Growth is a never-ending process. It does not end when we reach adulthood. If you do not grow up, you will at least continue to grow old. However, God's plan for us is that we grow not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. We grow physically through natural birth from infancy to adulthood to old age, but the Bible is clear that we must be born again in order to attain true spiritual, emotional, and mental maturity.
In regard to mental growth, we are given the mind of Christ. Specifically, Philippians 2:5 states, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." Moreover, 2 Timothy 1:7 goes on to say, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind." Finally, 1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT further explains that, "When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child, but when I grew up, I put away childish things."
Regarding emotional growth, the Bible clearly states that we are to be, "Steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing our labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). Furthermore, the Book of Ephesians teaches that we are to, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT).
In terms of spiritual growth, the Bible teaches that it is a process that begins in the natural and is ongoing until we become like Christ. Specifically, 2 Corinthians 3:18 states that, "We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV).
This same process of growth applies to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and fitness journey. Right now, you and the rest of the world see the overweight body you have grown into or the eating disorder that has matured into a habitual behavior over time, but God sees the transformed you that will emerge in the fullness of time from glory to glory. From His perspective, it is already done! It will become manifested to you and the world as you walk in obedience. However, if you feel along the way that you are not perfect, that you are lacking, or that there is room for improvement, you are right. But be encouraged.
First of all, we all feel that way. Mankind desires and strives for perfection because we were originally created as perfect beings. Although the perfection was lost due to our sin, the knowledge and subsequent desire to be perfect in every way remains within us. Consequently, we have a strong urge to reach for perfection in some manner, whether it is in regard to looks, relationships, professional vocation, longevity, or health and fitness. Secondly, you want to be perfect because God is perfect. We often describe His perfection as holiness. Contrary to popular opinion, desiring to be perfect is not sinful. On the contrary, God repeatedly commands in His Word that we are to, “Be holy because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:21; 20:7, 1 Peter 1:16). Holiness is perfection.
In the Book of Leviticus, this commandment to be holy was given to the Israelites when God instructed them to abstain from eating unclean things as part of the way they worshipped and honored Him. Consequently, it should come as no surprise to you that you desire to attain godly, spiritual perfection in regard to your eating and drinking habits because God Himself placed the desire within you. The question is, will you obey the command of the Lord and start living a holy life in regard to your health and fitness?
If it is your desire to obey God’s command to be holy even in regard to your health and fitness, purchase your copies of the Eating as an Act of Worship Workbook and the Eating as an Act of Worship Teacher’s Edition online today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. In the books, you will learn the biblical principles regarding the body, dieting, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body for the glory of God. Read our weekly blog for motivation to stay healthy and fit through Christ. Follow us daily on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for recipes, and diet and exercise tips. Tune in to our syndicated radio show on the DFW Den Radio Station, the StudioW Buzz Radio Station, and Victory KVDW 100.9 FM, 95.3 FM, and 1530 AM in Little Rock, Arkansas for interviews and health and fitness trends. Lastly, make your tax-deductible donation to Eating as an Act of Worship Ministries at www.eatingasanactofworshipministries.org!
Ann Wooten Taylor
Ann is an attorney who has been licensed to practice law in the State of Arkansas since 2004, practicing in the areas of child abuse and neglect, special education, and unemployment insurance law. Mrs. Taylor is also the C.E.O. of Eating as an Act of Worship Ministries and a Christian author. Her first non-fiction, Christian book entitled, "Eating as an Act of Worship Workbook" was published and released by Life to Legacy Publishing in 2015. Her second book, the "Eating as an Act of Worship Teacher's Edition" was published and released in December 2016.