In a couple of prior posts I have mentioned “body holiness.” Essentially observing body holiness is about honoring God with our bodies. There are two main ways we do this:
1) Use our bodies in ways that honor God.
We can do this by serving God with the strength of our bodies by literally laboring on mission projects. Or, we can honor God with our bodies by lifting our hands in prayer and praise, or humbling ourselves by kneeling.
We should resist abuses of the body. When Paul speaks about our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit and not being our own (1 Corinthians 6:18-20), he places those verses between a warning against prostitution and a discussion of what a healthy sexual ethic is in the context of marriage. Chapters six and seven of 1 Corinthians offer great examples of body holiness, from both a negative or prohibitive perspective and a positive or permissive perspective.
2) Be good stewards of our bodies.
Care of our bodies through adequate rest, nutrition and exercise is not a luxury or an extra-curricular activity it is a holy obligation. I was reminded of this fact again this week while I was on a Church Professionals Retreat sponsored by our Presbytery (that’s our regional body for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term). I was reminded because I think most of us were very fatigued and in need of the retreat and many of the pastors were actively working on health goals. One is working toward a half-marathon. At least three are working at weight loss.
Tracking someone else progress can be very inspiring. On Facebook there is a women who has a page called “Busy Mom Gets Fits“. Here status lines always motivate me. She is an army wife who decided that she wanted a goal to work toward while her husband was away on a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. She is working toward being in a fitness competition. As I have followed the chronicle of her journey toward greater health and fitness on Facebook, I have been inspired to take better care of my own health.
Today when checking out Busy Mom Gets Fit, I ran across a very helpful link on her page, to a website Prayerfit.com. It is a Christian website committed to two things: spiritual nourishment and physical development. Daily posts offer advice around fitness and nutrition while also offering a devotional thought for the day. I haven’t delved into it deeply, so I am not going to give an unqualified endorsement, but I definitely am checking it out and encourage you to do so if God is calling you to be a better steward of your body.
About the graphic above
Personally, my biggest obstacle to proper self-care is a mindset of busyness. I addictively cling to the idea that I am too busy. It is the my default escape hatch for failing to do what is right whether I am failing to pray, study or follow one of God’s nudges. Truth be told, if I am too busy to take care of my body, then I am too busy. Something needs to go because again–self-care is not optional. Self-care is necessary. I ran into the above graphic on BusyMomGetsFit and it once again reminded me that what I do is all about priority. If I am not taking care of my body, if I am not sleeping, eating, or exercising well, it is because I choose other things to be a priority.
So, how are you using your body to honor God? Is your health not just adequate but excellent? Excellent health will allow you to love and serve God with vigor and enthusiasm. What action step can you take today to honor God with your body or improve your health? It doesn’t have to be huge. You might simply start by taking a 15 minute walk tonight rather than surfing on facebook, commit to drinking water instead of soda, or go to bed 30 minutes early. No action step is to small. Dedicate those chose to God as your commitment to be a better steward of the body and life he has given you.
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