Care for Your Body Temple

Ed Sharrow
3 min readNov 4, 2021
Image by THE 5TH from Pixabay

Scripture tells Christians that our bodies are the temple of God. Christ Jesus referred to his own body when he spoke of destroying the temple and raising it up in three days (John 2:21). In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul reminds us to glorify God in our bodies which are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:18–20). There are three aspects to caring for our holy temples: material, psychological, and spiritual.

First, there is a material aspect. Paul calls upon us not to defile our bodies with immoral sexual behaviors. As a Jew, Paul also embraced strict dietary practices that helped to keep the body healthy, a worthy temple. Not only were food groups usually eaten in a surprisingly scientific manner, there was also the expectation of regular fasts. While oppressive dietary regulations were relaxed, even by Christ himself (Matthew 15:10–11), it was never suggested to abuse or ignore the requirements to build and maintain health. In the Old Testament, there is a nice admonition to consider carefully what is being served when you are the guest at a table (Proverbs 23:1–3).

Second, there are psychological and intellectual components of caring properly for the body. The psychological component includes not hating what you have been given. Don’t hate your appearance, don’t hate your gender, and don’t hate the limitations that may come with your body even when it is maintained at a peak performance level.

Your body is yours and was created to express your unique purpose in the world. For example, you may not be a “natural athlete” but you may be well adapted for many other roles that are important to society. Use internal psychology to affirm your strengths with a positive outlook. If your “self speak” is negative, it can harm the body as much as poor eating or poor behaviors. Love what you have been given and make the best of it.

The intellectual component is primarily introspective. Observe which foods may make your body restless and avoid them. Use the intellect to develop a daily plan to maintain a healthy body, or seek out a trained nutritionist. Apply common knowledge such as avoiding harmful things such as smoking, drinking and taking any drugs. You have to figure these things out on your own and how each aspect applies to you personally. Be aware of allergies for example.

Third, there is a spiritual requirement in body maintenance. Most Christians have forgotten that they have been given body temples of Spirit to care for as well as to use for their life purpose. Look for the Holy Spirit within through daily prayer and concentration upon the attributes of God. For how-to instructions you may practice “Be Still and Know Christ” and “Amen: Listen to the Word of God”.

Following Christ Jesus requires self-discipline. Since our bodies are literal temples of God, we should want to care for them properly with proper rest, healthy diets, and daily exercise and prayer.

Ed Sharrow

Author, philosopher, Christian meditation instructor. Secular thoughts on weekdays.