“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
When Paul shares this little nugget in his letter to the Corinthians, he's actually warning them against sexual immorality and explaining that physical actions reap spiritual consequences. I'm not here to talk about sex today, but I am here to talk about how our actions around our health and wellness will reap spiritual consequences, too. Let me explain.
You may be clear on the fact that God wants you to live a long life so you can do all that He's assigned you to do. You might even believe that He wants you be strong with robust health while living a long time. And that's awesome! Keep it up. But where some of us sort of fall off the wisdom train is where we assume or believe that God is going to do all the work to keep us healthy and strong so we can live long.
Don't look so shocked! We who are followers of Jesus are saved by faith. When we believe on Jesus, we are taken out of the realm of works and into the realm of faith for our salvation, right? So it's not the believing that's getting us into trouble. It's that we're not doing something effective with the believing. Enter stewarding.
To steward means to manage or look after someone else's property. Paul tells us we are not our own. Our bodies and our health are NOT OUR OWN! We were purchased by Jesus. We belong to him! So it's our job to manage our bodies and our health. For HIM! It's not enough to simply believe that we'd like for our bodies to stay strong and healthy; we actually have to manage them towards this goal. And get this, because He tells us to glorify Him with our bodies. As we steward our health, we are being obedient to our Lord, and He receives GLORY. Amen.
James tells us that faith without works is dead. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14) Wow! But it's true. Watch this. Perhaps you walk around all the time declaring the truth of the Bible that says you are protected. That angels will lift you up, lest you dash your foot on a rock. But let's say you step into oncoming traffic at rush hour. Stupid, stupid, stupid! James is telling us that if the faith in our heart and the declaration of our mouth fall in line with our promise and charge, then our mind, will and emotions should tell us to STAY OUT OF THE STREET! Got it? Our faith gives us the target we're aiming for, but our choices and actions must fall in line with our faith.
My pastor used to give this illustration around faith. He'd say, “Faith is like paint in a bucket. It doesn't do much until you apply it! While it sits in the bucket, it's not doing much, but when you apply it to the walls, it can change the entire room.”
Okay, so we know now we have to steward our health. It's not enough to just believe God wants us well and strong. We have to do something about it. So here's my question to you: What does that look like for you? You see, God has placed the Holy Spirit on the inside of you to lead you into all truth and to teach you all things. So when I ask you what stewarding your health looks like, you should step back into your spirit and ask the Holy Spirit what the answer to that question is. And then — here's the easy part — JUST DO THAT! Do the things! He won't steer you wrong. Even if it's a simple first step, just do it. I promise, it's going to be good.
This is how God walked me out of severe postpartum anxiety nearly eight years ago. Step by step. Decision by decision. He opened my eyes to some things and then gently gave me solutions for them. And now I can look back and see, all along, He was guiding me. I'm so thankful He walks with us while we are stewarding what's His.
How will you steward your health today?