As a Christian, I want to care for my body because the Bible tells me this is an act of worship. It saddens me to see so many Christians walking around with excess weight, along with all the health problems that go along with it. Inside the church walls there are as many obese people as outside the walls in our culture. Let’s take a deep dive into why that shouldn’t be the case.
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Why Christians Should Care for Their Bodies
Everyone in the world at some point asks the questions: 1. Where did I come from? and 2. Why am I here? Genesis chapter 1 gives the beautiful account of how God spoke all things into existence, with His most perfect creation being man. He called everything He made “good” but when He created man, He stated it was “very good.” Genesis 1:27 states: So god created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God. He created them male and female.
Those who are not Christians, or especially those who deny the existence of God, have much confusion simply answering the question of where they came from. The answer to why we are here is even something Christians can struggle with. There are several core truths most Christians agree on:
- We were made to worship. If we don’t worship God, we WILL worship something whether it’s money, food, power, or even our children.
- This is not our forever home. If we have trusted Jesus to save us from our sins, we are going to spend eternity with Him in heaven. The Bible says our life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow, so we should make the most of each moment.
- We are all unique and created for a purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- We are to tell others about Him and serve Him all our days. 1 Peter 4:10-11 states: God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Here is where the problem comes in- if you are riddled with pain or suffering from disease, are you going to feel like performing good works, serving with your whole heart, or ministering to others? Sadly, many Christians aren’t living their calling because they don’t feel well or lack the energy to serve others.
Bible Verses Regarding Taking Care of Your Body
I have taught several nutrition classes over the years, mostly at churches we have served in or my Christian co-op. I knew intuitively that God cares about how we treat our bodies. Not only regarding sexual purity or overindulgence of things that can be abused, but in TOTAL care. So I got to digging! As I list these verses, allow me to make something very clear. It’s CRUCIAL when you read God’s word to read the entire passage and know the context. Entire denominations have been formed on just a couple of verses taken out of context. So please know that some of these verses are referencing sexual purity while others make reference to foods sacrificed to idols. The overall context however, is honoring God in how we treat our bodies.
- Romans 12:1- Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20- 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17- 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
- 1 Corinthians 6:12- “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31- So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
- 1 Timothy 4:8- For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
How to Care for Your Body
If you’ve read this far, you may now be convinced that you want to live long and feel well while honoring God! There are numerous resources and will be detailed posts on this blog in the days and years to come on practical ways to be healthy. Here I will give some broad ideas that I hope will help. If you need extra encouragement or prefer one-on-one support, I’d love to work with you as your health coach.
- Incorporate movement into your day. You don’t have to train for a marathon or compete in body-building to be strong and fit! Go walking, enjoy hiking in God’s creation, run around and play with your kids, take the stairs instead of the elevator… you get the idea! Just make time to move your whole body several times a day.
- Eat real food
- Keep yourself hydrated. This means clean, filtered water, not sodas or energy drinks.
- Be mindful of where your foods come from and how they are grown. Choose pastured meats that are raised how God intended on their natural diets. Eat organic produce when possible, especially if they are known to carry a high pesticide load.
- Get sufficient sleep. Adults need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep. Be mindful of dimming lights and staying off screens as bedtime gets closer.
- Manage stress. Caring for your body is not only about what you do physically. We are body, mind and spirit. Stress takes a horrible toll on your body and is responsible for more doctor’s visits than any other issue. See here for how to incorporate self-care into your busy day to help relieve stress in your life.
May God bless our efforts as we strive to live our lives for Him and feel well in the process!