God has generously given us many things so we can live for his glory, including our physical bodies. So what priority should we place on stewarding our physical health for the sake of serving God? Stewarding means being a faithful manager of what doesn’t belong to you – to use what belongs to God for his service. Our bodies are ours, but ultimately they belong to God as he made us and purchased us with Christ’s blood.
Let’s have a quick look at what the Bible says…
Taking care of the bodies God gave us
‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…’ (Psalm 139:13-14)
We may feel and look different to one another, but every one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. Some of us have been given physical limitations that are beyond our control, but this does not change how God has lovingly designed us and given us unique opportunities to serve him. We’re all to steward and care for our physical health in a way that honours our creator and shows thankfulness for what he has given us.
Honouring God with our bodies
‘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 honour God with your bodies.’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The Apostle Paul reminds us that we cannot do whatever we want with our bodies. Rather we belong to God and are to honour him with our bodies.
Honouring God with our bodies is not just avoiding sin, but also doing good works that he has given us to do. By caring for our physical health, we increase our ability to serve God and others more effectively and for longer.
Getting the balance right
‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’ (1 Timothy 4:8)
We may be tempted to focus only on our spiritual health and live like physical training is of no value. Paul tells us that physical training has some value. It also has a positive impact on our spiritual life. Christopher Ash says in his book Zeal Without Burnout, “Our bodily and mental lives are inseparable from the way we relate to God.”
However, we must recognise the eternal value of godliness. Taking care of our bodies is important but secondary to godliness.
So, what priority should we give to our physical health?
- Godliness above all: Pursuing godliness is most important, but we should also appropriately prioritise our physical health.
- Stewardship for service: We’re to care for our bodies, not to be fit as an end in itself, but to be fit to do good works for God’s glory.
All for God’s glory
As we steward our physical health, the glory of God needs to be our big motivator. This helps us to avoid the traps of trying to be healthy for our own glory and comparing ourselves to others.
Our physical bodies are an incredible gift from God that enable us to serve him and care for others. Let’s take care of them for God’s glory.
Student Minister | 9:45am & 11:30am