Thursday, December 8, 2011
Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas
I have another book review for you! I received a copy of this book from Zondervan and was asked to post my review of Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas. This was a really good book! The main topic of this book is that our spiritual health and fitness is directly related to our physical health and fitness...they go hand-in-hand.
In his book, Gary shares insight from his own personal experiences with losing weight, as well as stories from other people who have lost weight and now live more fulfilling lives both physically AND spiritually. The Bible tells us that our bodies house the Holy Spirit, yet so many of us grow comfortable in our unhealthy, and often lazy, lifestyles. If it requires work or pain, we're not interested. Gary urges us to take that next step to wellness and endure a bit of pain and being uncomfortable because the benefits far outweigh the costs!
One part of the book I really enjoyed reading about was Chapter 10 entitled, "Muscular Christianity". Muscular Christianity was a movement in the late 19th century that "expressed manliness and physical fitness as high Christian ideals." I had never heard of this movement, however so many of its principles should ring true in our lives. We should never become obsessed with fitness, but we should adopt a lifestyle in which our bodies are in good enough shape physically and we have enough endurance to accomplish anything God asks of us. If our bodies are housing the Holy Spirit, shouldn't we take care of them and keep them healthy and fit? Gary writes about how this message of physical fitness is very rarely talked about in churches today. Other sins are addressed such as adultry, murder, and greed, however gluttony and laziness are not touched. Why? Because the issue of obesity encompasses so many. We would rather not hurt someone's feelings than caring about them enough to shed light in, gentleness and love, on their sins (because obesity is almost always caused by overeating and being underactive when genetics are not a factor) so they can carry out what God has called them to do. We are allowing them to not live up to their full potential and, in many cases, even rob themselves of extra years of life due to poor health caused by obesity and inactivity.
Gary's book is full of interesting insights and information from various authors throughout history who wrote concerning the tie between physical and spiritual wellness. It sure has made me ponder some things and has convicted me to look at health and fitness in a new way in order to further God's kingdom!