Saddleback Church's pastor Rick Warren has released a devotional on how God wants Christians to get in shape physically so He can use them for His purpose.
In his devotional column on Daily Hope earlier this week, titled 'Why God Wants You to Get in Shape,' Warren quoted 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, which goes as follows: "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."
The bestselling author continued, "How do you do that? How do you honor God with your body? Real simple: You take care of it."
He also added, "God set up the principles of good health. He doesn't just want you to have a pure heart. He wants your body to be in shape so he can use you more effectively."
The 62-year-old megachurch pastor went on to address the various ways in which being physically unfit could hinder one's ability to serve God.
"Some of you aren't getting enough sleep. But God can't use somebody who's tired all the time. You need to get proper rest. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap. Some of you need to work on the food factor. In 1 Corinthians 6:13, the Bible compares overeating to sexual immorality. You might never think of cheating on your husband or wife, but God says that these are all sins against the body. God is serious about wanting you to control what you eat!"
Interestingly, this isn't the first time that Warren has spoken up about the devotional aspect of keeping oneself fit. Christian Post reports that back in April this year, Warren exhorted the physical aspect as part of a changing process in which a believer becomes a new creation.
He also added that for a change to occur in the financial, vocational, educational, mental, or relational areas of life, one had to begin with the physical. He reasoned that this was because the body affects one's behaviour, the muscles affect one's moods and motivation, and the physiology could actually affect one's psychology.
Warren himself sets quite an example for what he advocates, having shed 60 pounds as part of a congregation-wide weight-loss challenge back in 2011.