All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are expedient. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be brought under the power of anything. “Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods,” but God will bring to nothing both it and them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. Now God raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power. Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or don’t you know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body? For, “The two,” says he, “will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin that a man does is outside the body,” but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
-1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (WEB)
Twenty-five years ago, my body weight was well below the maximum allowed for military enlistees. I told a friend I couldn't imagine myself at that maximum weight. Fifteen years later, my weight had surpassed that unimaginable number of pounds. Why? It was not because of a medical condition, but because of the poor choices I made.
I had said “All things are permissable for me” and ignored Paul’s admonition that “not everything is beneficial.” I waited another 10 years to acknowledge my need to lose weight, improve my level of physical fitness, and honor God with my body.
If peoples’ first reaction to me is, “She could lose some weight,” then my appearance is clouding the image of Christ in me that I want them to see. If my level of physical fitness is such that I am winded after walking up 15 steps, people will focus on that instead of anything I might say about the power of Jesus Christ within me.
We each have an opportunity to honor God through our stewardship of our bodies. We can do that by getting adequate sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition. We can participate in activities that strengthen our bones and muscles, and promote overall good health. We may never have the strength of Samson, but we can certainly make our bodies more fit for service in God’s kingdom.
O God, help me to always be a good steward of the wonderful body You created for me. Amen.
Thought for the Day What health-building activity will I participate in today?
Prayer Focus Someone struggling with a weight or nutritional problem
Star Ferdinand lives near San Antonio, Texas, where she works as an information technology audit and internal controls manager. An avid learner and Bible college student, she enjoys exploring ways to use technology to spread the Gospel and encourage fellow believers. You can read more of Star's writings at www.starferdinand.com/WordPress/ and www.starferdinand.com/blog/.