“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,” (1 Corinthians 6:19, ESV)
The Bible does not discuss the topic of fitness in great detail. One verse that is alway associated with the topic is 1 Corinthians 6:19. Here were are told that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. But the context of this verse is not about fitness. It is about sexual immorality.
One of the reasons I believe that fitness is not specifically addressed is because the world of the Bible was different than today. Life was much more physically demanding. Primary occupations were farming, shepherding, and fishing. If you had to travel anywhere, you would walk. People were naturally fit.
Today our lifestyles are much more sedentary. We sit for long periods of time. We have jobs where we sit at desks behind computer screens. When we travel we sit in our cars. We come home in the evening, and we sit on our couches watching TV.
Food is also much different today. Food was much more natural and organic. You got it directly from the ground. Today we fill our bodies with processed food. There are a plethora of unhealthy foods that are readily and conveniently available in our local supermarkets. Many of these choices simply were not available when the Bible was written.
Obesity has become an epidemic in America. We have limited levels of energy because of a lack of fitness. Just as we are called to be good stewards of our money, we are also called to be stewards of our bodies which are created after the image of God. Ill health has negative consequences on our ability to serve God, our families, the church, and our communities. It is something to take seriously if we take seriously our calling from God to serve this world
If you are like most Americans, your fitness level is not where it should be. Get active! Instead of sitting down to watch TV, take a walk. Or put on an exercise video. Everyone is always fighting for the closest parking spot. Instead of looking for the closest parking spot, find a spot in the back. I am sure there will be plenty of spots, and you will have the opportunity for a nice walk. Another simple thing you can do is take the stairs instead of the elevator. The point is there are already ample opportunities to be more active if we open our eyes.
Then consider what you eat. Someone shared with me that we often eat food for how it tastes. But what if we started eating food for how it makes us feel. I have a sweet tooth. I love the taste of cookies, candy, and ice cream. What I don’t like is the crash after the initial sugar rush. This knowledge helps me avoid junk food and search for healthier alternatives that boost levels of energy and alertness.
Most all of us have things we can improve our fitness. You don’t need to join the gym to be more active. You don’t need to sign up for the latest dieting fad to eat better. Fitness starts with having the right mentality. It is about small choices we make throughout the day. If you want to start some regimented exercise program or you sign up for some super diet, go for it. But it will go a long way to consider many of the individual choices you make throughout the day.
- Do you see fitness as a spiritual matter?
- What are some simple ways you can be more active while doing the things you already do?
- What is your motivation for eating? How might you shift that motivation?