Managing My Body

By Glen Guyton

Glen Guyton is the Chief Operations Officer for Mennonite Church USA and Director of Convention Planning

So, I am not the best steward of my own body. I am not sure if it is age, laziness or some sense of obligation to work, but I don’t take care of me like I should. There are always other priorities in my life, I am tired from my rigorous travel schedule, and well, I love food.

When I was 24 I felt like I was invincible (I may have been).  Now that I am 44 I feel pretty vincible (is that even a word?). Age snuck up on me. Most of us know that age is coming, but I was vincibly ignorant until the age of 40, when middle age came and rang my doorbell. I said hello to a fat belly, hello to hypertension, and goodbye to my gallbladder.

We think about being good stewards of our money, of the land, our homes, even our children, but what about our bodies? You may be thinking, “I am a good steward of my body…I keep my body pure from sexual immorality and I dress modestly.”

But are you being a good steward of your body with the foods you put into it? Are you harming your body by all the toxins from processed food and sugars that ravage your body? Are you moving and keeping up your energy so that you can engage the world for the glory of Jesus Christ? It is hard to feed the hungry and give aid to the poor and sick when you yourself can’t get out of bed.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV

As a Mennonite I use the above with some hesitation. God is not going to destroy us if we smoke a cigarette, drink a beer, or eat too much bacon.  There are natural dangers to these choices, but if we as Christians do not take care of ourselves, we not only damage our bodies, but we damage the ability of the body of Christ to mobilize.  Resources that could be used to spread the love of God are diverted to repair and restore us to health.

Mennonite Church USA is facing a number challenges with reduced budgets and staffing.  This makes for a pretty stressful work environment and overworked staff.  Maybe you are facing similar challenges at your place of employment. One of the things we have done is implement a new employee wellness program to help employees monitor their health.

If you are an employer I encourage you to implement a wellness plan for your employees. If you are an employee maybe you can work with your boss or other employees to develop a wellness program. Everence is a great place to research resources that are available. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce.

Unfortunately sometimes because of genetics, environment, and other factors outside of our control some may get sick or succumb to a chronic illness. That is great time for the body of Christ, the temple of believers to come together as good stewards to provide aid and comfort to one of its members.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2