The human body is a very versatile, adaptable, durable, intricate, and highly developed creation, made to encase the yet more beautiful and durable spirit inside. The apostle Paul called your body the “temple of God,”1 and so it is.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit,1 and God has commissioned us to care for them well and faithfully. Jesus paid the ultimate price to make us His own, so we should show our gratitude by investing in our health. Taking good care of our bodies and health is a natural outgrowth of loving ourselves and appreciating the gift of life that God has given to us.
A few years ago it dawned on me that I was seriously out of shape. My work had become more sedentary, and I hadn’t made up for that. I enjoyed exercise but never seemed to find the time or motivation to stick with it, day after day. Part of the problem was that I put accomplishments in my work ahead of my health.
Years back, I began what has been a decade-long and running interest in fitness. Having been a rather sickly and non-athletic child and teenager, I was excited to realize I could train my body to run several miles, lift weights, and even do a few “guy pushups.” The one thing I really wanted to do, but didn’t think I would be able to, was a chin-up. As in, the pull-up with a reverse grip. I had tried a few times and barely moved upward, let alone to where my chin touched the bar. I was fairly convinced I just did not have that upper-body strength.
Recently, I had the uneasy feeling that I needed a change, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I had a nagging feeling, but I didn’t make much effort to do something about it.
Then my daughter Joanna invited me to a special exercise program that covers a variety of routines like toning, stretching, concentration, and meditation. I’m generally not very fond of group calisthenics and initially decided that I didn’t really want to try this out. I preferred to do my exercises alone in nature or at home, to ride my stationary bike, or work out with my tailor-made aerobic program.
Staying healthy doesn’t happen automatically. It takes effort, and also usually involves some sacrifice, some reordering of priorities and forgoing certain things that would be enjoyable but not good for us. Long-term health is a lifelong investment, but it’s a wise one. Better to invest a little each day in strengthening our bodies than to neglect them and suffer serious health problems.
Your body is an amazingly intricate and efficient machine, but it needs proper care to run well. If you want to be free of sickness and other physical problems, you have to do your part. That takes time, thought, and effort. You have to eat properly, drink plenty of fluids, get sufficient sleep, exercise, have your teeth and eyes checked periodically, limit your exposure to things that could be harmful, and so on.