1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Zara Gandon considers how we can honour and worship God through getting fit and healthy.

Zara Gandon
Zara Gandon

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

In my spare time I am a GP and recently I read that a sedentary lifestyle is as bad for you as smoking. This fact, added to something that my husband and I have been thinking about for a while, has spurred me to get fit.

You might be thinking, why when writing a Life File are you discussing physical exercise, surely you should write about spiritual disciplines. Well yes, I could write about spiritual disciplines, they are important and I've just started to go through a devotional book about them. But our physical fitness is actually important to God too.

The above verse talks about fleeing from sexual immorality, but the Bible says in other parts of 1 Corinthians and Proverbs that eating too much is not honouring to God either. If my physical body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, then should I not want it to be the best body it can be? As Christians we often concentrate on improving our spiritual health, but I believe the Bible shows us that our souls, minds and bodies are linked. Should we not also be aware of our physical health?

We see at the end of the book of John that Jesus is eating breakfast with His disciples in His resurrection body. On the road to Emmaus we see Jesus walking in His resurrection body. If Jesus' resurrection body drinks, moves and takes exercise then so will ours.

When I take physical exercise, yes I ache, but it does me good. I feel free - it's as if something happens in my soul. I can marvel at the body God has given me, the one He created. He made me a body that can run, dance, squat, lunge, kick a ball, and swim. I mean how amazing if that - we were created to be physical beings, we were created to exercise. If we were created to exercise, then when I exercise I am worshipping God. Therefore it makes sense to me that when I do exercise, my soul feels free. As Eric Liddell said "When I run I feel His (God's) pleasure."

Let me encourage you to think about getting fit. Not everyone is called to be an athlete, but what exercise can you do? Why not hunt in the back of the wardrobe and find those trainers, use the summer months to partake in a free exercise class that councils often run. Exercise is also a great way to meet new people and you never know, but by you getting fit you might have the opportunity to lead someone to Christ. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.