Thank God for the #HealthyPreacherMovement, But We Need a #HolyPreacherMovement Too

H.B. Charles Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., speaks during the afternoon session of the 2015 Pastors' Conference June 15 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Paul W. Lee
H.B. Charles Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., speaks during the afternoon session of the 2015 Pastors’ Conference June 15 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Paul W. Lee

Preachers are getting in shape. Social media is littered with pictures of preachers exercising to get or keep their weight under control and live healthy lives. Way cool!

In the crucible of my schedule, I often neglect to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen. But the noted milestones of exercising preachers challenge me to “get it in,” as they say.

I once read about a preacher who worked himself to death. On his deathbed, he lamented, “God gave me a message and a horse. I have killed the horse! What will happen to the message?”

I think of this story often these days.

Of course, the message will continue to go forth without us. But we should be faithful stewards of our bodies to be faithful stewards of the opportunity we have to herald the word of God.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

These words are often cited to impress upon us the priority of physical health. This is an appropriate application of Paul’s words. But it is not the primary point of necessary implication of the passage. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 exhorts us to be holy, not healthy.

Physical exercise has its place (unless it is done out of personal vanity). But God is more concerned about the spiritual health of the inner man than the physical health of the outer man. Paul instructs…

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:7-8

For this reason, I am jealous of the #HealthyPreacherMovement.

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SOURCE: H. B. Charles Jr.

 

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