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Our Bodies―God’s Temple

Today, we are excited to present a new blogger, Gabby Terry, another member of the Reasons for Hope team! Tackling a subject we Christians sometimes avoid addressing, she helps us see how important it is to God for us to honor Him with every part of who we are.

God's Dwelling Place

As Christians, we’ve all heard the phrase, “Your body is a temple,” referencing what we read in 1 Corinthians 6:19–20. Paul explains in these verses that the Holy Spirit dwells inside of those who have received God’s gift of salvation, making each believer a temple of the Holy Spirit! I use an exclamation point here because that is quite exciting. You see, temples of the Lord have changed a lot over time. In the Old Testament, the Israelites had a portable tent called the Tabernacle used as a sacred meeting place with God. Then, King Solomon built the first structured temple―massive and beautiful. It was a place to be treated with high respect.
The temple structures were built with high-quality materials and carefully put together to endure the test of time. No expense was spared for the Temple of the Lord. Since New Testament times, however, the Church has functioned as a temple. I don’t mean church buildings, but us―the collective community of Christ followers. Wherever we are gathered is the Church―Christ is the Head, and we are the body. Individually, we carry the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and collectively, we make up the Church. As earthly vessels, we must do what we can to be a proper, appropriate, fitting temple for the Spirit because we have Someone so holy and powerful within us. Hearing this is one thing, but what does it mean to apply this information?

A Biblical Case for Health and Wellness

A few years ago, I started learning about holistic health or alternative health (NOT any “woo-woo” stuff that is borderline witchcraft, but preventative steps to stay healthy). Our bodies and the world around us were designed by a perfect God, and Psalm 139:14 tells us we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Knowing this, the idea of God working through what He has created to support the design of our bodies doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.
Now let me be clear: there is a need for modern medicine. Even though we were designed by a perfect God, sin brought disease and imperfection into the world, resulting in bodies that can become ill and eventually die. Therefore, we need modern medicine sometimes to get better. I do believe, however, that we can honor God’s temple by better understanding the negative consequences of unhealthy choices that could impact God’s design for our body’s function.
In church, we often hear about not indulging our flesh, which may be primarily focused on sexual sin (the context for 1 Corinthians 6:19–20) or other physical desires. The ability to say “no” to anything in excess is a godly skill developed as we grow in our faith. But how often do we hear about not overindulging in food? Sadly, such a message would be almost unheard of here in the South, where we commonly have large potlucks and BBQs after the Sunday service! Proverbs 23:19–21 (NIV) mentions gluttony directly. In giving wisdom to those who would avoid self-induced hardship, the wise man says,

“Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
Do not join those who drink too much wine 
or gorge themselves on meat,
for drunkards and gluttons become poor, 
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

The path of those who indulge in too much wine and too much food is a fateful one. Moderation, in all things, is to be chosen over gluttony. But besides causing weight gain and lack of productivity, overindulging can lead to other physical damage that could shorten your time on the Earth. As a woman in ministry, though I look forward to my time in heaven, I have much work to do here to get as many people as possible to come with me, and I need to be healthy enough to do so. Therefore, I do a good bit of studying on how to support God’s design for my body.

Honoring God's Temple

So, what does it look like to honor your temple? It's actually a lot more straightforward than you might think, as shown in the following starting points:
  1. A nutrient-dense diet will be the main foundation of your health. A properly prepared, nutritious diet will look different based on the individual. However, eating whole foods benefits everyone. Processed fast foods and drinks tend to negatively affect our health because, most of the time, our bodies do not absorb all the nutrients they need, especially when eating food like this. God designed our bodies to eat whole vegetation and animal protein to get the most nutritional value. If you want to discover what works best for you, do some research or seek out a nutrition professional.
  2. Sleep! Many people underestimate the power of getting 8 hours of sleep. Though the reality of this can be a challenge for those with children or demanding jobs, if you can allow your body 8 hours of sleep, it will give it time to recover from the stresses of the day properly.
  3. Staying adequately hydrated is also very important. Drink a glass of water upon waking and 30 minutes before each meal, with a total of 74–100 ounces per day being ideal. Make sure your water is mineral rich and slowly drink it throughout the day instead of chugging large quantities at one time.
  4. Lastly, take a walk in the sunshine. A short 10-minute walk around the block can benefit you in multiple ways. First, fresh air gets your blood flowing and allows some sun on your skin to get Vitamin D. Secondly, this time can be used for spiritual refreshing. Personally, I pray while I walk. Every day, I walk around my entire neighborhood and talk to God. This practice not only helps my physical health but also my spiritual and mental health.
I can’t think of a better verse to summarize what I’ve shared today than 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV:

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,
do it all for the glory of God."

Author Bio:
Howdy! My name is Gabrielle Terry, but you can call me Gabby. My husband, Riley, and I (married since October 2022) live in the beautiful state of Georgia! Currently, I am the youngest person on staff at Reasons for Hope, and most of the time, you will see me on the streets with a microphone in my hand doing Mic’dUP interviews. I also help teach youth groups to go out and evangelize through Mic’dUP!
 
Besides evangelism, I greatly admire how God designed our bodies and what we can do to support them. I wanted to be able to help others learn this information, so I became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Now, I can help people understand the foundations of what our body needs to thrive through holistic practices with a Christian perspective. If you want more information on what I do as an NTP, please email me at gabrielleterry@rforh.com.

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