Greg Laurie's Personal Blog
RSS feed

The Church of the Perfect Physique

February 17th, 2010 Posted in encouragement, Pastor's corner, sermons, worldview

In my last post, I talked about how idolatry is alive and well today. The apostle John wrote, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

So,what other things can potentially become idols in our lives? Remember, an idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of God in our lives.

Some people worship their own bodies

Some people who worship at the Church of the Perfect Physique. There is never quite enough exercise, weightlifting, running, etc. It can become addicting.

There, of course, is a place for physical exercise, and some Christians could use a lot more of it. As J.Vernon McGee once said, “The only exercise some Christians get is jumping to conclusions and running down others!”

Paul put it in perspective when he wrote to Timothy:

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true, and everyone should accept it. (1 Timothy 4:8-9)

The unobtainable you

Some people become completely obsessed with their appearance, trying to attain some kind of perfection.

Some girls are trying to be something that is not attainable. In a recent survey, 94% of girls under the age of 18 said that they wished they were more beautiful. At the same time, 85% of women over the age of 40 said that they are not as attractive as the average woman.

One reality TV star had 10 plastic surgery procedures done in one day. She is only 23 years old. She said in an interview afterwards, “I am beyond obsessed.”

Again, as with physical exercise, there is a balance here. There is nothing wrong with a Christian girl wanting to be attractive, but she must simply keep her priorities straight.

The right balance

The Bible tells us that girls should be thinking more about their inner beauty than their outer beauty.

The apostle Peter helps us find the balance when he writes:

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Let’s keep the Lord at the forefront of our lives, and put the spiritual before the physical. This is what Jesus meant when He said to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

In other words, seek God’s rule and reign ahead of anything else in your life.

4 Responses to “The Church of the Perfect Physique”

  1. george says:

    Hi Pastor Greg
    You are right that anything can be an idol, or even a distraction from what is most useful and important. Just this morning I was confronted with the choice of going to the gym or doing my quiet time as I did not have time to do both. Fortuanatly, I chose the latter and was greatly blessed in my time with the Lord. While my body did not get exercise, my soul was enriched and nourished.

    On the other hand we must be stewards of our bodies. It is easy for those of us who like to work out and exercise to have the wrong motives. We should do it so we can use our bodies more effectively in service to the Lord and our families, not just so we look good at the beach. In my opinion one of the “acceptable” sins in the church today is gluttony. Food too, must not become and idol and must be kept in balance. Certainly food is necessary and can have the added blessing when it is part of fellowship. However, in excees it is gluttony is an indicator of a lack of self-control and self-discipline.

    George

  2. Adnan Gill says:

    I have recently started listiening to you on radio and frankly I enjoy it very much. It is true that God made us in His own image and that we need to take care of the body He has given us but at the same time it is important not to lose focus. We need a healthy body to glorify Him, by doing His work, while we all wish for a beautiful body. I like my body the way it is and am content with the hope that I will get a perfect one in the heaven, which will always remain the same way for eternity.

  3. Marci says:

    Hi Pastor Greg,

    Thank you for your guidance and encouragement. I am a believer and I am also passionate about health and fitness, but not to the point of obsession. I am pursuing a degree in the field. I help friends and family with their fitness needs and stress to them the importance of inner beauty and to be godly women.
    It is a gift to have a strong an healthy body and it is also important to not defile your body because the holy spirit dwells in us as believers. Our bodies are not just for pleasure or for show, but to serve God and to glorify Him.
    I am hoping to start a weight loss challenge in Riverside but I want to make sure that the message is clear that we are to seek the Lord first in our lives. Please pray for me and others seeking to live healthy lives because there is often a fine line between taking care of your body and becoming obsessed.

    Thank you for being the man of God you are by not only spreading the Good News of the Gospel, but by also doing your best to be an example of Christ to us. I also love your crazy sense of humor and your honesty.

    May God bless and keep you and your family always!

    Marci

  4. Nettie says:

    WO. really needed to read this. thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.