Let’s face it; we live in a society obsessed with our bodies. If you add up the spending in the fitness industry, nutritional supplements industry, and the healthcare industry, it’s a staggering amount of money in the United States. According to the CDC in 2015, almost 20% of the entire Gross Domestic Product in the United States was spent on national healthcare costs alone. That’s more than $3 trillion! That’s a lot of money. Americans spend more money on health care than any other country in the world… by a long shot.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against taking good care of your body. In fact, it’s a biblical idea that we should be a good manager of the physical body which God has given us. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 assumes that a Christian takes their physical well-being seriously. Christians are supposed to be different, or you could say weird, in the way that we approach our physical bodies. We don’t put too much emphasis on our bodies, but at the same time, we don’t neglect our physical appearance. This is hard to do in America in 2018.
Here are a couple ways to honor Jesus with your body without going over the top about it:
Body like a back road
The Bible gives the idea that the way that you live will affect the way that you look! Check this idea out in Proverbs 3:7-8 “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”
Do the words flesh and bones look a little bit weird to you? Why would the Bible say that your faith will affect your flesh and bones? In Old Testament times the word bones was sometimes used as an analogy for your overall health. We still use a phrase similar to this when we say we have “weary bones.” And the word flesh in this verse was a reference to your stomach. In fact, the word literally translated would be naval. Your navel represented your stomach, and the stomach represented your satisfaction with food and drink. Put all this together, and the Bible is saying that to live at peace with God fills you up on this inside and makes you strong on the outside. That’s why I can say how you live affects how you look!
Over my dead body
Deep inside, everyone knows their body is going to wear out one day. We’re all perfectly aware someday in the future our body will die. The problem is… We just don’t live that way. We typically don’t order our lives like it will be over one day. Maybe that’s why we also don’t treat our bodies like it will perish one day.
The Bible writers were acutely aware of their mortality. Listen to what the Bible teaches about the temporary nature of the human body in Philippians 1:23. “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” Did you notice that? Not only were the Bible writers aware that their body was going to wear out one day, but they were actually looking forward to that day! They were excited about the day they would trade this temporary body on Earth for an eternal body in Heaven. It’s fair to say they were looking forward to the day they would be “over their dead body”.
Let the bodies hit the floor
The Bible’s description of the human body forces me to put my body language back in its proper place. Weird people don’t put too much emphasis on the way their body looks. However, since their body is a gift from the Lord, weird people don’t neglect their body either. I guess it’s accurate to say that Christians are willing to give everything for God’s glory – because they’ve already surrendered to him with both soul and body.
In God’s good timing, I’m ready to let my body hit the floor. I can say this without remorse because I know on that day, I will trade in an imperfect body for a perfect one. Can you say that also? Are you ready to kneel before God in Heaven? Are you at peace with God about your eternal destiny?