Our Bodies, His Temple

I want to start sharing with you all some of the things I’ve been learning about health issues. This might include thoughts on nutrition, specific problem-solving foods, the benefits of certain types of exercise, or how to deal with specific health issues… mostly things that I am personally dealing with and learning through my own hours of study and life experiences. But I want to preface anything I write in this category with a few thoughts from Scripture.

First of all, remember that our bodies are the very temples of God, our Creator and the One who redeemed our lives with His own blood. We belong to Him, and thus our bodies belong completely to Him. And if we are Christians, our bodies house His Holy Spirit. That is why we should care about taking care of our bodies. Because He resides within them, until the day we meet Him in heaven: “…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Second, realize that by taking care of our physical bodies we present a good testimony to others, who may know not their Creator. Who wants to listen or take advice from a fat slob who never gets off their couch and pigs out on chips and soda all day (and I’m not referring to people with legitimate reasons for being house-bound or being on bed-rest)? Who would imagine a person that doesn’t take care of their physical body would spend any time taking care of their spiritual life: “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).

Finally, remember that our physical well-being is not the final goal; while it is profitable and even necessary to take care of our bodies, our ultimate purpose to take care of our souls. For while our bodies will die someday and rest decaying in the ground, our souls are that which will live on forever, either with the Creator Himself or apart from Him: “…train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance” (1 Timothy 4:7-9).

So while we must care for this temple we have been entrusted with, while we may take care to present a Christ-honoring testimony to others in our lifestyles, we must remember that looking good and feeling good physically is not the end-all. It is not our ultimate purpose. Knowing God is.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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