January 9, 2007
My Body - God's Home
1 Corinthians 6:9 19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body. (NIV)
Friend to Friend
I recently read an article entitled, “To Exercise or Not to Exercise – That’s the Question”. I could really identify with many of the ideas expressed by the author:
1. I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.
2. If God meant for us to touch our toes, He would have put them further up our body.
3. The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.
4. I don’t jog – it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.
5. I joined a health club last year, spent about $400.00 and haven’t lost a pound. Apparently, you have to show up.
Several years ago, in a serious attempt to become physically fit, the Southerlands joined a local gym that offered a special family rate. It was quite a place! Hundreds of machines designed to stretch and pull every muscle in the human body occupied three levels of this beautiful facility. Classes of all kinds taught you how to jump, spin, dance and step the pounds off. Massage therapists worked their magic, soothing those newly stretched muscles that were rebelliously sore. Steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs and heated pools were available as well as a refreshment bar where smiling, disgustingly toned employees offered to mix a protein packed power “smoothie” just for us! Yum! Yum! Personal trainers were even available to design an individualized program that would help each one of us meet our individual fitness goals. Still other experts weighed, measured and coached us through those first painful days.
You can see that absolutely everything we needed to lose weight and become physically fit was ready and waiting for us at this gym. All we needed was the discipline to go!
We can’t give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves. The body is a temple that houses the Holy Spirit as well as our minds, hearts and emotions. When disobedience reigns here – in the physical body – it becomes a toehold for failure and defeat in other areas of life.
There are three areas of physical discipline - diet, rest and exercise. If we aren’t honoring God with what we eat, we are sinning. The sin may be in the amount we eat or don’t eat! Junk food, poor eating habits and gluttony have become acceptable sins to us, but they are certainly not acceptable to the One who created this body in which we live. We have forgotten a very important truth – our body is His temple.
Rest is also part of physical discipline. Physical rest is not an option if we are to function at our best. Sleep and play are spiritual obedience. We were created with a need for both and they must be kept in the right balance. God rested on the seventh day. He didn’t need to rest but chose to rest in order to model a powerful example for us to follow.
Now back to the dreaded exercise! The main purpose of exercise is to keep the body healthy by enabling it to eliminate poisons, increase circulation, strengthen muscles and eliminate stress. Studies show that just thirty minutes of exercise three times a week is very beneficial to our health. Make time for exercise!
We only have one body - no trade-ins or exchanges. Extended warranties aren’t available! If God keeps track of the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12) then He is certainly concerned about our physical welfare. The way we service the body affects its operation and enables us to be more effective in Kingdom service.
Father, please forgive me for not taking care of Your temple. I know that my health is important to You because You love me. You created me, forming me in the womb. Right now, I give my body back to You. I choose to eat healthy, exercise regularly and get the right amount of sleep. I pray that You will be honored through the discipline of my health. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Now it's Your Turn
- Recognize the truth that your body is not your own. Right now, make the commitment to be more disciplined physically, asking God to empower that commitment.
- What three changes do you need to make in you diet this week? Why is healthy eating important?
- How much rest do you need each day to be at your best?
- What “traps” tend to sabotage your commitment in this part of your life?
- How can you avoid those traps?
More from the girls
Listen friend, this part of my spiritual journey is the area of greatest defeat in my life. I get so tired of fighting this battle and often want to give up. But God keeps bringing me back to the truth that I belong to Him. Let’s help each other to honor God with our bodies. I would love to hear from you! Email me for more encouragement. And for more help with nutrition, rest and discipline, check out my book, Escaping the Stress Trap.
Girlfriends in God, Inc.
Originally published Tuesday, 09 January 2007.