Physical AND Spiritual Health
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Our body consists of three parts: a body, a soul, and a spirit. The body part is obvious, our soul is our intellect, emotions, etc, and our spirit is the inner being connected to God. Most people pursue one aspect more than the others, neglecting the other two somewhat. For example, some people spend hours at the gym, but do you catch them reading an educational book or spending time in prayer? Or some people spend so much time improving their spiritual health that they fall into poor physical shape. Either way, it’s not good to neglect part of you.
All three parts are important, and they are all a gift from God. This verse is directly addressing sexual immorality, but it also goes for any use of our body outside of God’s plan. For this post, we’re focusing on the body. The majority of our blog addresses the spiritual part of us, but the body is obviously a very important part of life, and as such we’ll talk about it a bit.
Since our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, it’s very important that we watch what we do with our body. Courtney’s post below this one, Several of the Many Bottom Lines on Sex, talks about the importance of keeping pure sexually as it affects our spiritual purity. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to keep what we say clean and uplifting – going on the basis that what we physically speak has a very powerful impact (maybe a post on that later). Ephesians 5:18 commands us not to get drunk on alcohol, but be filled up with the Holy Spirit. There are several verses in the Bible addressing overeating (gluttony), such as Proverbs 23:20. So we see there’s things we shouldn’t do with our body.
So what should we do with our body? Well, we should eat healthily. Yes, this does include eating fruits and vegetables, and drinking lots of water. If our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, eating lots of processed food and drinking lots of fake beverages (anyone want a Coke or Pepsi?) is like throwing garbage on the floor of a church and never cleaning it up. No, these foods aren’t evil, but we should make an effort to eat healthier, more natural foods. In Daniel 1:8-16, Daniel and his men refused to eat the king’s food, instead eating only vegetables and water. After ten days, Daniel and his men looked visibly healthier than the other servants. And that was before the days of high-fructose corn syrup and who knows what else our food contains! So watch not only the nutritional content but the quality of the food you eat. We should also exercise – in moderation. 1 Timothy 4:8 tells us “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”. So exercise is good, but back-seat to spiritual growth. This doesn’t mean we should avoid it though! Our body is a gift, and we should treat it right. If we neglect it now, it may fail us later in many ways – loss of mobility, loss of endurance, loss of function, or even early death. All of these hinder our effectiveness in ministering. So take a walk every day. Play outside with your kids. Go snow tubing with your spouse. Take some time to keep your body at least mildly fit, but don’t let it become obsession or vanity. The last point of what we should do with our body may confuse some of you from your viewpoints, but it shouldn’t scripturally. If we’re married, we should have sex. Regularly. “Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer (basically fasting sex instead of / with food). Afterward, you should come together again (have sex again) so that satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – that’s 1 Corinthians 7:5, if you can’t believe it and want to find it in your own Bible. So we see sex is important for a married couple to stay pure, but it also leads to many physical and emotional benefits, and it’s a gift from God!
Take a look at your daily life, and see if there’s an aspect of you (body, soul, spirit) that’s being left behind. Don’t obsess over it, but give it a little more attention.
The BOTTOM LINE: Take care of your body, not just your soul and spirit.