Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. That’s sobering news for some people, including me, who have allowed our temples to get run down. Frankly, I could use a remodel.
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 honor God with your bodies.
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20
These bodies of ours are not only the temples of God, but we also need them to do His work, work for a living, and interact with others. Stewardship of the body is a big deal.
Stewardship of the body is a big deal.
One of the things the Lord revealed to me several years ago is that He wanted me to be a better steward of my body. I knew it already, but He convicted me of it. Still, I dilly-dallied around and half-tried to get healthy.
Then, in the midst of my dallying, I found out I had a serious back injury, which you can read more about HERE. This injury is actually what led to the start of this blog.
That difficult time of pain had a good result, but I could have saved myself some trouble by being a better steward before it happened. I had taken up running, but still ate whatever I wanted, making me fit, but fat.
Here are the things I have discovered and am still learning about my body and the stewardship of this amazing gift:
For my whole life, I have struggled with overeating and choosing poorly. I have been unable to find a good balance because I have a sweet tooth. It’s ugly and it’s vicious. You can read more about that HERE and I’m sure it will make you feel better about yourself.
Anyway, for years, I have tried a number of strategies to change my eating habits for the better. Counting points, drinking shakes – you name it, I tried it. I won’t enumerate them all here, but there were many.
The key I never mastered though was consistency. I’d be virtuous for a week or so and then fall of the wagon into a plate of cookies. Even worse, I would be the picture of health and self control for breakfast and lunch, but then become the Tasmanian Devil at 3:30 after getting home from school.
Pretty much, imagine fueling a car with maple syrup instead of gasoline. That’s essentially what most of my life has been like.
Presently, I am doing a Ketogenic Diet Plan, which has been like a miracle for me in eliminating my carb and sugar cravings. I feel better than I have in a long time and I am not waking up in pain. I plan to continue with it at least until I reach my health goals.
The Ketogenic Diet is what has been working for me. I encourage you to find what works for you and do it, consistently, so that you can get your body to thrive on good, whole, natural food.
When I feel better because I am eating better, I interact better with the people around me, and handle the demands of life much more gracefully.
Sleep is a situation we sometimes can’t control. If you have small children, a chronic health condition, or some other factor that disrupts your sleep, it can be a challenge.
However, the fact is that your body (including your brain) needs adequate sleep to function well. The National Sleep Foundation has created an easy-to-follow chart that helps you determine how many hours you (and your family) need.
You’ll need to play around to see if you can get by with 6 hours, or if you really need 8. Then you need to find a way to make that happen. This is a discipline for sure.
I know that when I consistently go to bed too late, I suffer for it. My alarm goes off at 5:00 AM to go to work, so I can’t sleep in during the week. My nighttime routine is the thing I rely on to keep my sleep adequate.
Stewardship of your body is intricately tied to sleep because this is when our bodies and brains get the rest and decompression they need. Without this vital form of nourishment, we are at risk of impacting our health.
Try to implement systems to snag yourself the right amount of sleep. It could mean cutting off the television early, preparing things for the next day at night, or some other strategy.
Stress has an adverse affect on the body. This is medically proven and though we often cannot control the stressful things that happen in our lives, we can control our response to them.
We can control our stress levels by choosing how we manage our time better. I’m a huge cheerleader for margin, as some of you may know. The practice of creating margin can significantly reduce stress in your life. It has in mine.
The impact of stress on the body is actually kind of scary. The Mayo Clinic has a helpful article to highlight the effects of stress, as well as ways to combat it.
My personal recommendations for coping with stress to help your body include:
- Praying/Listening to worship music
- Reading and speaking scriptures related to your concern
- Walking or other exercise
- Practicing gratitude
- Acknowledging what is outside your control
When I am intentional about combating stress using these strategies, I feel better emotionally and physically. I’m not always good at it, but I have a husband who is great at redirecting me when I am welling up with stress.
I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.
-1 Thessalonias 5:23 (CEV)
As you endeavor to be the best steward possible of your body, remember that one day at a time and one step at a time is all that is required to make a change. God bless you on the journey to health.