Enjoy Good Health - 3 John 1:2 (NIV)
Do you enjoy good health?
Before you jump to the conclusion of “yes,” I’d like to challenge your thinking. Just because you're “in good health” doesn’t mean you “enjoy” it. And just because you’re trying to “improve your health” doesn’t disqualify you from getting to enjoy the health you have now.
Let me explain.
Americans are OBSESSED with “healthy living.” The amount of money and manpower that is spent demonizing entire food groups (and farmers), glamorizing pills, powders, and patches, and persuading the public they are less than because they weigh more than, is heartbreaking.
After a decade in the field of nutrition and dietetics, I fully understand that there is not a single road to optimal health and I am convinced that “good health” isn’t somewhere you arrive but it is a state of being that you live out actively indefinitely.
Let’s break down “enjoy good health.”
Enjoy is a verb that is defined as taking delight or pleasure in.
Good is an adjective that is defined as to be desired or approved of. [Good should not be confused with an entirely different word: perfect.]
Health is a noun that is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury. [Health should not be confused with other nouns like abs, biceps, or buns.]
When you put it all back together, you see that to enjoy good health means that you take delight or pleasure in the desired lifestyle that keeps you in a state of being that is free from illness or injury.
You may currently be living free from illness or injury, but I have met people managing chronic diseases, living with cancer, medically necessary food restrictions, or physical limitations that enjoy the health they do have way more than most of those with abs, biceps, and buns of steel.
Move past the mirror and answer the question, “do you enjoy good health,” by questioning your mood on the inside.
I know what is like to “look healthy” but not enjoy a single second of the blessing that is decent health. Stressing and striving to reach the next level of perfection whether with food, fitness or finally fitting into something, isn’t enjoying, it’s suffering.
God, the creator of the universe and the One who breathed life into your thick thighs, ab-less belly, and imperfectly perfect figure, never intended for you to spend your life suffering over what you see (or don’t see) in the mirror.
There is not one verse in the Bible that says you are meant to have abs, but there is also not one verse in the Bible that says you shouldn’t strive to achieve them if it brings you joy. Your intention and motivation mean more to God than your waist size or BMI.
You can actively make lifestyle changes that (with enough time and consistency) may lead to a specific outward appearance, but if you’re not enjoying the journey, you’re missing the mark.
Do not confuse Bible verses about long-suffering for the benefit of God’s Kingdom with your desires to achieve a worldly physical standard of beauty as justified suffering. You’re suffering in vain.
Living with food guilt, consistent body comparisons, or anxiety around what to eat, or when to eat is a clear sign you need to pause and dive deeper to see if your desire for better health hasn’t crossed over to an idol you’re secretly and (possibly unknowingly) worshiping.
And that dive takes more words than this post, or your mind can handle. All I am asking is that you ponder the question with honesty and you don’t settle for an outward goal that sacrifices your inward health.
It is my experience that the body you despise today could very well be the body you pray to have back tomorrow. If life doesn’t take your health away quickly through an illness or accident, time will certainly slowly chip away at your overall health. Let’s spend more time enjoying and appreciating the health and physical body you have at this moment (even if you are making positive changes to impact your overall health).
My mission is to live out and inspire my daughter as well as you to enjoy good health. A verse that I love is 3 John 1:2 (NIV) and I sign every Mind Over Fork copy with it.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2 (NIV).
The third book of John was written to Gaius, a member of the church, as an encouraging letter from one friend to another. As one friend - encouraging another my heart's desire is for you to ENJOY good health brought about by honoring God in your choices and stewarding the body He has given you for so much more than “hitting a goal weight” or suffering to fit into the world’s standard of beauty.
Enjoy good heath.