One morning, when I started my car, the “low coolant” dashboard light remained lit. I stared at it in disbelief. The dashboard warning was an unwelcome intrusion to an already hectic day. Realizing my car needed attention, I decided to drop it off for service on the way to work. In route to the dealership, God in His infinite wisdom used my circumstances to teach me a life lesson. That day, I discovered parallels between car maintenance and maintaining my body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Prolonging the life of your automobile requires routine preventive maintenance. To keep it in optimum running condition for as long as possible requires regular oil changes, tire rotations, tune ups, wheel alignments, etc. When problems arise, it’s in your best interest to have your vehicle serviced right away. Otherwise, continuing to drive your car can result in a costly repair bill. What would’ve cost $50 skyrockets to $500 or more because for whatever reason, you didn’t address the problem promptly.
Practicing preventive maintenance when it comes to your body can help keep it functioning properly, too. While we can trade our car in for a new model, the same can’t be said about our bodies. Consider what the Bible says about your body. I Corinthians 6:19-20 states your body is God’s property. We’ve been purchased with a price, the blood of Jesus Christ. God has given us stewardship of our bodies. We’re responsible for maintaining them.
Everyone is bound to get sick at one time or another during the course of their life. However, some conditions we bring upon ourselves because we engage in damaging behaviors (overeating, lack of exercise and sleep, smoking, drug abuse, etc.). The Book of III John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” We can’t give God our best if we’re plagued with chronic conditions brought on by poor and/or destructive health habits. We must work to maximize our health and maintain our temple. The components of temple maintenance include the following.
- A balanced diet can help keep your body healthy and strong. Ecclesiastes 10:17 says we’re to eat for strength and not drunkenness. God wants us to enjoy our food, but we’re not to overdo it. In other words, eating until Thanksgiving Day full shouldn’t be the norm. Food is fuel for the body. Just as you wouldn’t overfill your car’s gas tank, the same principle applies to your body. We’re not to eat in response to our emotions or problems. A soul food diet is the only prescription that can fulfill our inner needs. The soul food I’m referring to is the Word of God. God’s Word is essential for spiritual growth and proper management of our lives (II Timothy 3:16-17). There’s no limit on helpings of soul food.
- Exercise does a body good. It provides physical and emotional benefits. “Exercise maintains muscle tone, builds strength and helps you to think more clearly.” Acts 17:28 says, “For in him we live and move and have our being.” Notice the word move. Our bodies were created to move. Exercise instills discipline and makes us more productive. You can incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Look for ways to get up and get active.
(to be continued next week)
Rev. Cynthia Jackson