What is the purpose of good health?

What is the purpose of good health, you say? Isn’t it obvious? Bad health is bad and good health is good.

Pretty self-evident, don’t you think? Well, not so fast. If being or having good health is so desirable, why are so many people in bad health or at least not good health?

Nobody wants to think of themselves as obese, I sure don’t. Although when I ballooned up to 307 I reached the tipping point and had to admit what was true. A week ago, I was sitting next to a lady on the plane and we started talking. During the conversation, she shared that her weight had exploded up to 315. She added that she has now lost 100 pounds. She was an attractive lady even at her new weight.

I just looked up the obesity statistics in the US. Here is what I read: Adult obesity rates decreased in Kansas, increased in Minnesota, Washington, West Virginia and remained stable in the rest of states between 2015 and 2016. This supports trends that show steading levels in recent years yet adult obesity rates now exceed 35% in five states and top 30% in 25 states. West Virginia’s obesity rate at 37.7% and Colorado has the lowest at 22.3 %

I certainly was not helping the Colorado average. So why, when we know it’s not good, do we systematically not pay attention? What goes into our mouths is totally up to us and we decide each mouthful of food we consume. We are also somewhat in charge of our medical health with access to WEBMD and a myriad of other sources for information. For those that have health insurance, the clinic is just a few miles away.

Let’s go back to the question: What is the purpose of good health? I have spent the last 30 years helping the staffs of faith-based employers learn how to prepare financially for their future retirement. Are the issues revolving around health so much different than the issues surrounding our personal finances?

Now, consider some of the issues.

When you begin a financial plan it starts with where you are now including income and expenses. This is not complicated although many believe it to be daunting and pay little attention. Perhaps that is the way it is with our health. Getting on the scale is not hard to do, unless you don’t want to know how much you weigh. While the Bible tells us that the truth will set us free, it seems as if the truth, in this instance, may bring depression. Further, there are many blood pressure and heartbeat tools available on the internet. I recently bought one of each on Amazon for under $100. So, knowing what is true about your health runs parallel to knowing what is true about your financial situation.

The next step in a financial plan is to determine what you will need at some point in the future. Knowing where you are is a prerequisite to plotting a path to where you want to be. In the retirement planning world, the operative question is “will I have enough?” In the health world, it seems to be “do I have too much?” Growing your nest egg is the financial mantra. Losing or controlling weight seems to be the mantra of the health aficionado. There are many tables to help us identify our ideal weight.

I recently saw the results of our President’s physical. I listened to the Doctor from Walter Reed Hospital read off the various statistics that measured his health. Why in the world would the President’s physical require a press briefing and be nationally televised to boot? His spokesperson claimed that the American people have a right to know about the President’s health. I suppose that’s true. All the signs seemed positive until the final postscript: The President needs to lose 10 to 15 pounds from his current weight of 239 lbs. At 6”3” we are about the same height and I’ve got him by 20 pounds. That suggests I’ve got 30 more to go.  

I’ve got an app on my phone called MyFitnessPal. Each day I am now entering everything I eat. It organizes, stores and reports on what I’m consuming. I believe it’s the accountability that keeps me in line. It also has a nasty little feature, you take a picture of yourself from the side, nude. And then periodically take another picture to see how you are doing.  Now that’s a challenge to the eyes and the ego. Try it, I dare you. Sobering isn’t it.

So, what is the purpose of good health? Here are 5 reasons:

  1. Good health allows choice; bad health restricts choice
  2. Good health honors God’s creation; bad health dishonors it
  3. Good health increases longevity; bad health shortens life
  4. Good health feels good; bad health feels bad
  5. Good health brings joy; bad health leads to sorrow

When I’m talking about “good health”, I mean this: You are consciously doing everything you can to live healthy. Everything you can means eating, working out and growing stronger emotionally. I wish I could say I score 100 on all those things. I don’t. But I do believe that God is directing me in ways that will prepare me for what’s ahead.

It might be worth each of us taking a total health inventory and determine some goals to point to. Implement the plan that connects today with tomorrow. Good health then becomes a platform on which God is building our preferred future. We agree that God has a special plan for each of us. It is determined by God and we are called to carry it out, whatever it may be. An exciting thought, and a little scary too!

There is a lot more to explore. Some health issues are DNA based and there is research going on to address it. Many more health issues are clearly in our hands, mouths, and bodies. All to the glory of God. I’ve never written on this topic before so share any insights you have and expand the conversation.

My wife Judy recently broke her wrist. Neither Judy or I have ever broken anything. So fortunate. She is in a lot of pain. It brings the subject of good health into a new focus.

Stay with us as our journey includes a lifetime of ministry.

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