We are constantly bombarded with messages about diet and exercise. Commercials tell us to join a gym even while we’re sitting on the couch eating a snack. Magazine covers in the checkout line espouse the latest diet trends even when we just put a package of Oreos into our shopping carts. We live in a culture that’s obsessed with our bodies and body image, so much so that it’s easy to lose sight of what God thinks is important for us and our bodies.
This past weekend Pastor Rob shared a great message that helped us cut through a lot of the noise and really understand how our faith relates to our health. Honoring God in our bodies isn’t necessarily about working out six hours a day or trying every fad diet out there. However, honoring God in our bodies is about recognizing the inherent goodness of our bodies and how to best care for them.
Obviously honoring God in our bodies does have an impact on diet and exercise. We all know that we shouldn’t eat French fries and hamburgers for every meal, and that we should probably get up and move a little bit every day. That doesn’t mean we all have to be Olympians or eat a Whole 30 diet, but it does mean that we should be mindful of what we eat and how we care for ourselves. These are the only bodies we’ve got, and God wants us to use them to do his good work for as long as they’re able. And, the better we care for our bodies, the longer God will be able to work through us.
Beyond diet and exercise, though, honoring God in our bodies also has to do with rest and sleep. One of the Ten Commandments is taking the Sabbath, a day completely devoted to rest and recovery. That doesn’t mean we have to sit inside all day, but we can participate in activities that energize our bodies and replenish our souls. Maybe for you that’s sitting down and watching a movie or getting coffee with a friend or working in your yard.
We also can’t ignore the importance of a good nap. Sometimes the holiest thing that we can do is take a nap. Instead of pushing our bodies too far, we need to listen to them and heed the call to take a quick nap.
God created our bodies. They are amazing, wonderful creations and we need to do our best to take care of them. That will look different for everyone, but we can’t simply ignore caring for our bodies. Honoring God in our bodies means taking care of them, because it’s through our bodies that God is going to use us.