Last Sunday our pastor preached his annual “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” sermon, when he makes us all feel guilty for not looking like one of those models in a health club advertisement. With hands reverently folded on my paunch, I realized it was decision time: either get in shape, or come up with a theological justification for my sedentary lifestyle. I chose inspiration over perspiration. Here’s my apologia:
1. Unless I learn to read my Bible while jogging, exercise would diminish the quality and quantity of my daily quiet time before the Lord.
2. The burden of approximately 27 extra pounds—most of them just above and slightly over my belt—helps me identify with my fellow sinful man (not that I have no other imperfections).
3. If I decide to lose weight, I could seriously damage the fellowship and harmony of the church. I’d have to skip all those potlucks.
4. Eating boosts the economy. Think of it as a sort of deferred social gospel. All those people working in chocolate chip factories benefit from my indulgence.
I could go on, but why should I? I already feel justified, and isn’t that what matters? One more thing, though: If the body really is the temple of the Holy Spirit, what’s wrong with a really big temple?
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This article is from the June 24 1991 issue.
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June 24 1991
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