I can remember the prayer lines that would always form in the church when the leader or guest speaker would offer prayers for the sick. The people who stood in the prayer lines were mainly the elderly then; as I fast forward to the late nineties and these present years, those in the prayer lines for some ailment are younger as compared to years before. High blood pressure and diabetes were among the most commonly mention ailments that I would hear about when people would mention their prayer requests.
Are we risking our good healthy by the things we choose to put into our bodies? What do I mean? Eating foods that are just plain unhealthy, is surly to have some effect on our present and future health. I remember when the older men and women in the church would say to the younger, “you need a little meat on those bones”. They were making reference to you eating more so that you could gain a little weight. Eating more of what? Well, as I grew up, it consisted fried foods, mashed potatoes, candied yams, greens, pork chops, banana pudding, macaroni and cheese and much more. Yes, that good home cooking was great, but it was killing us at the same time. Too much sugar, too much starch, too much salt and fat was increasing the waistlines of families and many became overweight and unhealthy…by the choices they made. It seems that church members though little if anything about eating right and taking vitamins and supplements.
I grew up in the church, I realized that I could not nor did I want to eat just anything in excess because I could see the physical outcome of those who did. Many in the church were suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and many other ailments possibly caused by poor diets. Health education and awareness should be a part of the many weekly services in places of worship.
While the church will teach tithing, salvation and baptism, there was no mention of eating right and getting plenty of rest. Sure, everybody has the personal responsibility to take care of themselves, eat right and get the needed rest to stay healthy, but taking a look at the prayer lines in many of our churches and the prayer list in the back of church programs, it seems we are an unhealthy people. Something needs to be done to educate the people of God about taking care of themselves so we can decrease the numbers in the prayer lines because we simple do not take good care of ourselves.
There are those who have a genuine medical condition and there are those of us who can control our eating habits but, we choose not to. Many others choose to eat certain foods that contribute to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and much more. Teaching parishioners how to eat healthy can begin at the church. Often times, when the church service dismisses, churches will patronize local eateries and restaurants and consume fast foods, fatty foods and ignore the health risks by maintaining a diet high in fat, salt and sugars and other additives. When church members show up in the prayer line asking the preacher to ask God to help with the high blood pressure, the church can educate.
How can we be effective in the ministry and service of God, if we do not maintain the temple He resides in? That temple is you.