Idolatry of Health
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21)
“The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.” (Psalm 16:4)
Having grown up in a health-conscious home, I have often fallen into the trap of finding my identity in my body and health. I’ve falsely believed that I can take full credit for my health and well-being. After all, I eat well, I exercise regularly, so surely I am the reason I’ve avoided illness, right? Surely I’m doing better than that guy because he just doesn’t do the right things. What a dangerous false confidence. What ugly pride that is.
Sister, if you are of good health, God is the ultimate reason. At the same time, if you’ve received a difficult diagnosis even after doing all of the “right” things, it is not outside of God’s sovereign plan for you. He is bigger than your organic diet and he is even bigger than cancer. At the end of the day, He has numbered your days and determined what will become of your earthly body. Though you should aim to live a healthy lifestyle, no amount of damage control will avoid your eventual demise. We live in a fallen world. The fall has real effects on our bodies. No matter what, we age, we break down, and we die. To deny that is incredibly prideful.
God calls us to be good stewards of our bodies and to present our bodies as living sacrifices in service to Him. You should absolutely take care of the body you’ve been given. But, when we trust in our health philosophies and our food choices, when we look down our noses at those who make different choices… that is idolatry that must be repented of. If this is you, repent of worshiping your body so that, like the psalmist, you may say, “my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
Father, forgive me for the idols I create in my heart. So often I take a good thing and make it higher than You in my heart. So often idolatry of health rears its ugly head in my life. I’m often filled with pride, I put my trust and worth in my lifestyle and health choices, and I look down on others. Please forgive me for ever trusting in other gods. Make me love You above all else, that I may be set free from the bondage of idolatry.
Meditate on and memorize Psalm 73:26.