Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Respect Your Temple

At resurrection, ‘Our earthly bodies would be raised to live forever’ (1 Corinthians 15:42 NLT), but in the meantime you must ‘honour God with your body’ by observing a few basic principles like:

1. Exercising regularly: Half of us who start exercise programme abandon them within six months. The secret is to start slowly. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park the car and walk, play ball with the kids instead of watching television. God designed your body to move, and strolling from the car to your desk every morning doesn’t cut it. Exercising thirty minutes 3-4 weeks reduces blood pressure and stress, and boosts your sense of well-being.

2. Eating right: Many of us eat for the wrong reasons, Like fatigue, anger and low self-esteem. Eat to live and not live to eat. Insufficient fruit, vegetables and fibre and too much fast food can wreck havoc with your health. Practice self-control. Remember, ‘Those who belong to Christ have given up their old selfish feeling and things they wanted to do’ (Galatians 5:24 NCV).

3. Getting enough sleep: Pastor Tony Jenkins consulted his doctor about his wife’s snoring. ‘Does it really bother you that much?’ he asked. ‘It is not just me, ‘Jenkins replied, ‘It is bothering the whole congregation!’ Seriously, we live in a sleep-deprived society but most of us require 7-9 hours shut eyes. You probably get by on less, but do you just want to get by? The Psalmist said, ‘It is no use to get up early and stay up late.

The Lord gives sleep to those he loves’ (Psalm 127:2 NCV). So turn off the TV and the computer and turn in at a reasonable hour.

Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s name is synonymous with fitness, but his commitment to health goes beyond simply looking good. Cooper believes your body is a temple and you owe it to God to keep in shape. Now in his seventies, his physical condition is that of a 49-year-old. How did he go from being an overweight medical student living on junk food and caffeine, to the wiry man who power-walks every day? On a waterskiing trip his heart started hammering at 250 beats a minute and he thought he was dying. It was a wake-up call. God was telling him something; and He didn’t have to speak twice! Cooper developed what we call aerobics, dropped 35 pounds and ran a marathon. Fitness became his passion, but speaking and travelling took a spiritual toll on him. So he decided to start feeding his inner man by reading, praying, integrating spiritual lessons into his lectures, and getting involved in church again. As a result he has helped thousands of people. He says his greatest motive for staying in shape is spiritual.

So, how do you counteract a frenetic lifestyle and work-related stress? First: recognize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit . Second: get into a fitness programme, eight right, practice moderation and prioritise your schedule. If you think taking care of yourself physically is not spiritual, think again! It is harmful to let yourself become run down through bad habits as it is to abuse drugs and alcohol. Instead of saying, ‘I don’t have time’, make time. It could save your life! In the meantime you will feel better and be a lot easier to live with.

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