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God gave us one life here on earth and one body to live it in. What should we do to maintain our bodies in order to live life to the fullest? In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT), it says:
“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.”
When the New Testament describes our bodies as the “temple of the Holy Spirit,” it is a reminder that Christ followers have a personal, intimate relationship with God that was not possible before Christ came. In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God lived with the Israelites inside the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was a box made of the finest materials, covered in gold and placed on the altar behind the veil in the innermost room of the Jewish temple called the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest could enter this sanctum and be close to the presence of God.
Once Jesus came and died on the cross to reconcile all people to God through the forgiveness of their sins, the Holy Spirit came to dwell within the bodies of Christ followers. Yes, God’s Spirit lives in those who accept Him. Paul reminds us of this several times in 1 Corinthians. Our bodies do not belong only to us. They belong to God and house His Spirit.
So how should we treat our bodies? We should treat them like they are the modern day equivalent of the Ark of the Covenant, made of only the finest materials. Your body is priceless to God, extremely valuable and worthy of great care. To honor God with your body and live the life He designed for you, consider these 4 ways:
Fast food is everywhere. Processed foods fill grocery store aisles. These foods feel satisfying, and they are certainly convenient. But they are not real food. Often, they do not nourish us. Consider carefully what you put in your mouth to eat and drink. Look at food labels. Is there anything on the label you cannot pronounce or do not know what it is? Then it is not real food. A good rule of thumb is that a food label should not have more than 3 to 5 ingredients. And they should all be words you know.
To find real food, skip fast food and shop only the perimeter of the grocery store. Those are usually the produce, meats, dairy, deli, and bakery sections. The middle aisles and frozen foods have many additives to give them long shelf life. Skip them as often as you can.
Shop farmers markets, produce stands, and local farms. Not only are you supporting your local economy and fellow neighbors when you do, but also you are buying foods that come exactly the way God made them.
With all of our devices and screens, busy work schedules, and bodies that are out of shape, it can feel hard to get moving. But exercise is a must to keep your “temple” functioning at its best. If you exercise regularly, keep it up. Switch routines regularly so you do not get bored.
If exercise is not your thing, grab a friend and get started today. Aerobic exercise is necessary for good digestion, heart health, and much more. Your heart rate needs to be elevated for good blood flow, oxygenation, and brain function, for starters. If you have been fairly sedentary or struggle with your weight, start slowly. If you can’t do 30 minutes, start with 15. If 15 seems impossible, start with 5. Challenge yourself to increase your exercise by 1 minute and one additional exercise move each day. Set realistic goals for yourself and find someone to hold you accountable. Do not give up!
Exercise does not have to be miserable. Make it fun. Turn on your favorite music, grab a friend and catch up while you work out, join a group run, or find an app that challenges you to become your best self.
The Bible has a lot of advice on what we put into our bodies through our eyes and ears, as well as our mouths. In Luke 11:34 (ESV), Jesus said,
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.”
That is pretty clear instruction to be mindful about what we see. Consider your media choices. Would you feel comfortable sitting next to Jesus watching your favorite movies or TV shows? How about what you are hearing? What comes into our bodies through our ears comes right back out of our mouths. Make choices that “HEAL” – are Helpful, Encouraging, Affirming, and Loving. If your music does not HEAL, find some that does. If your words do not HEAL, do not say them.
Honoring God with your body means creating a lifestyle of good health. Consider your sleep patterns, environments, daily rhythms, and healthcare. Explore ways to give your body health boosts. In addition to seeing your medical providers regularly, try essential oils to clean the air in your home and calm or energize you. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, and try to follow the same schedule as much as possible. Find time for self-care by enjoying an activity you love with people you love, whether that is a walk on the beach or an evening at the orchestra.
Finally, go beyond prescription medicines and explore CBD oil for inflammation, aches and pains, sleeplessness, and other issues. Studies show CBD works with your body’s own endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis, meaning stability in your body systems. It keeps inflammation down. Inflammation is the root of many, if not most, health problems. CBD oil does not contain THC and does not get you high, but it may provide much-needed relief and get you back on your way to good health.
Ask God what changes you need to make to get your body healthy because honoring God with your body honors His sacrifice for you. Good health is essential to carry out the mission He designed for you.
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