Stewardship of Me

As you know, I’m becoming more appreciative of the profound mystery of humanness and less focused on the categories of “mind, body and spirit.” Each of us simply exists in the wholeness or totality of being human, created in the image of God. Identifying our mind, body, and spirit “parts” is useful to some extent, but I wonder if it may “disconnect” us a little from ourselves, and I’m trying to be more holistic in my thinking.

Here’s what I mean. Instead of thinking that I will exercise because it’s good for “my body,” or pray because it’s good for “my spirit,” I’m trying to think that exercise and prayer are simply good for “me” – period. Or thinking that my health isn’t the sum of my physical health, mental health and spiritual health, it’s simply “my health” and that really “my health” is not separable from “me.” So I’m trying to be a good steward of “me.”

In this regard, I am also coming to realize that all of my actions and experiences make a difference, positive or negative, to me. Everything I do, think or feel affects me in some way. The food I eat, the movies I watch, the friends I hang out with, and the magazines I read are all impacting my health.

Everything matters. Wow. It’s a pretty sobering thought. If I’d like to be healthier, how do I manage? Well, I find two ways to go with this line of thinking. One is to become very legalistic, judging each of my thoughts or actions as good or bad, permitted or sinful. But as we covered in the example of doughnuts, it’s not always that simple. Also since by our human nature we all sin frequently, that’s liable to be a painful road to travel, and legalism is not known to produce fruit.

The other is to remember grace, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, and to just start asking, is this helpful or harmful to me? This is what I’m trying to do. Taking a global perspective of my health, under grace, seems to make healthy habits easier for me. Eating well is not just a matter of fighting a few pounds of fat; rather it’s a good stewardship of “me.” Watching the cable TV news shows isn’t necessarily sinful, but it sure isn’t helpful for me. How can I best help myself to be well?

I’m trying to let the Holy Spirit be my guide. Sanctification is a process, and he’s working on me. Gradually my decisions are changing and I’m finding myself healthier. Now I still make a lot of bad choices. But although everything matters, everything is not equal. Some things matter more than others, and I’m working to focus on those with the biggest impact. I’ve become much more selective in my eating and in my reading/viewing habits, and I’m trying to increase the good as much as decrease the bad. Frequently I wish it were happening faster, but so far so good.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Phil 1:6   NLT