A Call To A Wellness Lifestyle: Some Practical Suggestions -- By: William R. Cutrer

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 013:2 (Summer 2009)
Article: A Call To A Wellness Lifestyle: Some Practical Suggestions
Author: William R. Cutrer

A Call To A Wellness Lifestyle: Some Practical Suggestions

William R. Cutrer

Robert M. Cutrer

William R. Cutrer is the C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Ministry and Director of the Gheens Center for Marriage and Family. He received his M.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and his M.A. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Cutrer has published many books in the areas of medicine and bioethics, and is the author of The Church Leader’s Handbook: A Guide to Counseling Families and Individuals in Crisis (Kregel, 2009).

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 2, NASB).

But I buffet (discipline) my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (1 Cor 9:27).

These verses reveal the reality that our physical health has spiritual significance in that God has entrusted us with the gift of humanity. Indeed, humans are made in God’s image, yet embodied. And when Christ came to identify perfectly with our humanity, He took on not just human form, but a human body—complete with the physical needs of nutrition, hydration, rest, and recovery. The very lifestyle of Christ may best exemplify a “wellness” lifestyle, evidenced as it was by regular exercise (walking), nutrition (broiled fish, whole grain breads), active ministry in community, and powerful devotion in solitude. Each of these represents a key element to our anthropology; wellness of mind, body, and soul. As Paul told the Corinthians, humans need both physical and spiritual discipline. To illustrate his points he incorporated many athletic metaphors, including those of runners and boxers. Clearly when he used the word “buffet” (1 Cor 9:27, quoted above), he meant the word we pronounce with stress on the first syllable. Yet most who read this word now envision a long table filled with delectable foods at an “all you can eat buffet” where we harm our bodies for lack of self control. That lack of self control represents the absence of one of the key elements of a healthy lifestyle—responsibility. Each of us is responsible for the choices we make, whether it is the food we choose to nourish our bodies, the activities we pursue to keep ourselves fit, or the decisions we make to follow Christ moment by moment. To create a wellness lifestyle is to accept responsibility for the choices we make and to continue to grow and learn how to better care for this magnificent, Christ-like, human body we have been given.

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