Everything belongs to God, including our bodies. We are called to be good stewards of everything God has given us, and our bodies are one of those gifts. Additionally, our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit which is more reason to take care of them and steward them well. Fitness and faith can be viewed by some as two things that cannot come together, especially since fitness can be a source of vanity, narcissism and being self-consumed. Since our bodies are God’s creation, we are called to take care of them. Our bodies are a masterpiece! Contemplate for a moment how amazing the body is, with all of the organ systems that work together to carry out so many functions to keep us alive and functioning without us even needing to think about it. Our body is perfectly fueled by food, that gets broken down and used by each cell for a specific purpose.
As each of us is called to be a part of the body of Christ and serve a greater purpose, each of our cells also plays a part in a specific role with a unique purpose that serves the greater function of our entire body. How AMAZING! We can easily take for granted the magnificence of the human body that we use every day. Let us be good stewards of this amazing gift God has given us and show him thanks for it by respecting it and taking care of it. Fitness and faith CAN come together to glorify God. We can begin by seeing our health and fitness as something we do to honor God and the body he’s blessed us with. Here are some practical ways to be a good steward of your body.
Getting regular exercise is being a good steward of your body.
Exercise can be viewed as something that is a chore, something that we have to go do. However, exercise is a privilege and it's something we do to invest in our health and to take care of the body God has given us. A sedentary lifestyle is not pleasing to God, and an unhealthy lifestyle is not pleasing to God.
- Make time for deliberate exercise
- Going to the gym to weight train, go for a run, go for a walk, take a group fitness class, go to CrossFit
- Get more non-exercise activities in
- These are activities that are a part of our daily life but aren’t deliberate exercise
- Parking farther away and walking, cleaning the house, taking stairs
- Play, have fun
- Go outside with family and friends and get some activity that feels more like fun and play
- Frisbee, soccer, basketball
Fueling your body with good nutrition is being a good steward of your body.
We are surrounded by easy to get, very tasty, yet nutrient-poor foods. It is very easy to stop by a fast-food chain and grab something to eat. However, these foods don’t properly fuel our bodies, they leave us with little energy to get through the day.
To be a good steward of our bodies, we choose foods that are minimally processed, and as close to nature as possible. We look at food as fuel for our bodies, not as our source of happiness. We are intentional and mindful about what we eat, and how much we eat. Eating food in proper amounts, such as proper portion sizes is another way to be a good steward of our bodies. The self-discipline of what and how much we eat is being a good steward of our body. Gluttony is not pleasing to God. The Bible says that we are to put a knife to our throats if we are given to gluttony and not to join those who gorge themselves. Proverbs 23:2;20.
Fuel your body:
- Choose foods that give your body necessary nutrients
- Minimally processed
- Control your portions
- Use your hand as portion control
- Practice self-discipline in eating
Getting proper rest is being a good steward of your body.
We live in a society that thrives on busyness and never slows down. We aren’t effective in our lives or our walks with the Lord if we are never taking time to slow down, rest, recover. Taking time to rest and recover is being a good steward of your body. This means taking time to be still each day, even as little at 15minutes to be still. Proper rest also means getting adequate sleep, a consistent sleep schedule is important, as well as enough sleep. Another area of rest is taking rest days from working out and being intentional about making time for active and passive rest from the gym and our lives. God rested on the 7th day and to truly be your best for God and your life, taking a rest is important.
- Sleep hygiene
- Have a consistent bedtime and wake uptime
- Aim for 7-8 hours a night
- Make time to get passive and active rest
- Passive rest is the time that you are relaxing i.e. reading
- Active rest is foam rolling, dynamic and static stretching
- Quiet time
- Be intentional about taking time daily to be still
- Pastor Rick Warren suggests
- To avoid burnout: Divert Daily (whatever relaxes) Withdraw Weekly (a sabbath) Abandon Annually (disconnect completely) Ps.127:2
Our health is quite valuable and being intentional about investing in our health is a small price in comparison to what it can cost if we don’t take care of ourselves. At some point, if you aren’t taking care of your body and your health, you are depriving yourself of life. Many people view health and fitness as being deprived, however health is a great source of wealth because without it, what is your quality of life? The same applies to fitness, yes it takes effort, time, energy, and work, but the fruit it produces gives you vitality, strength, and freedom to live a vibrant life.
We are not to satisfy our selfish and harmful appetites but rather use our bodies to bring Glory to God.
Charissa Sutliff is an Online Fitness & Nutrition Development Coach, a Competition Prep Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and holds a B.S. in Kinesiology. She also holds an M.A. in Higher Education Administration. She is enthusiastic about faith, working out, healthy nutrition, meditating, learning, growing and coffee!