Living The Christian Life
A Healthy Society
We live in a society where health is almost a national obsession. Our greeting is always about health: “How are you?” Health Clubs are growing all across the country. A major part of many home budgets is health insurance. Vitamins sales and Health Food is a multi-million dollar business in our country.
The Bible and Health
“Does the Bible really talk about being healthy?” ”Does the Bible really say that we must live healthy lives?” “I thought the Bible taught about spiritual things.”
It is true that the Bible does not say very much about health. The Old Testament does give us some dietary information. But even this is not followed by very many Christians. However, take just a moment and think about the following verses.
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV): “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.”
2 Corinthians 4:10-11 (NIV): “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV): “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
1 Thessalonians 4:4 (NIV): “that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.”
Physical Fitness In The Bible
No, the Bible does not talk about physical fitness. When the Bible was written, this was not a problem. People walked everywhere they went. Hard labor was a necessity and was common for everyone. Today, we live in a sedentary society. We sit for hours in front of the TV, in front of our computers, in front of our video games. We are fast becoming an obese society. We have developed a problem that needs to be addressed.
Yes, God is concerned about our body and we need to be also. Since the coming of Jesus, it is His Temple here on the earth. As Christians, our bodies exist, not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of God. In the Old Testament, people went to the Temple in Jerusalem to commune with God because that was where God lived on the earth. In the New Testament, the Christian’s body has become the Temple of God.
The Temple of God
So the question becomes: “How do you treat God’s Temple?” If it was a building, would you allow it to be overgrown with weeds? Would you fill it up with a lot of junk? Would you allow it to deteriorate and become unusable? How would you take care of God’s Temple, if it was a building?
Now, since your body is the Temple of God, how are you going to take care of it? Are you going to give it food that is not healthy for it? Are you going to keep it from getting the rest it needs? Are you going to allow it to deteriorate by letting it become too fat or too skinny? Or are you going to keep it fit and healthy for God’s use?
No, we don’t need perfect bodies. We don’t need to be obsessed with our bodies. However, if our body is the Temple of God, then we need to take the best care of it that we can. We need to keep our body fit and healthy so that we can quickly respond to whatever God calls us to do.
Our body is half of who we are as human beings. If we are only concerned with our spirit, then we are not taking very good care of God’s Temple.
What About Imperfect Bodies?
“But my body is broken.” “It is full of cancer.” “It is missing a leg, or an arm, etc.” “I am confined to a wheel chair.” Remember, God doesn’t need a perfect body to have a perfect Temple to dwell in. The question that needs to be asked is: “Do I love God enough to give Him the best Temple that I possible can give Him to live in?”
Don’t be concerned with what you cannot make better. Only be concerned with what you can make better. Remember, you are not doing this for yourself, but for God. As a Christian, your body is no longer your own. It is now the Temple of God.
Taking Care of the Temple of God
So, even though the Bible does not say much about physical fitness, there is a mandate to take care of our bodies the best that we can. If we will only remember that our body is the Temple of God, we will want to take care of it the best that we can. Does this mean that we have to be physical fitness nuts? No. It simply means that we need to take care of our bodies in a manner that will please God.
It means that we need to eating healthy food, instead of the junk food that most Americans eat. More and more Americans are realizing this because health food stores are popping up all across America. Be one of those who try to eat healthy foods. Remember, this is really what the Old Testament dietary commandments were all about.
It also means that, if you live an inactive life as most Americans do, you do need to get some exercise, as well as eat healthy foods. Spend some time outdoors, even if it is doing nothing more than taking a brisk walk. Let God know that you are going to do your best to take care of the body that He gave you.