Wednesday, February 3, 2010
A Hungry Heart and Aching Spirit Make a Battered Body
“…it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” ~1 Peter 1:16
10% of donation during this blog tour will go to the American Heart Association (AHA).
What does holy mean? I did some research and found that it is defined as having a moral standard of living, Christ-like in character, separate, pure, set apart. It was defined in spiritual terms, as a spiritual position or state of being. And while I agree with those definitions, I think too often we think that holiness is merely a spiritual thing. Meaning, if we attend church, read our bibles, serve in ministry, don’t cuss or drink, or commit other sins (that we’re aware of), we believe we have achieved holiness. Today I’d like to discuss another side to holy living; the reality that to be like Christ, we have to attend to not just the spiritual, but the physical.
The word says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” It goes on to tell us in the 20th verse of the same chapter that we were bought with a price; to honor God with our bodies. If we are going to be Christ-like we must honor him not just with our spirits, but with our physical temples as well.
Many of us, try as we like, are only half-holy. We know the word. We haven’t skipped over this scripture in the bible, so what keeps us from taking care of the Lord’s temple? What is really holding us back from the place of complete holiness to God? I think it’s our hungry hearts and our aching spirits.
Despite the billions spent on diet and health products, Americans are more overweight than ever. The problem of obesity is epidemic. The solutions of diet and exercise are not the singular remedy. The root cause has to be addressed to really get a handle on the problem. It’s not just a love of food, or a lack of discipline. We like to blame it on those things because we often don’t like to talk about the real reasons we overeat. Usually they’re intensely personal.
Here are a few:
• We need comfort when we’re stressed, tired or overworked. We know this, because we call the foods we reach for comfort foods.
• We are depressed or anxious.
• We need to anesthetize pain from abuse: current or past. Self-medication.
• Boredom. Our lives are unfulfilled.
We have to break these cycles of destructive behavior or they will destroy us. Obesity, irregular insulin levels, fatty levels in the blood all beat the temple God has given us down to a battered pulp. Then what do we do with our battered bodies? The battered body is sluggish and tired. It doesn’t want to go to mid week services, or even interact with its children. The battered body doesn’t want to make love to its spouse. It’s too beat up to enjoy life fully. Additionally there are obesity related diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, certain cancers, joint deterioration and more aliments that tear at the temple and keep us from being whole in our physical person.
In my novel, Secrets and Lies, the character Jonah Morgan is not overeating, but he is using another unhealthy coping mechanism: alcohol, and lots of it. Jonah’s heart is hungry for a relationship with Christ; his spirit is aching from the burden of un-forgiveness. His childhood pain is tearing him apart, so much so that he has completely checked out emotionally and physically on his family. He can’t sleep at night. He’s tired. His hungry heart and aching spirit have created a battered body.
Jonah’s alcoholism is an unhealthy, addictive behavior. So is overeating. Anything we do in excess is gluttony. Gluttony is the sin that keeps us from achieving true holiness. If you’re overweight or you engage in some other activity that negatively affects you physically, get at the root cause of your problem. Find out what’s eating you before it literary gobbles you up.
Let’s discuss this. Have you ever compared substance abuse to overeating? Do you think this comparison is accurate? Can a person’s heart be completely surrendered to God if they have an eating problem? Share why you agree or disagree. Feel free to share your testimony in this area or a plan for change.
About the Author
Rhonda McKnight is the owner of Legacy Editing, a free-lance editing service for fiction writers and Urban Christian Fiction Today, a popular Internet site that highlights African-American Christian fiction. She’s the vice-president of Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. When she’s not editing projects, teaching workshops about writing or penning her next novel, she spends time with her family. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for twelve years. For more information, visit http://www.RhondaMcKnight.net.
About the Book
Faith Morgan is struggling with her faith. Years of neglect leave her doubting that God will ever fix her marriage. When a coworker accuses her husband, Jonah, of the unthinkable, Faith begins to wonder if she really knows him at all, and if it’s truly in God’s will for them to stay married.
Pediatric cardiologist Jonah Morgan is obsessed with one thing: his work. A childhood incident cemented his desire to heal children at any cost, even his family, but now he finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Will he continue to allow the past to haunt him, or find healing and peace in a God he shut out long ago?
Read an excerpt and check the tour schedule at http://bit.ly/HealthyHeartBlogTour
Enter to Win 3 Great Giveaways!
GRAND PRIZE (one winner possible)
A “Start” Fitness Pack she purchased from the American Heart Association’s Online store. The online store helps in the fight against heart disease by promoting heart-healthy lifestyles that include physical activities like walking. Net proceeds from the sale of these items support the Start! movement.
The Fitness Kit includes: Start BackPack, Start Water Bottle, Start Shoe Wallet, and the Power to End Stroke 46 Recipe Healthy Soul Food Cook Book.
SECOND PLACE PRIZE (one winner possible)
Autographed hardcover copy of Secrets and Lies will be given away to the 2nd person whose name is pulled in the drawing.
THIRD PLACE PRIZE (one winner possible)
In honor of Rhonda's birthday on Feb. 6th - a $10 Barnes and Nobles, Borders or Starbucks Gift Card will be given to the 3rd person whose name is pulled in the drawing. (winner chooses).
HOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING:
All entrants with 10 POINTS AND UP will be entered in a drawing to win the GRAND PRIZE - FITNESS PACK.
All entrants with 5 POINTS AND UP will be entered in a drawing to win PRIZES TWO AND THREE.
HOW TO EARN POINTS:
+15 Point ENTRIES: Purchase a copy of Secrets and Lies from the online store during the tour through www.urbanchristianbooks.com.
+1 point ENTRY: join the discussion by commenting on one of the blog tour sites each day (must comment on the day of the toursite by 9 pm). Comment must include your thoughts on the subject. (can not just say – great point or I agree).
+1 point ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING INTERESTING YOU FIND WHEN YOU GO TO Rhonda’s WEBSITE or blog. LOOK AROUND AS THERE IS LOTS TO SEE. HERE are THE LINKs www.rhondamcknight.net and www.urbanchristianfictiontoday.com
+1 point ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY. On Twitter Retweet @rhondamcknight or use the hashtagS #Health or #hearthealth
+2 point ENTRIES: Join RHONDA’S FACEBOOK READER Page or SIGN UP FOR HER NEWSLETTER on her webpage.
• U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
• EMAIL ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED IN COMMENT
• ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY.
• MAXIMUM OF 3 POINTS CAN BE EARNED ON ANY ONE TOUR DAY.
• TOUR HOST BLOGGERS CAN NOT ENTER TO WIN.
DRAWING WILL BE HELD AT 9 PM EST on FEBRUARY 7th