This blog is part two of a three part series. Follow the link for the first post.
1 Timothy 4:8 is often used as the silver bullet argument for why it’s okay for us to eat like Roman Epicureans all day. Many times, the conversation stops here without any thought or reflection on a proper theology and biblical framework for why we should prioritize our physical health. This verse in particular shows us that physical fitness is not the end goal of life. The Apostle Paul argues that godliness is a greater value since it affects us in this present life and the one to come. He is not arguing against bodily stewardship. That is why he says it has some value. What he is doing is putting it in its proper place and order.
Human beings have been created for the glory of God. Their purpose in life is to worship the triune God, and that is precisely why we must steward our bodies in light of our greater purpose of worship. Romans 12:1 says, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” In this passage, we see that our bodies belong to God, and we worship God with and through how we manage and use our bodies. Included in this text are also our minds and wills. However, it is interesting how the passage connects worship and our bodies.
If that is true, then the reverse is also true. Human beings use their bodies to falsely worship things that are not God. How we use our bodies reveals what we really worship. We see that human beings use sex sinfully through pornography, adultery, and many other avenues. They abuse substances, such as painkillers, which are meant for medicinal purposes, and use them as a means of coping with the difficulties of life. In the same way, food can be abused. We overindulge in food because of its availability and access. We no longer live in an agrarian culture where we have to make our food. We go to Walmart and pick it up ready made for our consumption. Or, even better, we have it delivered to our home. For those in ministry, food is often a socially accepted and celebrated idol. We are more likely to joke about our overindulgence in food than we are to call it out as false worship.
Another reason we should take care of our bodies is that we should steward God’s resources. Stewardship is the principle of managing resources in a way that honors and glorifies the owner of those resources. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” If the gifts God has given us are meant to serve one another, we should steward those gifts in such a way that it brings the most good to the church and to the Master who gave us those gifts. When we suffer from preventable problems and illnesses as a result of our lack of physical health, we are being poor stewards of the gifts God has given us. When we see the stewardship of our bodies as a means of helping the church, our individualistic perspective on the way we treat our bodies inevitably changes.
After finishing up seminary in New Orleans in 2009, God called Bobby and Lindsay to serve as youth pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church in Layton, Utah. It was during his time there that God started giving him a vision for Redemption Church. Along with his family and a small core team, Bobby started Redemption Church in 2013. The Woods love the uniqueness of Ogden and Weber State University.
In 2016, Bobby transitioned out of his roll as a full-time pastor at Redemption and into a full-time roll as the Send City Missionary for Salt Lake City. He serves with the North American Mission Board in this capacity as he helps guide and direct church plants and church planters in Utah. Bobby is a lay pastor at Redemption and still preaches several times a month on Sunday mornings.