My understanding of the Hindu view is that my body is the enemy, so, in order to be godly, the man seeking holiness goes out to the forest and doesn’t eat, drink, wear clothes or find comfort. He must learn to not want anything and then is considered holy and happy because he can’t be hurt if he wants nothing. As Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind said, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
As a Christian, I see the body very differently. Yes, I need to live after the Spirit, not after the flesh. However, I need to take care of my body because:
I remember a song that I was taught in Telegu as a child. “E rendu chatilu, Devundu ichaynu” or something like that. It meant:
These two hands of mine, God gave them both to me; gave them to me for his service.
The song then proceeded down the list of all the body parts God wants me to use for him. Another Sunday school song went, “be careful little hands what you do, there’s a father up above who is looking down in love, so be careful little hands what you do.” (I would do well to remember what I learned as a child.)
To use them for his service, I must take care of the tools
- It is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- My feet are beautiful when used to bring glad tidings to others.
- Obedience is exemplified by yielding my body members slaves to Christ to do the opposite of my natural inclination.
- God counts the hairs on my head.
- I use my mind to worship and plan good for others and ponder God’s thoughts after him.
- Use my eyes to see the lilies and the ripe harvest and the needs of others.
- Use my mouth to exhort, rebuke and teach.
- Use my nose and tongue to savor the richness of this world which God has given me.
- Use my hands to heal and lift up and build.
- Use my back to bear others burdens.
- Use my legs to carry me to places of ministry.
- Use my feet to wriggle in the dirt of the garden and run to the places of battle or service.
Exercise them daily. Doctors used to say that three times a week was enough to keep people fit but new research suggests exercise to the point of puffing and panting is needed in order to keep the blood vessels open properly to the brain. Happily, 10 min, of cardio a day is enough. Surely I can find 10 min. somewhere. (you gain at least two IQ points with regular exercise and slow down the natural deterioration.)
Eat a healthy diet–no sugar and high fiber.
Get enough sleep. When I think that “I can function fine on less sleep” I am wrong. It is the last 3 hours of an 8-hour sleep that restores my damaged nerves, replaces my neurotransmitters, helps me remember the positives from the day before, strengthens healthy new habits, etc.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.Psalm 127:2 2
Every part of my body is depleted with useless tension.
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a SHEW of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and NEGLECTING OF THE BODY: not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.Colossians 2:20-23
Don’t neglect the body.
Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.Daniel 1:12-16
I recently walked the Mackinaw bridge with 9 of my 10 grandchildren. Being on vacation I “cheated” and had some high carbohydrate snacks. My IQ plummeted and I could barely summon the strength to walk the bridge. I jumped back on my healthy diet and regained my energy and focus in a day or so.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:I Corinthians 9:24-27
Exercise and keep in good shape for better service of God and others
My body is not the master but the servant but it is to be stewarded like all of God’s marvelous gifts.
For we are his workmanship [His proof of genius, His ultimate work of art], created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10
Do I ignore and take poor care of his body which he bought with a great price after having made it the first place: or do you indulge its every whim to its destruction: or do you care for it like a Stradivarius violin and let him draw sweet music from its cords?
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:Psalm 139: 14
marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.