. After all, it was Paul who said, “To live is Christ but to die is gain.”