© 2021 KJ Chikwanha / Harvest City Church

In light of rising uncertainty and worry in this global pandemic people have had to come to grips with the reality that our physical health is equally as important as our spiritual health. We have often neglected our physical bodies in the name of doing the Father’s business, not understanding that our physical health is included in this. We need to comprehend that we (people) are the church and God has blessed us with an amazing building (body) that we can call home, which is testament to His goodness.

During this pandemic we have seen more clearly that we have neglected the responsibility of looking after our bodies and have had to change the way we view health and wellness. People are more keen to eat food that will help boost their immune systems and there’s an increasing realisation of the need for a balance between what we eat and an active lifestyle. Walking and cycling have become enjoyable again after having been unappreciated and taken for granted. Gardening and home renovations have allowed people to realise they can stay active while still doing leisurely things they love.

If we can clean and look after our physical homes, what stops us from paying the same attention to our physical health?

Why we should:

1. We are all called to steward our bodies well as they are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We carry the glorious presence of the Holy Spirit in us. As such, we should honour that great privilege and live our lives from that perspective.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT)

‘But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.’ (John 15:26, NLT)

2. Our bodies matter to the Lord. He paid a high price so that we can have life more abundantly.

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” (Romans‬ ‭8:11‬, ‭NLT‬‬)‬‬

You have the Holy Spirit strengthening your physical body. God cares about our health, wellbeing and even the little things we care about. Nothing is too insignificant or impossible for Him to handle.

As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. (Luke 4:40, NLT)

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5, NLT)

3. Love yourself—not a selfish and obsessive love, but a Christ-centred love (agape) that is kind and selfless. Kindness in a practical sense is having the right attitude and perspective when it comes to our wellbeing. Eating healthy food and doing a bit of exercise are small steps we can all take towards stewarding our bodies well. This is not an easy journey, but it starts by taking one step at a time and slowly introducing change in our diet and increasing our physical exercise.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew‬ ‭22:37-39,‬ ‭NLT‬‬)‬‬

Once we learn to love ourselves in a reflective way which is linked to our identity in Christ, we can then also truly love others and see people from God’s heart and love. Moving forward, we should have the right attitude, mindset and intention when taking care of our bodies.

How to start:

1. Take small steps forward. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by different diets and health trends. Start by incorporating small amounts of fruits and veggies throughout the day, coupled with short walks to build your stamina.

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. (Luke 16:10, NLT)

2. Make it a lifestyle change rather than a diet. When it’s a lifestyle it becomes part of who you are and you can do it more effortlessly with long-lasting benefits.

3. Be accountable to people who will encourage you and who are willing to lift you up and cheer you on as you grow. How you live your life matters because we are to reflect Christ and inspire people around us to start taking bold steps forward.

Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice. (Proverbs 20:18, NLT)

We are all called to live in an awareness of the fact that our physical and mental health matters to God, and now we have the divine enablement to see it. Let’s continually be renewed in our thinking as we keep our eyes on Christ Jesus our champion.