I signed up for my first gym membership in college. That first morning, I stumbled through my first exercise class. Winded during the entire workout, and very sore the next day, it’s a wonder I ever went back! But trying to rid myself of the weight I had gained by eating pizza every day in the school cafeteria was a good motivator!
Here, almost 30 years later, I exercise for very different reasons. As I studied the scriptures over time, I have learned what value God places on my physical body, not just my spiritual life. God has much to say about human bodies throughout the Bible.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV) “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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Romans 12:1 (NIV) “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.”
God created our bodies and called them good. Jesus took on a physical body of flesh and blood, and came to live on earth.
Also consider you need a body to help people. Hands make a meal for a sick friend, a mouth shares the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ and tears empathize with a devastated loved one. You have to have a body to do anything of eternal value! Our body becomes a living instrument in God’s hands to help, love, nurture and care for people.
Like any instrument that needs fine-tuning and maintenance, we should maintain our body … God’s instrument.
Three Ways to Maintain My Body, God’s Instrument
Rest it: Research shows a link between chronic lack of sleep with colds and flu, diabetes, heart disease, mental health and even obesity. These five key health problems may improve with at least seven hours of sleep per night.
Feed it: Over time, grow in your ability to eat more whole unprocessed foods and vegetables. A food plan focusing on real whole foods, along with portion control, can be beneficial. Avoid crash diets that heavily restrict foods. They are not good long term and can damage your natural metabolism function.
Exercise it: For many people, this can be so confusing. You may wonder, “Do I get on the treadmill, pick up weights, follow a yoga video?” This is where group fitness classes and personal trainers are key. In a class, you have a highly trained instructor guiding the class through basic exercises with options for different levels. A few sessions with a personal trainer can get you moving in the right direction, answer your specific questions and create for you a personalized exercise plan.
Follow these tips. They can help you maintain a healthy body and be the instrument in God’s hands you were meant to be!
Lori Joiner is an author, speaker and discipleship coach in Katy, Texas. When not writing, you can find her teaching group fitness classes at the YMCA, walking their chocolate lab with her husband Alan or playing board games with her two sons. You can reach out to her at LoriJoinerMinistries.org.