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God cares about every aspect of your life, both physical and spiritual. In the Bible, he teaches us both what is good for us and what hurts us--not detailed scientific lists, but loving principles. In everything from the dietary laws of Deuteronomy and Leviticus to the wisdom of the Proverbs, the Bible shows that our health is dear to the Lord. I'm going to use that word D-E-A-R as an acronym to point out four areas of life which I am trying to take more seriously myself, and which I encourage you to take more seriously too.
DIET To many of us, "diet" is what we do when we gain too much weight and want to lose it. But actually, the English word "diet" comes from the Greek word
EXERCISE Modern life has brought with it many conveniences--thank God for them--but it has also eliminated many of the sources of physical exercise that, in the past, kept human bodies healthy and strong. Today we are at risk of being "
ATTITUDE The Bible teaches "A cheerful heart is
REST God actually commanded human beings to rest. As our Creator, he initiated a rhythm of working and ceasing from working, as he himself did at the beginning of the world (Genesis 2:2-3). As we all know, modern life often presses us to do more, more, more, while bombarding us with 24/7 stimulation, distracting us from work and robbing us of rest. Keeping ourselves rested is an essential part of good health and, according to Chapter 21 of the Westminster Confession, a means of growing in Christian holiness.
D-E-A-R! This little acronym is something I try to carry around with me all the time, and which I try to live out every day, with obviously mixed success. Fortunately, as long as there is breath, there is
Above all, I hope the acronym D-E-A-R will remind us that you and I are each very dear--very dear to one another and very dear to the Lord. Saying thank you to him (and to our friends and family) will include doing all we can to live healthy, productive, and godly lives. I'll close with John's prayer in 3 John 1:2: "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul." Amen!