In 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 we read: “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.”
From this verse, we learn that God created humans as tri-part beings. You are a spirit, you have a soul (mind, will, and emotions) and you live in a body. And because God created us this way, it stands to reason that He cares about all three parts.
In the Word, you will find verses that deal with the spirit. You also find verses that deal with the soul and with the body. God has given us instruction in all three areas because all three are important to Him.
Most of the time, I write about something that has to do with the spirit or the soul. But today, I want us to focus a little bit more on the body, specifically where our health is concerned.
Your body is valuable to God. He chose you as His home (1 Corinthians 6:19). Your body is an instrument with which you can experience life and do the good works He has prepared for you to do. But you have to take care of your body. You can’t abuse it or neglect it. If it is sick or tired, it can’t function properly and do what God has set before you.
With that in mind, let us take a look at some things we can do to take better care of our bodies.
Let God help you.
I bet most of us have gone on a diet before. And failed miserably! Or we’ve made a New Year’s resolution to exercise regularly only to never see the inside of a gym. Why do we so often fail to stick to our decisions? I think most of the time, the problem is that we try to do it in our own strength.
God didn’t create us to function separately from Him. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were in a perfect relationship with God, but sin caused them, and us, to become separated from Him. But Jesus opened the way for us to come back to God, come back into relationship with Him, and become one with Him again (1 Corinthians 6:17). Among other things, this means we never have to go at life alone again. We have God with us, inside us, to lead and guide us, to strengthen and help us. We can call on Him and rely on Him to do what we can’t do. The Bible says nothing is impossible with God, and all things are possible to him who believes (Matthew 19:26; Mark 9:23). So don’t try to take care of your body in your own strength! Call on the Holy Spirit to help you do it. Ask Him to teach you what you need to know to take care of your body. Remember, we are all different, and what works for one person may not work for another.
To give you an example, I’ve been doing Pilates every weekday for the last two years. I used to hate exercise, but God knew I would enjoy Pilates, so He brought Robin Long and The Balanced Life across my path, and I can’t imagine not doing my half hour of Pilates every weekday morning. But don’t ask me to go for a jog! I am not a runner. Walking, yes, running, no. Some people enjoy running or cycling or swimming or lifting weights. Others enjoy yoga or dancing. As I said, what works for one, won’t necessarily work for the next person. So work with the Lord in taking care of your body. Let Him help you. Trust Him to give you the knowledge, the ability, and the desire to do what you need to do to care for the body He has given you.
Love the body God
Open any fashion magazine, and you are presented with the world’s version of what a perfect woman looks like. She is tall, impossibly thin, has perfect hair, and make-up all the time and wears the latest fashion. And, of course, she is devastatingly beautiful. But in real life, this isn’t how things work. In the real world, some are tall, while others are short. Some are thin, while others are chubbier. We don’t all have blonde hair and blue eyes. And our body shapes are different. Some are shaped like an apple, while others are more shaped like a pear. Because we are all different, we can’t all look like the models in the magazines. But here’s the thing – we don’t have to!
So don’t feel bad about yourself because you don’t look like the girls in the magazines. Remember, they don’t look that way either. Almost all photos are airbrushed to make them look better. Look at yourself in the mirror and see the beautiful person you are. Appreciate and love the body the Lord gave you, and work with Him to take care of it.
Whether we like it or not, exercise is important when you want to stay healthy and keep your body strong and supple. And you don’t even have to go to the gym! There are many ways to exercise that don’t cost a lot of money or any money at all. Find something you enjoy doing. This is important because you won’t keep doing it if you don’t like it.
It is also a good idea to keep your body moving while not exercising. When you need to go somewhere, and it is close enough to walk, don’t drive; walk there. If you work at a computer all day, make sure you get up regularly and take a break. Play rugby with the children or have a dance marathon in the living room. Find creative ways to keep moving all day long.
If you’ve ever tried eating a healthy diet, you will know how difficult it is. Not everyone agrees on what is healthy and what not. A dietician will tell you to eat certain things and not eat others. Then you buy the latest bestseller and find you aren’t supposed to eat half of what the dietician recommended at all. People just don’t agree on what we are to eat and what not to stay healthy.
While people may not agree, there is One who knows what we are supposed to eat and what not. God created our bodies, and He knows exactly what fuel we should put in it to make it work at its best.
When He created Adam and Eve, He said to them, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:16-17). Later on He gave Noah and his family these instructions: “All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea [I have given] to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables” (Genesis 9:1-3). And in Leviticus 11 we find the dietary instructions the Lord gave to the nation of Israel.
There is no irrelevant information in the Bible. Could it be that these instructions are in the Word to teach God’s children about diet? If we were only to eat what God told us to eat, how would that change our lives? Would we be healthier? I believe we would.
Now, I’m not trying to convince you to eat only fruit and vegetables, but I am saying it will be profitable for us to learn what the Word says about what we should eat and what not, and then follow those instructions. After all, we follow all God’s other instructions, why ignore these? I have to admit, I still struggle with this one myself, but with the help of the Lord, we can do it!
I enjoy a good cup of coffee, but there is nothing better than a glass of cold water when I am thirsty. Keeping ourselves properly hydrated is one of the best things we can do. Our bodies need water to get the energy from our food to our muscles and brain. It needs water to get rid of waste. Without water, our kidneys, immune system, and brain can’t function properly.
Aim at about eight glasses of water a day. If you don’t like the taste, put a slice of lemon or cucumber in it.
To make things easier, carry a water bottle with you to sip from during the day. Or set the alarm on your phone to go off every hour or so to remind you to drink water.
Have a cup of coffee or tea if you want to, but make sure you drink plenty of water each day.
Busy is the new buzz word. People are constantly rushing from one thing to another. I know about a woman who was so busy at work, she didn’t even have time to go to the bathroom!
Being busy all the time is not good for us. We have to take time to rest, relax, and recuperate.
We need to sleep. We need to go to bed at a decent hour to get a good night’s rest and to be able to get up the next morning without hitting the snooze button multiple times.
We need to take time off from work and spend it having fun with our family and friends.
You are in charge of your schedule. If you don’t like it, if you feel you are too busy, do something about it. Cut things from your to-do list. Say no when you don’t want to do something or when you know you don’t have time to do it. You may disappoint someone, but it isn’t worth it to try and please others while you lose your sanity.
Your body is important to God. He wants you to take care of it so it can function properly, and you can do what God created you to do.
Love the body the Lord gave you. Lean on Him to help you treat it with respect. Feed it healthy food, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest. Find a form of exercise you enjoy, and make sure you keep your body active.
Starting today, become an example to others by taking care
of your body in a godly and balanced way.