The Real Reason God Wants You to Take Care of Your Body

(Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash)

"What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Have you ever heard the word "sanctification"? It's really just a big theological word that means to dedicate something for God's purpose. You can sanctify anything. You can say, "God, I sanctify this car. I dedicate it to you for your purposes. God, I sanctify this home. I dedicate it to you for your purposes."

God says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that there's something he wants you to dedicate to him: your body. "What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

It's simple: You take care of it.

"Sanctify your body" basically means "get in shape." If you want God to use you, you've got to get in shape. Because the better shape you are in, the more energy you'll have and the more God can use you.

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Psalm 119:73 (TLB) says, "You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws." God set up the principles of good health. He doesn't just want you to have a pure heart. He wants your body to be in shape so he can use you more effectively.

Maybe you aren't getting enough sleep. But God can't use somebody who's tired all the time. You need to get proper rest. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap!

Perhaps you need to work on the food factor. In 1 Corinthians 6:13, the Bible compares overeating to sexual immorality. You might never think of cheating on your spouse, but God says that these are all sins against the body. God is serious about wanting you to control what you eat!

It's possible you have the wrong attitude toward your body. You neglect it, you reject it ("God, I want a different one!"), or you perfect it (the way a narcissistic bodybuilder worships his body). Instead, God wants you to respect your body and protect it. Why? Because God created it, Jesus paid for it and the Holy Spirit lives in it.

So what's our motivation to get in shape? The Bible says, "All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize" (1 Cor. 9:25, NLT). Our motivation is we want to please God. Athletes get in shape just to win an award. But you will have an eternal reward. You will be rewarded in heaven because you made the most of what you were given, because you took care of your body so that God could use you more effectively here on earth.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.

This article originally appeared at pastorrick.com.

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