We have some wonderful friends who work with the organ donation program in our home state. Nancy, a veteran transplant nurse, often says, “Don’t take your organs to heaven with you. Heaven knows we need them here on Earth.”
Nancy knows what most of Christianity believes; when we’re resurrected or translated to join Jesus in our eternal home our body will be a new one. This body of dust we have now will return to dust when we die. So why should Christians care about their health here and now? Can’t you be just as spiritual whether you’re healthy or sick, mentally sharp or fatigued, fat or thin, miserable or happy?
God can and does use anyone who will let Him, regardless of their physical or mental strength or vitality. If you’re sick now, God loves you. He wants you well. The reasons to care about your health have nothing to do with what God thinks of you. But there are many ways your health impacts your spiritual life.
But having a healthy body and a clear mind does provide these benefits to your spiritual life:
- You have more ability and more years to fulfill the purpose He’s given you. God’s got a job for you to do. With a healthy body and a clear mind there’s more of you – more skills, more strength, more understanding, more time – that God can use. Your usefulness to Him can be greater.
- You’re a better advertisement for His kingdom. If you’re miserable, or burdened by preventable illnesses or an unhealthy lifestyle, others aren’t likely to be drawn to you. If you’re healthier and happier, others who don’t know God will be more likely to want what you have.
- You honor and worship God. Your body is the temple of His Holy Spirit. You wouldn’t neglect or abuse a temple, would you? Paul says that offering your physical body for God’s use is your “spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1, NIV) Treating your body and mind as God’s gifts to you is your responsibility.
- You hear God’s voice more clearly. If your body is in pain or your mind is clouded with processed food, it will be harder to discern what God may be saying to you. He speaks to you in part through your mind. You need to be alert and in tune to hear Him.
Can someone who is not healthy honor and worship God, and make a positive impact for His kingdom? Of course! Having a fit or beautiful physical body can also become an idol. In this world we all get sick. The healthiest lifestyle doesn’t guarantee you will live a long and healthy life. There’s only so much that you can control. Sickness or health is not a measure of godliness.
But to the degree that you can, caring for your body and your mind is your God-given responsibility. Doing so is an act of both obedience and worship. Paul’s prayer for you and me is that “your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Your body and mind are part of what you have to offer God for His service.
Be a good steward of the body and mind God gave you. You won’t get another one here on Earth. Besides being happier in this life, your biggest reward will be eternal.
Your Turn: Have you been caring for your body and mind as if it were a temple? How, or how not? Leave a comment below.
Tweetables: why not share this post?
- This body you have now won’t go to heaven, but it does impact your spiritual life. Tweet that.
- A healthy body and a clear mind is your act of spiritual worship. Tweet that.
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