Before we can tell the rest of society how to live, we must clean up our own acts.
Our cover story on Dr. Don Colbert’s seven pillars of health should be enough to make each of us set some goals in 2007. After all, what could be more simple than drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, taking a good multivitamin, getting regular exercise and implementing the other commonsense suggestions to improve your health that Colbert recommends?
Take it from one who has tried these principles: They work. I enjoy good health partly because years ago I incorporated them into my lifestyle.
But it’s always good to take a refresher course because improving one’s health is an ongoing process. What better time to do that than the first of the year after all the Christmas parties? I encourage you to include health goals on your list of New Year’s resolutions.
In addition to setting individual goals, I believe it’s time for leaders in the body of Christ to set goals for the Christian community. Here are a few:
1. Get rid of the fat. It’s well-known that Christians are among the most unhealthy groups in American culture. Maybe that’s the result of too many fried chicken dinners and pie-and-cake social events. But instead of praying for God to heal the sicknesses caused by our unhealthy lifestyle choices, let’s stay healthy to begin with. Reading Colbert’s new book, The Seven Pillars of Health, and participating in the related DVD series is a place to start.
2. Make a difference in the culture. 2007 promises to be a difficult year: The war on terror continues. Iran is developing nuclear capabilities that threaten Israel. Some are saying that the world is in a state similar to that which it was in in 1935.
In the United States, the shift in power caused by the recent elections demands that we not remain silent. It’s time for us to make our voices heard. It’s time to begin strategizing for the important 2008 elections if we are to get the right people elected.
And we must continue to stand with Israel. One way to be involved is to join John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (www.cufi.org) and to plan on being in Washington, D.C., July 16-18 to lobby Congress on behalf of the Jewish nation.
3. Cooperate as Christians. One of the things I noticed in 2006 due to my involvement in two races for the U.S. Senate was the apathy in the body of Christ.
Even when they had the opportunity to support strong candidates who share our convictions, many Christians took a hands-off attitude as if there is something sinful about cooperating in a political campaign. Numerous other groups vote as a bloc when their self-interest is at stake; why not Christians?
4. Clean up our act. The recent scandal involving Ted Haggard should give all of us pause. Here was a man who was articulate and seemed to be making a difference at the highest level. But he fell because by his own admission he had secret sin going back to his teen years.
Before we can tell the rest of society how to live, we must clean up our own acts. That means each of us must remove the secret sin from our lives. Accountability helps, but often it is just a way to keep our secret sin from rearing its ugly head rather than dealing with it. Counselors and deliverance ministers can help both leaders and ordinary followers deal with the sin that so easily besets.
There are many other goals I could list, but I’d like to know what you think. So go to my blog (www.charismamag.com/moveup) and comment on the goals I’ve suggested, or post your own list and let’s get a dialogue going with other Christians.
One personal goal I have is to grow Charisma’s circulation to 300,000 paid subscribers by the end of the year. You can help by renewing your own subscription when it comes due and urging friends to subscribe by telling them how much you benefit each month from reading Charisma. Better yet, order them each a gift subscription online at www.charismamag.com and encourage them to add reading Charisma to their list of goals for 2007!
Stephen Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. To read past columns in Charisma by Stephen Strang, log on at www.charismamag.com/strang.