Taking Paul seriously: "Your body is God's temple" (Luminous Friday)

[For my Friday posts, May is “body month.” It’s about how we relate to our bodies as spiritual people. This is in keeping with chapter four of Luminous, Being Present with Our Bodies…]

“Abs aren’t made in the gym. They’re made in the kitchen.” That’s what my friend Meg says. She’s a
fitness trainer, and I recently started working out in her bootcamp program. It has me rethinking how I have been treating my body. Sleep, water, food, and exercise – being fit and healthy includes them all. I have always been active, but I have never really taken care of myself. This is a whole lifestyle change.

The Bible makes some strong statements about the body too. One we don’t think about very often is: “your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God” (1 Cor 6:16). That one verse is loaded with radical implications. It’s not just about keeping yourself from sexual immorality as Paul urges in that passage. It’s also about observing wellness for your body.

If God really did live in a building, would we pile junk in it and let it fall into disrepair? Or would we keep it immaculate, and would we consider our caretaking of the building to be an important act of worship?

And this brings me full circle to Meg’s training program. Here’s what she recommends, and if I read it with “my body is God’s temple” in the background, it takes on new meaning:

Meg's “5 for Fit”
1. Sleep 7-8 hours a night
2. Drink 100 oz of water each day
3. Follow your workout schedule
4. Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day
5. Eat at least 3-4 cups of vegetables and 2-3 items of fruit each day

A fitness bootcamp is like saying, "Here's your shovel, broom, cleanser, window wash, and paint. Do something nice with the temple."

Note: Throughout 2014, my Friday posts will be excerpts and thoughts from Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus (IVP, 2013). My hope is that these posts launch you into the weekend in a Jesus-centered way.


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