I reposted another person’s quote, “The relationship with your body is the most important one in you life, you can’t divorce your body.” on facebook, and a friend of mine corrected me and said, “Your relationship with Jesus is the most important one in your life.” He’s right, but that made me think about what the relationship between fitness and faith is, and why I think fitness is important for faith.
The way I look at it is that:
1Co 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Some people refer to their bodies as a “meat suit”. The gnostics, the earliest heretics that Paul railed against, saw all material objects as evil, leading them to either engage in hedonism (what you do with your body doesn’t matter to your spirit) or Asceticism ( the flesh needs to be denied or despised.) The way I see it is, God created your body, he made it just for you. How you treat it is how you treat a gift from God.
Much of what we do for enjoyment is not good for our bodies. The results are physically evident. Some of those things are considered sins by many religious people. Drinking to excess, promiscuous sex, drug use are all recognized as being detrimental to our physical health, and our spirits as well. The Catholic church lumped gluttony in there as well, and that is one that many Protestant Christian churches dodge around. I would say, is there a difference between drinking to excess and eating to excess? I would go further and say that there is nothing wrong with drinking in moderation, just as eating in moderation is good. While promiscuous sex is prohibited by the bible, sex within marriage is good. Do we see a pattern? Careful, disciplined love for our bodies is a way we can show our appreciation for what God has given us. We cannot show our love for God directly, other than prayer. We can’t send Him a card, bake him a cake, or buy Him lunch. We can care for each other (number 1), our bodies(number 2), and the planet he gave us (number 3). Or maybe tie 2 and 3 together, ’cause how can you care for your body if you’ve trashed your house (the earth)?
It is easy to make physical analogies to spiritual principles. It is also easy to get carried away with those analogies, or to take it literally. You can be very focused and disciplined in how you live your life, yet be completely spiritually bankrupt. You can take me to task for this post, and tell me I’m all wrong, but I would need convincing. Most of the time, when there is something wrong spiritually, it is reflected in some form of physical dysfunction- addiction or avoidance in some form. Most of the time, where there is spiritual balance, there is physical balance to one degree or another. Let me know what you think. If you think I’m wrong, please take the time to make a cogent argument, I’m listening.