Your Body is a Temple
Exercising is hard. Let’s just get that out in the open before we even begin. It is HARD WORK. Why is it so hard?! Mostly because it makes us uncomfortable. We have to wake up early, or take time out of our already busy day, or go somewhere we don’t want to go in clothes we didn’t really feel like wearing in the first place…just to spend time around people we don’t really want to be around.
You can probably relate right? It is so difficult to set aside time for things we KNOW we need to do. Isn’t this the same attitude we have toward our mental health? How about spending time in the Word or in prayer? I believe these three things (our spiritual health, mental health, & physical health) are divinely, specifically, and purposefully connected.
First, let’s start in the Old Testament (stick with me on this, I think you’ll love it!): in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 it says, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength [your entire being].” Notice what the writer did there? He combined the body into ONE, just as God is ONE (Father, Son & Spirit). We weren’t created to just worship with one aspect of our humanness. We are called to use our WHOLE selves…body, soul, and mind…to worship our creator.
Secondly, the Bible calls our body a “temple” in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.” Wow. What does it mean that our body is a temple? Again, I want to go back to the Old Testament. The temple is first introduced in Exodus 26 (although the concept goes back to the creation account). God wants to dwell WITH us, so He created a place sacred and detailed enough to hold His glory (Remember reading about exactly how detailed this place is)! That’s why it’s even more incredible that because of what Jesus did on the cross, that same all-powerful God chose to move His presence INSIDE of US. WHAT?! That’s crazy! This should bring us a much more humble view of ourselves. We are not our own, we are simply stewarding what has been given to us so that our bodies, minds & souls can glorify God! What an absolute honor!
Finally, let’s get practical. You might be saying, “This all sounds great Rachel, but how do we get moving?” I’m so glad you asked! Here are my top recommendations:
1. Make it a priority.
This is the order I follow: Spiritual Health > Mental Health > Physical Health. Time with God in His word and in prayer ALWAYS comes first (and longest I would argue…meaning the majority of my time is spent here). Then, get your mind right. That may include therapy or counseling, reading a book, taking self-care days, etc. Anything you need to do to protect and heal your MIND. And last but not least, take care of your physical body. Go for a walk. Take a hike (literally…lol). Join a fitness program. Play a sport. ANYTHING to get moving at least a few days per week!
2. Carve out the time.
You have got to make a plan for this to work. You won’t just fall into reading God’s Word, praying, therapy, or exercising. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s going to take EFFORT, but it is SO WORTH IT!!
3. Get some accountability.
This step is SO important. If you don’t have someone you’re willing to be held accountable with, this journey will be so much more difficult. Each of these three areas provides space for people to speak into your life. Do the work to find someone to check in with. But remember: it is NOT their job to do this work for you! It’s YOUR job to keep yourself on track!
Ask God for wisdom moving forward, and remember that you are WORTH the time it will take to implement these new (or revitalized) priorities into your life. To God be the glory!
Follow our Contributing Writer - Rachel Regouby