September 28, 2019

About 25 years ago, the church I was pastoring sponsored a teacher-appreciation banquet at the high school cafeteria. We had a packed house.

For our keynote speaker at the banquet, I invited a friend of mine from Little Rock, Arkansas. He was a recently retired college professor, and also a funny humorist. His performance was not only funny, but also very inspiring, with anecdotes about the value of teachers in our society. When he finished his program, he closed by saying, “To your health.”

After the program was over, I congratulated the speaker on giving an excellent program. Then I told him that I had never seen a program closed with his quote, “To your health.” He told me, “Well, you know I’m a devout Christian, and I believe what the Bible says about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit; that our body belongs to God, not to us. I think it’s our Christian responsibility to be in the best health we can.”

He also practiced what he preached. He was about 65 years old at the time, and was in perfect health. He wasn’t a bit overweight, he jogged three times a week, worked out at a gym regularly, didn’t smoke or drink alcohol, and ate a very healthy diet.

The past four or five years, I have learned the hard way the effects of being in poor health. Most of my problems were brought on by being too overweight. At the advice of three different doctors, I lost my excess weight. 100 pounds. I feel better, and my wife says I look a lot better!

How did I lose that much weight? It’s a long story, and I am writing a book about how I did it. But, among the many things I did was to read a lot on dieting and nutrition. I learned what foods I could eat and not eat. One of the things I kept reading in my research was that our bodies are what we eat and drink. Naturally, there are exceptions. Not everything bad in our health can be attributed to what we eat or drink. But it helps everything about your body to eat a healthy diet and keep your weight to what is healthy.

Poor health is also brought on by many things besides the foods we eat and the things we drink. Many of these things are done by our own choices. Everyone knows it’s harmful to your health to use tobacco, drink too much alcohol, use too many drugs (whether illegal or prescription) or even not getting enough rest and sleep. I could go on and on with this list, but you know whether you are doing things that are not healthy.

If you are doing something unhealthy, try to quit. It may take many attempts, but keep trying until you finally succeed. It’s better late than never!

My mother and daddy were both cigarette smokers, and had been since they were very young. Nearly everyone smoked back when they were teenagers. Even the movie stars glamorized it. But when my daddy was around 40 years old, he told me one day that he was quitting cigarettes for good. He said, “It’s bad for my health, and they just cost so much.” He also said he was going to talk to my mother and see if he could get her to quit. Well, Daddy did quit, cold turkey, at 40 years old. But it was many years later before my mother was able to quit. She had made many attempts before, but finally did quit. I feel that their quitting tobacco added some years to their lives.

We live in an age where it is so easy to get information on quitting bad habits. And there are so many programs to help you: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, etc… One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain. He said, “A person that can read, but won’t read, is no better off than a person who can’t read.”

Please don’t be angry at me or accuse me of preaching down to you about trying to get in better health. That would be like getting angry at the deliveryman for bringing you a newspaper with bad news in it. I’m just the deliveryman. I’ve only stated the known, accepted facts to you.

It is your responsibility to achieve good health. Nobody can do it for you. Yes, it may be hard to accomplish, but I promise you two things. It will be worth it. And, God will help you!

God Bless You,
Spencer Plumley