Healthy Living – Part 1: How Your Body Is a Temple of the Lord
Like most people, you undoubtedly have many personal motives for wanting to make healthy living a priority.
Perhaps you struggle to keep up with your little ones, find yourself unable to concentrate at work, and have simply grown dissatisfied with the way you feel. In that case, it makes perfect sense that you may be thinking of how you can change your diet and exercise regimen to improve your health and overall well-being.
However, there is a far more important reason to practice healthy living that you may not have considered…
Your body is a temple of the Lord, and it should be treated as such.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”—1 Corinthians 3:16
Understanding How Your Body Is a Temple
“Your body is a temple” is a common expression—the meaning of which has become distorted over time. You yourself may even have forgotten that it originated in the Bible, referring to how Believers carry the Spirit of God within them.
Nowadays, however, it is often used more casually (even jokingly) to describe the way a person treats his or her body…
To understand how your body is a temple, you must disregard the other meanings this expression has been assigned over the years. You need to look at its original context within the Bible, which will give you deeper insight into the role your body plays—a role that is much greater than you may realize.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”—1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Bible says that God created us. Because Jesus paid for our sins upon the cross, He redeemed us. When we accept the Lord as our Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
This is what it means to say that your body is a temple.
It is a physical vessel in which the Spirit of God resides. It is a sacred place that should be cared for and revered. It is a tool to be used to honor God and do good works in His name.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”—Ephesians 2:10
Caring for this temple of the Lord doesn’t just mean you are to eat nutrient-rich foods and engage in regular physical activity. Caring also means to cultivate spiritual growth, reach a state of mental balance, and gain deeper understanding with regard to your true purpose.
Once you are able to grasp what it really means for your body to be a temple of the Lord, certain verses in the Bible will take on greater significance.
What the Bible Says About Your Body and Health
Many passages in the Bible talk about our bodies, health, and the way in which God created us, shedding light on how we are meant to care for the vessels God has provided us. The following are just a few on which to reflect…
- “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”—Genesis 1:27
Though all of creation demonstrates God’s design, power, and goodness, only people were created in His own image, possessing both physical bodies and spiritual souls that must be cared for.
- “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”—1 Corinthians 10:31
Since your body is a temple of the Lord, every food you eat, every drink you consume, and every action you take should be to honor God and the tremendous blessing of life He has bestowed upon you.
- “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”—1 Timothy 4:8
You should never disregard the importance of bodily exercise, as it keeps your physical body strong and healthy. It can then equip you to be alive and active in God’s purpose for your life.
- “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”—Romans 6:13
If you have accepted the Lord as your Savior, then your body is a temple of the Lord—His Spirit dwells within you. Even though you may face distractions in your life, the choices you make will ultimately serve God and His purpose for you.
The Importance of Caring for Your Body as a Temple of the Lord
Distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is easy to forget that we were put on this earth for a purpose—to use our bodies and the gifts God has bestowed upon us to achieve His will. Many of us have become so focused on how good health can benefit us that we fail to think about how it can glorify our Creator.
God created you, Jesus redeemed you, and the Holy Spirit dwells within you. As a result, your body is a temple of the Lord.
Would you agree that you can reap a harvest from the blessings you have been given by caring for your body so you can then devote your time and energy to fulfilling God’s mission for you?
In short, yes!
And that means…
- Strengthening your physical form by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly
- Improving your mind by getting plenty of rest and striving for balance in your life
- Growing your spirit by engaging with the Lord and honoring Him in all things
By giving God’s temple the physical, mental, and spiritual nourishment it needs, you can go on to live the life that you want and that God wants for you—a happy, fulfilling life through which you can be a good citizen and steward of the earth.
It is important to remember that your body is a temple—a temple of the Lord. As such, it deserves to be cared for, so you are able to honor God and fulfill His purpose for you here on earth.
Though it is perfectly acceptable to have many reasons for wanting to live a healthier life, you should always be committed to keeping God’s vessel in good condition so you can spread His message and do good works in His name.