“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NLT)
“Though 1 Corinthian 6:19 here refers mainly to treat our body as sacred unto the Lord and thus by the Spirit’s power avoid sexual immorality, it is also applicable to point out that we need to take care of our physical body care-full-ly” (Richard Angelus)
Until 20th century the normal demands of everyday living in Malaysia provided most people with adequate physical exercise (my grandma said). Many walked miles to work and used a variety of muscles doing jobs which today require little more effort than the pressing of a button or two. When I was in primary school I and my friends used to walked miles to school and back (Before I owned a bicycle!). Some of you may have experienced this before. Not to over-simplify to say that today we ride in cushioned comfort from one place to another and, in between, let machines do most of our work.
Friends, mind, emotions and spirit function best in healthy body. Since normal living today often fails to keep us physically fit, as responsible stewards for our God-given body we deliberately need to build some kind of exercise into our personal schedule.
Apostle Paul wrote, “…for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come”(1 Timothy 4:8, ESV) Now, if physical exercise was of “some value” in Paul’s time, how much more so today! While our spiritual health is not to be measured in terms of physical health, every one of us who takes the gift of our physical body seriously will organize ourselves some regular exercise. With exception of those whose daily-working nature is mostly physical, we the modern men and women have no excuse!
It goes without saying that smoking (unless you’re in a cold country), excessive alcohol intake, and drug-taking (not for medicine purposes) have absolutely NO place in the life of the people of God. They offer no benefits whatever and are proven dangers to good health. We dare not pollute the temple of the Holy Spirit with such activities. Have a regular exercise – walking, jogging, cycling, playing games etc. – and for your own sake and people around you – clean your room (office and home), brush your teeth, cut your hair smart, cut your nails and take bath regularly!
Friends, proper attention to personal hygiene and good grooming will add the finishing touches of proper self-respect to our God-given body. God desires us to be healthy in spirit, soul and body; “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NLT).
Above all, no doubt, godliness is much better than physical training and caring. “Godliness is of value in every way”. Good physical healthy man is not necessary a godly man, but a godly man by all mean want to maintain his physical health because in doing so he can be more productive and better able to exercise his inner godliness outwardly. We must take care of our physical being – is it God-given gift. Do not forsake it!
Friends, God may (by His divine goodness) allow sickness to fall upon us or tragedy happened that may cause us handicap to accomplish His eternal purposes in our life (for purposes we sometime don’t understand) now or in the future, but that is not a valid excuse for us to neglect our body. While we are still able, as humanly as possible – let your Temple be clean.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.