TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
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” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
The other day my brother-in-law and I were visiting. His parting words to me were, “Take care of yourself!” What wonderful advice. One, that needs to be heeded by all; but especially those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Because as the Apostle Paul has stated, our bodies are the Temple of God.
It is sad that many of us, myself included, don’t take care of our bodies. We abuse it regularly; we neglect it repeatedly; and batter it recurrently. We burn the candle at both ends, we don’t get the proper rest, not enough sleep, don’t eat right or exercise enough, and worst of all, we neglect our quiet time with God, and don’t gather with other believers often around His life-giving Word and Sacraments; and we don’t take time to be on our knees in prayer as Jesus the Son of God/Man did often (Mark 6:31).
We have so much to do, that we run here and there like a chicken with its head cut off, not knowing which direction we should go. Our lives are filled with the hustle and bustle of the demands we place on ourselves. No one forces us to do these things, we certainly know how to “neglect” and not “take care” of ourselves. To make matters worse, we even want to believe that we are living the right way! Many do not take the time to bask in the love that God has provided for us through His Son Jesus Christ.
Our diet is terrible. We live on fast food and drinks that are unhealthy. We fill our lives with the trivial—spending an enormous time watching TV, at the bar, at work, and so much on entertainment. We read articles and magazines that don’t lift us up or draw us closer to our Savior, but drag us down and remove us from the grace of God. All along we are not taking care of ourselves.
With our bodies being the Temple of the Holy Spirit why would we not want to take care of them? To take care of our bodies is a privilege and a joy, since God resides in our hearts and head. As such, out of love for Him, we would want to do so. There are great benefits when we take care of our bodies and resting in His grace and basking in His love and peace. Try it! You will see the benefit the Lord gives when you take care of your body.
Every day, we are learning just how inter-connected the body and mind is, and some would add the “spirit” or “soul.” Now in the early 21st century, medical and health science continues to advance. We know more than we ever did about the human body, but are we benefiting from this knowledge?
Though we know so much, there are still the unexplainable and mysteries, both with the physical body and when it comes to realms beyond which science can measure, such as the role prayer, faith, and taking time to worship the living Lord, Jesus Christ has in healing. In recent years there have been dedicated scientists who have sought to understand the positive impact of prayer on physical healing. While some are skeptical, one thing is clear: stress reduction produces health. Humanly and psychologically, most humans may feel better if they know that some people are praying for them, and that assurance then can lessen their stress or worry which in turn could improve their health. Doctors have been telling us stress can really affect one’s health.
What is the best way to reduce stress in your life? Begin by gathering around the Word of the Lord often, listening to God, reading/meditating upon His Word, calling upon Him in prayer and basking in His love daily. Listening to spiritual music, and fill your soul with good reading material that lifts your spirit up and draws you closer to your Savior, Jesus Christ. And finally, and most importantly, find yourself a designated sanctuary where you can be spiritually recharged in your (if you can possibly find one, even a closet, a car, etc.) quiet place may be one of the best remedies. It’s God’s Word of peace and comfort ministering to us that can be more powerful and soothing than any human wisdom or modern psychology. In the words of Soren Kirkegaard, “Prayer does not change God; it changes us.”
Beloved in the Lord, one thing I know for sure, that no matter how bleak ones life becomes, there will be joy in the journey as God has provided us with a bright light in the midst of our darkness. And that bright light is Jesus Christ who empowers, encourages and exhorts us daily to take care of our bodies by His strength alone.
Therefore, begin a new diet. Not of a fad diet, but one that is rich with the sumptuous food that God provides; feeding often on the heavenly manna that gives healing to the soul and mind.
In Christ’s love and in His service,
Rev. Nabil S. Nour Pastor and Foot Washer Phil. 1:6