The Sweet Christian Bride

A Healthy Sacrifice

by admin on April 2, 2013 in Faith, Health with No Comments

Let’s face it, brides want to look good at their weddings.  With everyone watching the bride come down the aisle and with photographs for posterity, brides want to feel and look their best.

Exercising regularly, eating better, and sleeping more are all great goals, not just for a bride, but for anyone.  They are also great opportunities to bring worship into the daily routine.

Romans 11:36-12:2 says:

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever.  Amen.  I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good, acceptable, and perfect.

Verse 1 of chapter 12 is a common Biblical motto for Christian-influenced exercise and dieting programs because of the obvious connection between fitness and presenting your body to God as an act of worship.  But what does that mean in the non-marketed sense?  It means to cherish your body and mind as prized gifts from God, a temple of His own Spirit, or in other words, to take care of it as if it were not your own.

Eating well, exercising consistently, and sleeping enough become acts of sacrifice because you cannot do them well without learning to say “no” to friends, family, sweets, leisure, to-do lists, culture, etc.  The act of sacrificing can bring you into deep petition and adoration of God, especially when you do it in the context of 11:36.  All of your food and your time and your leisure and your body is made from God by His Spirit and for His glory.

Presenting your body as a living sacrifice will no doubt be challenging or it wouldn’t be a sacrifice, but consider Romans 12:2 as the long-term direction and motivation for doing so.  When you can break free from the patterns of this world (busyness, self-indulgence, and noise, just to name a few), you will be set apart from the indoctrination of the world and instead be able to hear and know the will of God.

Think of the spiritual mentors in your life, people whose days revolve around the Lord.  They seem to have a greater ear and heart for God’s will, and thus stronger convictions, more grace, and a richer quality of life.  That spiritual maturity goes hand in hand with being rested, living in the present moment yet with eternal perspective, trusting God, craving Him, seeking solitude and silence, and practicing appropriate abstinence from pleasures in order to keep them from becoming idols.

Even good things like staying healthy can become idols when they come before your love for the Lord.  But knowing that God delights in your health allows you to pursue your health for His sake first, and then for your own.  As you present your body as a living sacrifice, you will find that your mind, your heart, and your habits will reap the benefits of transformed living for God’s sake.

Photo © Garry Tan

Article was originally published March 9, 2011.

By Lindsay
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