The age-old issue of how to honor your body as a temple of the Lord has been on Believers’ minds for centuries. Countless diets have come and gone throughout the years, yet none can keep the body healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Many of us are not following the most basic teachings in the Bible. It’s not because we do not want to but because we are not aware of them… We are unknowingly uninformed.
How are you to honor your body as a temple of the Lord?
Let's unpack why healthy living is so important and how you can honor God when you honor your body.
Let the Bible Be Your Guide to Healthy Living…
“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
Jesus’ blood shed on Calvary purchased us so that we can gain access to God’s presence—He placed His Spirit inside of us!
From the beginning, God had a perfect design and specific intentions for His creation. However, that design and those intentions were cursed after Adam and Eve chose to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.
Fortunately, God had a master plan of reconciliation for His creation through Jesus. Our bodies, which were once separated from God’s holiness, now always have the ability to be connected to our Creator.
How do these Biblical truths connect to healthy living?
Simply put, God gives you all of the tools and resources you need to be intentional about honoring your body with a healthy lifestyle. Although your physical body is subject to death, you can still be intentional about healthy living by taking God’s advice for His design.
Let's break down six biblical principles that God gave us to keep our bodies well balanced for a healthier lifestyle—ultimately to fulfill our purpose.
Six Biblical Principles to Honor Your Body as a Temple of the Lord
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”—Genesis 2:2-3
God blessed and sanctified the seventh day because He rested. Rest is important to God. He knew that, above all else, human ambition would outweigh the desire for rest.
He also knew that lack of rest would ultimately damage our health. Perhaps that is why He consistently reminds us through His Word that the body requires rest.
“And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’”—Mark 2:27
Keep in mind, needing rest is not a consequence of the fall, but rather something that God designed so the body would be able to carry out its purpose.
2. Don't Overeat
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.’”—Exodus 16:4
You may recall that when God was leading the Israelites out of Egypt, He fed them with manna. He told them only to take what they needed for the day.
Healthy living requires that you are in spiritual alignment with God. Is His Spirit guiding your portion control and eating habits, or are you letting pleasure of the flesh take over?
“Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.”—Proverbs 25:16
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. If you have the Spirit dwelling within you, then you have the ability to access that self-control. This is walking by the Spirit rather than the flesh (see Galatians 5:16).
3. Eat Honorably
Like all good things, food is a gift from the Lord. It is used to celebrate, entertain, fuel your body, and show hospitality to care for others in a tangible way.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”—1 Corinthians 10:31
Most of us eat mindlessly rather than honorably. It is a habit that has been perpetuated by a culture of haste. But as Believers, we do not have to conform to the pressures of this world. We can renew our minds and our bodies when we eat honorably and with intentional mindfulness.
Note the emphasis that Jesus put on honoring Him at the last supper with bread and wine.
“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise, He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’”—Luke 22:17-20 (emphasis added)
4. Eat God-Made Food
There are several natural foods that are frequently mentioned in the Bible—foods such as grapes, figs, olives, and olive oil. Many of these foods contain the natural ingredients that a body requires to fight off sickness and disease. You can honor your body simply by implementing these foods into your diet every day.
For instance, a natural, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil has several key health benefits and is packed with antioxidants that can fight free radicals that are causing sickness and disease in our bodies.
5. Get Moving
“Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’—therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.”—Genesis 3:22-23
Physical work was also part of God’s perfect design. In the beginning, God designed us to enjoy hard work. It wasn't until after the fall that physical work became labor. However, labor is still required for healthy living.
“I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.”—Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (emphasis added)
God created man to have a feeling of accomplishment after completing a task or performing physical labor. Do not allow yourself to be robbed of that feeling by not accomplishing things… or worse, accomplishing them with a negative attitude.
“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”—2 Thessalonians 3:10
This verse reminds us that you reap what you sow—meaning that reward requires effort!
“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”—1 Corinthians 9:26-27
Honor your body by running a good race and fighting a good fight, just as the apostle Paul instructed in his letter to the Corinthians.
6. Adjust Your Mind to Align with God’s
When you walk into someone else's home, do you walk around in muddy shoes, throwing trash on the floor and coloring on walls? Of course not!
The enemy distracts the mind—and thus, we tend to not take every thought captive, making it obedient to God (see 2 Corinthians 10:5).
What does that mean?
It means that we often forget we have the gift of the Holy Spirit that can shape our thoughts and mindset so we may become more like Jesus—if we allow it.
Whatever comes out and goes into your body is a direct reflection upon your relationship with His Spirit.
“Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”—Ephesians 4:25-30
Ultimately, the best way to honor your body as a temple of the Lord is to recognize it as a literal house of the Lord. Your body is the fragile, earthen vessel that houses the mighty Spirit of God when you belong to Jesus.
Are these points speaking to you? What is one area that you can change today to start following these biblical principles for healthy living? God wants to reveal to you how good stewardship of your physical health can impact your spiritual connection to Him, leading to a healthier version of yourself that will sing His praises.