Haven’t we all wanted to have that summer body? Take of that t-shirt and see those abs glistening in the Sun… Well maybe that’s not your thing, or maybe you aren’t that motivated. However, as someone who is a follower of Jesus you cannot say that your physical body doesn’t matter, all that matters is the soul and spiritual things. Just by the sheer fact that Jesus rose from the dead physically with a physical resurrected body should say enough (Romans 8:34). The bible is pretty clear that the way we treat our bodies is extremely important. God says to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12: 1), God’s spirit dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16) and we will be resurrected bodily one day (John 6:40; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Philippians 3:21). I have only listed some of the reasons why, as a Christian, we should care for our bodies better than anyone else in the world.
Further, Paul says of himself “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9: 27). The christian life is one that is self-controlled in all areas.
So here are a couple of things that are essential for getting in shape:
1) Clean up Eating Habits
It is all to easy for us in the west to ‘make our god our belly’ (Philippians 3:19). It is easy for us to over eat in a culture of excess. Healthy body weight is far more about what you eat than how you exercise. Get really honest with yourself and ask ‘what are my eating habits like?’
2) Clean up Exercise Habits
In your free time, pump iron. If that’s not your thing, run. If that’s not your thing, jog. If that’s not your thing, walk. Basically, get creative in your leisure time. As humans we are created to work (Genesis 1:28; Exodus 20:9). Technology limits the amount of physical activity that we would normally do, so maybe for you it is as simple as riding to places if you aren’t that far.
3) Clean up Sleeping Habits
When Elijah was tired depressed and overwhelmed he didn’t need to pray, read the bible or talk with people. Elijah needed to sleep and eventually to eat (1 Kings 19). If we are putting our bodies under such stress we must also allow time for it to recover, repair and remove toxins through sleep. Early nights are far better than long sleep ins for quality sleep, so treat yourself.
4) Clean up Relationship Habits
Often we start out ambitious with exercise but our resolve wanes over time. If you are truly serious about getting physically healthy the best thing you can do is find a partner in crime. My brother is my primary accountability in this department. We will train together 5 days a week. We have set goals with each other and check in with each other regularly. Accountability is a powerful thing, it stops you eating that extra serve of desert or that sneaky donut for breakfast.
I wish you all the best with your health endeavours. Start small. Start simple. Start regular.
Don’t quit! Do not quit! Quit not! Never give up!
Maintaining your body is worship to God. It will immediately benefit those closest to you and bless your children and God willing your children’s children.