7 Benefits of Healthy Living Beyond Being Healthy

Businesswoman Crossing ArmsSure, eating right and getting enough exercise will lessen your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And doing so is likely to help you live longer. But is that all?

For many people, lessening the risk of disease or living longer is a rather boring, un-spectacular motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Because of habit, convenience, or laziness our lifestyle naturally deteriorates in an unhealthy direction. You can blame some of that on stress, media, environment, and more.

Understanding more of the “other” benefits of healthy living can help us find more of the motivation necessary to actually make those healthy lifestyle choices. Here are some of those benefits.

A healthy lifestyle will help you:

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Who is Your Role Model?

SupermanSuppose you had to choose a role model among contemporary Christians. Who would it be? Perhaps a pastor who you admire? A missionary who has spent years overseas? A grandmother or grandfather who was a “pillar in the church?” Someone who has spent years caring for the disadvantaged in a treatment center or shelter? A Sunday School teacher who has faithfully shaped young hearts in a godly way?

Do you have someone in mind? What is it you admire about them? Compassion? Faithfulness? Wisdom? Patience? Love?

Perhaps you admire them. But truthfully, would you want to be like them? Doesn’t that mental image of a “perfect Christian” also seem rather boring, soft, even weak?

Take “Christian” completely out of the equation for a moment. Who would you choose to be your role model?

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What Your Lifestyle Can – and Can’t – Accomplish

Green Pea on a ForkGoing to extremes is only human, but it’s not healthy. Many people have a difficult time finding a healthy balance in lifestyle choices.

On one extreme are those who throw caution to the wind. They eat – overeat – anything that tastes good, overuse alcohol, smoke, and never exercise. “It’s my life, and I want to enjoy it!” is their motto. If and when they do develop obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or some other illness, they expect a magic pill to make it all go away.

On the other extreme are those who wouldn’t eat a piece of bacon or a candy bar if they were starving. It’s raw, gluten-free, and organic, or it doesn’t pass their lips. They spend as much on supplements as they do on food, and work out ten hours a week or more. And if they get sick they desperately search for some alternative way to get better.

And then there are those who jump between those two extremes – with no better results.

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Hearing God’s Voice

Hearing God’s Voice

God speaks to us, and we can hear Him.

Is that really true? How can we know it’s Him? What does that look like?

We could get very theological here, spiritualizing away things God intended to be very practical, but we won’t. Simply speaking, Scripture makes it clear that God does speak to us in various ways. That in itself is a pretty amazing thought: the God who can create the world with His Word also speaks to you and me!

But we humans can easily get confused. Hearing God’s voice can seem difficult, mystical, or weird. If you’ve been around church at all you’ve certainly heard people say, “God told me …..” Or perhaps you believed God spoke something to you, and then later wondered if it was really Him, your imagination, or something else.

I’ve certainly been there. I’ve had many people say to me, “God told me to tell you …..”

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Marriage in a Pressure Cooker

Couple Facing ApartMarriage is under assault. And as in any conflict, knowing where your enemy will attack dramatically increases your chance of successfully withstanding that assault.

Yes, the institution of marriage is being challenged, but that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about YOUR marriage. And most of the “enemies” your marriage faces are very close to home. It’s possible to be so concerned with assaults from “out there” that we overlook the very real things that can weaken our marriage from the inside.

Check these seven points of vulnerability, and see how your marriage scores:

  1. Greener Pastures. At some point something or someone “outside” will seem attractive. And if you’re not careful, seeds of doubt about your own marriage can creep into your thoughts. “What if?” becomes “why not?” (You don’t want to go there!)
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