…it seemed that everything was a sin except drinking coffee all day and eating lots of good food.

When I was just a little guy, I went to church every Sunday without fail. That probably had to do with the fact that my dad was the pastor. But us kids had “junior church,” where we did more fun stuff than the adults who were listening to a sermon. And we sang songs that were certainly more to our understanding.

There was one song, however, that I didn’t understand then, and I don’t understand now. And I have never understood what it had to do with a bunch of kids in Junior Church. The song went like this… “building up the temple, building up the temple, building up the temple of the Lord. Won’t you come and help us, won’t you come and help us, building up the temple of the Lord.” The only temple I knew anything about was a sacred building in Bible days. Why would us kids, with our little fists acting as a hammer, be building a temple?

I would later learn that Paul talks about a temple in the New Testament: “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (I Corinthians 6:19, 20 NLT)

We know that Paul is talking here about sexual sin, for he says “sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” But could there be other sins against the body as well? Like overeating?

I grew up in the era of church potlucks. In those days, it seemed that everything was a sin except drinking coffee all day and eating lots of good food. Maybe you remember those days too. And some of us are paying the price today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that more than one-third of adults in America have obesity, and nearly 70% of adults are overweight. This malady leads to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer, and costs Americans over 147 billion dollars annually!

But there is even a greater adverse effect- I know when I am packing around some extra pounds, or consuming the wrong kinds of food (like those wonderful tasting potluck desserts), that my brain becomes “fuzzy” and I don’t have the energy that ministry sometimes takes.

So, I have come to a stark reality. In my love of good food, which in our home was considered a gift from God, I have not honored God with my body. That is a difficult realization, especially, when the Apostle puts it this way: “God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” So, for the time being, please don’t be offended if I decline your invitation to your church potluck.

A healthy pastor takes care of his or her physical health as well as spiritual health.