Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 CSB
You have restored me to health and let me live.
Isaiah 38:16 CSB
Several years ago, I woke up ready to restore my body.
I had three of my children in less than four years. I’d spent a total of almost seven years either pregnant, nursing, or both, and my body had wrung itself out. It had expanded and deflated, grown and birthed, fed and nourished, carried, rocked, cradled, and chased. And then one day, I realized that I was not pregnant, nursing, or toddler-chasing exhausted.
My body was in need of restoration, so that day I simply decided to be ready to make choices that would restore it back to health. And eighteen months from that day, I was more than sixty pounds lighter.
No, I never followed a specific diet; I merely made one better choice at a time. One donut instead of three. A small latte instead of a large. Daily walks with my dog, our mileage increasing each day. I took my time with the process, making simple changes that added up. One day and one choice and one baby step at a time. As it turns out, slow and steady really does win the race, which in this case led me back to health.
It was never about losing weight; it was about becoming a healthier version of myself for myself. And for me, the journey started with losing weight. To be clear — I wasn’t ashamed of my weight. I wasn’t a bad person because of those extra pounds or a better person after I lost them, because weight does not equal worth. It was simply where I began.
A couple years later, I was thrilled to be expecting my fourth child. My body would once again take on the role of carrier, vessel, and nurturer. As I adjusted my thoughts to literally make space for growth, it was clear that what I’d gained during the journey far outweighed the sixty pounds that I’d lost.
It felt darn good to be able to move in the way I wanted to. I could walk faster and farther than ever before, sometimes even jogging. I was drinking more water each day than I ever had. I felt healthy, strong, and proud of taking time for self-care.
My kids said I was shrinking, but I knew that, choice by choice, I was growing into who I was meant to be.
Our daily choices can become reflections of who we really are.
I think our health matters to God for two reasons. First, God wants us to care for His creation—and that includes our bodies. We care for our church buildings, our homes, and other spaces where we gather and welcome God’s Spirit, right? We spend time cleaning and caring for those spaces, and we deserve the same for ourselves. For me, that looks like eating well and taking daily walks, which in combination led to weight loss. Maybe for you it’s moving your body, cleaning out your closet so it only holds clothes that fit right now, or taking a long bath. Whatever brings God glory and lets you truly live.
Second, I find that when I’m intentionally caring for my body, I’m happier and better able to care for (and about) my family and loved ones. When I take care of myself, everyone around me also benefits, and I believe God cares about this too.
God is cheering us on as we care for ourselves in ways that bring Him glory. God delights in our restoration, in our health, and in His people taking good care of themselves in order to glorify Him—which we can do in big and small ways.
Here’s to recognizing the strength in small changes and the ways they can impact our health and our lives.
Lord, thank You for choosing my heart, soul, and body to live in. My health matters to You, and I’m grateful. Help me to take good care of myself, recognizing that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. Give me strength to make wise daily choices that will have life-giving, long-term effects. Even in this, I look to You. Amen.
This article was written by Anna E. Rendell, as published in Empowered: More of Him for All of You.
Empowered: More of Him for All of You, by Mary Carver, Grace P. Cho, and Anna E. Rendell is designed to incorporate the five major components of our being — physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. The sixty Scripture passages and devotions invite you to see from different angles how God empowers us, and each day ends with prayer and reflection questions to deepen the learning. Grab a copy now. We pray it blesses you.Leave a Comment
Amen. Amen. Amen!
Ruth Mills says
Anna such an encouraging yet stepping on my toes message! I admit some of my small daily decisions could be wiser & healthier. You have challenged me toward making the wiser choices because they really do fit into the big glorifying God picture! For one who works in front of a computer all day getting up for a 2 minute walk each hour is so incremental it seems worthless, another sip of water after each claim entered or call completed can & will add up! Doing the small things well really does bring Him glory. If I’m faithful in small things He will multiply the results beyond my imagination seen & unseen! Thank you for the encouragement! Blessings!
Resonates on so many levels. Thank you. for sharing your words.
Stacey E. says
I am reading Empowered right now. What a blessing to be here.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
This is so good a post. One thing when we let God be incharge of everything in our lives. We find it easier to do things and the right way God wants us to do them that please him. Not our way. We get through time with God’s help it gets easier to do them. We find we are not tempted to things that God would not want us to do that are not pleasing to him. As at the beginning the Enemy will try and make us feel I can’t do this. Plus say to you go on have that one cake it will do you know harm. Then if you do give in no matter what it is you give into at the time you see no harm in it. Then afterwards you feel yuck and say to yourself why did I give into that. God wouldn’t have wanted me to do that or give into it. The Enemy is stutle like he was when we read Genesis when he tempted Eve into doing wrong and eating from the tree of Good and Knowledge. That God said not to eat from. As soon as you do you will know good and evil. That brought sin into our world. How crafty the Enemy is. As he knows our weekness. He will push and push to get us to do the thing God does not want us to do that is wrong in his eyes. Then if we do give into it. It is only a temporary pleasure that does not last. Afterwards we feel so guilty for giving into it. Been there loads of times. I have them had to go to God and ask him to forgive me for giving into something he knows I should not have that wrong in his eye. I hate myself afterwards even though at the time I seen no wrong it. So I have to be strong and not give in to sign again. Do as 1 Corinthians 10 verse 13 says. It says ” No Temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it” so true this verse. That means if I am tempted because I am human and the Enemy getting to me and the feeling getting so strong I have not the power to say no to it. Even if I know it is wrong in God’s eyes. I have to read that verse in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 13 and then pray to God to help me do as it says. It not easy. But it taking baby steps to find the strength in God to with his help to do the right thing and not give into the wrong thing in God’s eyes. Not let the Enemy win. By saying to himself yes I got you to sin. It hard but in thoes time. We have to go to God and ask him to help us not give in. When it wrong in his eyes. Then when we don’t give in after praying about it and asking for God’s help. We feel a million times better than feeling guilty if we gave into to it. Then having to again ask God to forgive us. God does because he is loving a God. But if we keep on doing the same sin. Then think we can go to go in pray for forgiveness. After so long God will not be pleased with us. God will not let us away with it. He will let us know he not pleased. So we have to be the people in the those moments to say God if tempted and it strong to say God help me sat no not give in. God will be pleased with us. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Nancy Ruegg says
Congratulations, Anna, for making one small decision after another that achieved such valuable results. Those verses from 1 Corinthians 6 (that you quoted at the beginning of this post) have echoed in the back of my mind for years, ever since a Bible study, “God’s Answer to Overeating.” (May not even be in print anymore; don’t know.) God still reminds me now and then: We ARE temples of the Holy Spirit, and even our bodies are meant to be honoring to Him.
Karen Knowles says
Thank you, Anna! So, so good! Amen!
Beth Williams says
Congratulations on making those changes & losing the weight. Our bodies are temples in which Holy Spirit lives. We need to care for ourselves like we do other things. Just yesterday (9/24) I watched a show on TBN about the book “The Makers Diet”. The author talks about eating healthy more home grown or organic foods. Doing so can stop most diseases. I decided that hubby & I are going to make changes & eat better. We walk each day-especially working in hospital. For me it is about drinking more water, eating fruits & giving up a lot of sweets. Want to feel better, have more energy & not end up like a lot of patients I see. Thanks for the incentive.