A text by Richard Wurmbrand
Written in the “Food Sacrificed to Idols” series
Excessive interest in health and physique is another instance of a normal, desirable trait expanded until it becomes a demonic bondage. The human body is a scientific marvel, an instrument that only God could design and develop. It is well adapted to serve as a vehicle for our spirit and soul.
With all of this we must keep in mind that the physical body is the vehicle designed by the Lord to teach us humble dependence on God. Although we are sons of God we have been made lower than the angels. We are seeking to exist and to learn the ways of the Lord while imprisoned in this foolish, animal form. As the Lord said, “The flesh profits nothing.”
Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If we obey the Lord the day will come when our body is redeemed from death and filled with the Spirit of God. Then it will be an integral part of the new Jerusalem. Meanwhile it is passing away with its appetites and lusts.
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. (I Corinthians 6:13)
Our body is dead because of sin, but if we follow the Lord He will raise it up at His coming. We do not owe it to our dead, sinful body to become a slave to its appetites and lusts. If we keep subjecting our body to the discipline of the Holy Spirit we will enter eternal life. If we do not we will slay our own resurrection, the resurrection that is unto life in the Presence of the Lord.
We are wise when we take care of our body properly, paying attention to diet, exercise, and a reasonable balance between work and relaxation. If we do not we soon will be living in weakness and pain because of our lack of moderation and self-control.
There are instances when people—even believers—give undue attention to their health and their bodily form. The body becomes their idol. Far too much attention is spent on body building or vitamins and health foods. One’s physical appearance and health become first in important rather than the serving of the Lord.
It may be true that exhibitionism and narcissism are related to the overemphasis on physique and health. Narcissism is the excessive admiration of oneself. Exhibitionism is the desire to display oneself (sometimes indecently) in such a manner as to attract attention. It is an unclean fascination with one’s form and a desire to show one’s form to others.
Excessive interest in health and physique, narcissism, and exhibitionism, are food offered to idols.