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Are you Healthy?

April 4, 2007

Where do some of our hang ups come from? Where do we get them? I was reading a book in a Christian bookstore recently that quoted a biblical verse as it discussed eating healthy. The writer said we had a biblical mandate to follow a healthy diet. A certain part of me has always been intrigued by this.

In my life I have heard the verse used for everything from smoking to church dress but is that what the verse is even about? Did Paul write to people so they would know it was important to eat their vegetables or better yet their Wheaties? Was he trying to give the church a verse to make sure they went to the gym each week?

This is the famous verse.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

With that we are told countless things are a no-no for Christians though caffeine and sugar don’t seem to have made the list. My dentist will probably write a book using this verse to tell us God is concerned with brushing and flossing. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with brushing or flossing or any of the things being discussed but I do question whether or not we have been given a biblical mandate for such.

Much has been made over the years about what one eats and drinks and smokes with regard to this verse, but is that even what the verse is about? The context of the verse is actually talking about sexual sins. In fact Paul says the only sin that impacts the body are those that are of the sexual nature. He says all other sins are outside the body. This is the verse that comes before.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

So every other sin does not impact the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit? Help me out because that seems to be what Paul is really saying. How does a verse cautioning about sexual sin and their impact on us spiritually become the cornerstone for every vegetarian diet?

Jesus tells his disciples that nothing outside of a person can make them unclean. He told them that nothing they take into their body would make them unclean but instead it was what came out of a person that caused them to be unclean (Mark 7:14,15). Paul says that the Kingdom of God is not about eating or drinking but instead about service to others (Romans 14:16-18). What am I missing?

We seem to take a verse about a sin that does impact our body and turn the focus on calorie intake or health concerns. Is it so I can focus on loving my body in keeping it fit instead of loving my neighbor?

I don’t know, I am just fascinated with the number of people who use this verse like it has anything to do with physical fitness. Jesus tells us that it is what comes out of us, our attitude and treatment of others that really impacts the Spirit within, to bad we don’t want to deal with that fitness more often but maybe I am missing something, what do you think?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim Sexton permalink
    April 4, 2007 7:22 pm

    How did you know that I’ve been sick. Running temps in the 101 range for the 4th straight day, congested, achy and miserable all over. What sin brought this on, I wonder?

    Just as I cringe a little every time I hear some preacher give a lesson about Christianity and it’s link to affluence, I sometimes have a bad taste in my mouth with regards to this healthy body teaching.

    I actually believe that God wants me to recognize that my body is where He lives, not so that I can run a marathon, but so that I will let Him live in me.

    Nyquil is my friend these days…

  2. April 4, 2007 9:19 pm

    To be lived out in me…

    Great thoughts Jim, enjoy your Nyquil.

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