For many reading my blog you would know that I am a man of faith and an avid fitness fanatic. Here are some thoughts I me combining the two. Apply what you wish and dismiss what you wish.
If we believe that God does not value how physically fit our bodies are, we are sorely mistaken. Evidence to the contrary is everywhere in the Bible.
Corinthians 6:19 bids us to view our bodies as temples. God has written clear instructions on the Bible’s pages about how to respect their sanctity.
Our health is His gift that we are beholden to look after. To help us, He has given us many lessons in His book on exercise and caring for the various aspects of our health. But what exactly does He say?
A. What the Bible says about exercise
The Lord clearly values exercise. Verses in the Bible about exercise as an indispensable tool for self-care are plenty.
1. It is our responsibility to care for our bodies.
We are responsible for the physical forms that God gave us. In the end, we have to return them in sacrifice to Him.
Romans 12:1 asks us to make our bodies fitting sacrifices for the Lord, physical forms he deems Holy and acceptable. We should exercise to make our bodies presentable to Him.
2. Exercise keeps us fit as we race towards Heaven.
The road to Heaven is narrow. Exercise keeps us fit as we run along it.
Corinthians 9:24 shows us that there is only one winner in the race to Heaven. We have to run it so that we can get the prize.
In short, doing the Lord’s good work takes us along the path to Heaven. Exercise strengthens us as we go about blessing others in His name.
3. It is the way to cultivate the strength He has given us.
Exercise is a tool God has given us to nurture His other gift of physical strength.
Philippians 4:13 tells us that strength lets us carry out all things. Keeping our bodies fit allows us to reach our goals.
4. We should balance strength and knowledge.
We should balance strength and knowledge. Strength enhances wisdom and the reverse is true as well.
Proverbs 24:5 says that strength makes us wise, while wisdom increases our might.
The two work together. The quests for knowledge as well as physical fitness are constant.
5. We are not to value our bodies above our spirituality.
The Lord is not a God of appearances. He does not put them above our spirituality.
Samuel 16:7 tells us that while man values the physical, the Lord sees what is in his heart.
Like the Lord, we are to value goodness more than outward appearance.
So saying, we should have a balanced approach towards exercise. Never obsess with it such that it becomes more important than the Lord Himself.
B. What does the Bible say about wellness?
The Bible also tells us about maintaining a proper state of wellness. It makes a clear stand on how to stay healthy.
1. Those who follow God will enjoy good health.
Through verses in the Bible, God says that those who follow him will enjoy good health.
In Exodus 15:26, the Lord promised the Israelites that he would not bring upon them the diseases he brought on their Egyptian masters, if they kept to all his laws.
This does not mean that one never becomes ill. As disease is the result of Adam’s original sin, no one is infallible.
2. Keep your body clean.
In the Bible, the Lord also instructs us to keep our bodies clean. We are to do this in several ways.
a. Do not fill our bodies with harmful substances.
To keep our bodies clean, we should not fill them with drugs and toxic substances.
Coffee, containing caffeine, qualifies as beverage that has a toxic substance. It is not what the Lord wants in our bodies.
b. Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
The Lord does not condone the drinking of alcoholic beverages. Proverbs 20:1 suggests that alcohol leads to anger. It also deceives us.
Further, Corinthians 6:9 tells us that those who drink will not inherit the Lord’s kingdom.
c. Do not use tobacco.
Tobacco damages health and destroys the body. Corinthians 3:16 tells us how much God dislikes it. The body is a temple, and the Lord would destroy anything that defiles it.
Being addicted to tobacco means that it enslaves you. Jesus sends a strong reminder in Matthew 4:10 that we should serve God, our only master.
d. Avoid unclean animals.
The Bible strongly recommends that we should avoid unclean animals. This does not necessarily refer to them being tainted spiritually.
“Unclean” suggests that these are animals with flesh proportionately higher in toxic substances. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God tells us clearly that pigs, shellfish and catfish are unclean.
As reported by Servsafe, parasites and toxins are the greatest worry when it comes to seafood. The worry is not unfounded, as sea creatures tend to wander into contaminated waters.
To add, health officials found that pork has a deadly flesh-eating bacteria, MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). Health officials check meats all over the country for these and other bacteria. Studies show that pigs have 30 times more toxins than other meats.
For our health, it is best to avoid eating them.
e. Avoid overeating.
Christ, in the New Testament, warns his followers against surfeit, or excessive eating. Eating too much is the source of many degenerative diseases.
3. Help others in need.
To enhance wellness, God urges us to help those in need. Isaiah 58: 6-8 tells us clearly that when we welcome the poor into our homes, we improve our health.
C. What the bible says about mental health
God also encourages us to put up safeguards for our mental health. Bible verses point to positive, common sense defenses we can set up.
1. Do not harbor jealousy or bear grudges.
These sins interrupt important mental functions. Proverbs 14:30 shows that envy rots bones. Matthew 5:23 also points out that Christ tells us not to hold grudges.
This is sound advice because it takes extra energy to carry pain and jealousy. It takes only 43 muscles to smile and 17 to frown.
2. Keep a joyful disposition.
We know that a cheerful attitude is the best medicine, and the Bible agrees in Proverbs 17:22.
A person’s body reflects his thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 shows us that a man becomes what he thinks in his heart. The bible suggests that being happy means staying positive.
Further, make meals happy occasions. God lets us know in Ecclesiastes 3:13 that we should eat, drink and reap the fruits of our hard work. Quarrels at meals will only interrupt our digestion.
3. Have faith.
Perhaps the wisest and most effective advice the Lord has about being mentally fit is to have faith in him.
The Lord, in Proverbs 4:20-22 tells his people to attend to his words, as they bring health to the flesh. With great faith comes wellness.
The Bible shows, with great clarity, that God takes our fitness to heart.
1. Open Bible
2. Got Questions
3. Faith and Health Connection
4. Compelling Truth
5. People to People
7. Agriculture Society
8. Enlightened Feelings