Do you neglect your body? Because Christ sure didn’t. He redeemed what he took on, and I suppose that includes the human body.

Marissa and I were talking in her room the other night, attempting to do homework and read but not getting very far. She’s a bit of a health nut. I appreciate her insight.

“Christians should really be the physically healthiest people out there. I mean, we’ve been made spiritually whole by Jesus, so that should extend to how we treat ourselves physically.”

She got me thinking. Do I take care of my body? Because Jesus died for me, and he was incarnated into a human body. You’d think that would mean something to us, right?

And yet how often do I see in my own life and in the lives of others this attitude that our bodies are just trash receptacles, temporary “tents” that we can use however we want and to do whatever feels/tastes good to our tongues?

Paul addressed this in 1 Cor. 6:13. Granted, he is referring to sexual immorality, but this is still regarding the usage of our bodies: “You say, ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food,’ and God will destroy them both. The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

Our bodies may be temporary, but why would you want to sully your tent that you’re camping out in, even if you’re only going to be camping for a little while before heading back home? Food has become idolized in a gross way among the Redeemed. I see it in my Bible college cafeteria. I see it at church potlucks. I see it at our gatherings and parties and celebrations. I see it in my dorm floor lounge.

Women of God drowning their emotions in junk food, and we all sympathy laugh. Brothers in Christ eating “because they’re bored/feel like it/just want another xyz,” and we nod our heads in agreement. We’ve all “been there.” it’s alright, dear, have another piece of chocolate and you’ll feel alright.

What is wrong with this picture? Since when did gluttony become okay? And why does no one ever SAY anything about it?

The nonbeliever accuses the church of God of taking some sin more seriously than other sin, and she would be right. When I am binge-eating, silently aware that I am seeking comfort in my Oreos rather than in God, my soul is crying out for a sister to come alongside me and gently confront me. It’s a subtle sin that creeps easily into our lives as believers, but it’s a terribly wedged-in addiction that must be ripped away with force.

God, in his grace, provides a way out of our skewed perceptions of sustenance, if we so choose to take it. Titus 2:12 says, “It [the grace of God, salvation] teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”

I want that. I want to see beyond my chemical compulsions, my salivary addictions, my shame and disgust at my carbohydrate consumption when I’m cloistered in my idolatry. The key? Doing it, in his strength.

It’s because of God that I can say no. It’s because of Christ that bodies matter, and that includes mine, yours, and the rest of our brothers and sisters’.

The Incarnation allows for health to be a reality, whether that’s spiritual or physical. And for that, I praise God and seek desperately his strength to pursue both.