Dear Aunt Sevvy:
For years, I was overweight and tired and lazy. Then I discovered the Adventist message of health. I’m not only healthier and happier, but I’ve found my purpose: to make everyone healthy!
What bothers me is that I can’t seem to get other Adventists as excited about it as I am. So many of them are content to be fat and lazy. They eat abominable things, even at church potluck. It makes me feel like I’m the only one who gets it. What should I do?
Signed, The Lonely Healthnut
Aunt Sevvy can’t help but rejoice with you that you have had such an improvement in your life. Many of us could use better health, and (just like people who’ve met Jesus) it’s understandable that you want to be an evangelist for health principles.
You’re experiencing something familiar to new converts: others don’t catch your enthusiasm as quickly as you think they should. Some are slow to make changes. Some have had disappointments and failures at the very thing that worked so well for you. Some are just not sufficiently motivated.
And sometimes new converts—with all the best intentions—get insistent and pushy, and actually push others away.
It’s good to remember that while health is a wonderful thing, it’s not the gospel. We’re not saved by good health, or good diet—the Bible is clear about that—but by faith in Jesus. While the Bible says that we ought not to be indulgent gluttons, it is equally unbiblical to link health and faith too closely. “The kingdom of heaven is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). If enthusiasm for a certain diet, say, makes someone judgmental, they’re not creating peace and joy. After getting a lot of guilt about health projected at them, some people with chronic health problems may feel more discouraged with God than hopeful. I don’t think that’s what we want to do, either.
The wonderful thing for folks like you is that while not everyone is as enthusiastic about health as you are, we Adventists have a way for you to serve in various kinds of health education programs to help the community. Project your faith in that direction, even if people in the pews aren’t as excited as you wish they were!
You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—always without real names. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’seditors.