A few of my friends who are writers and bloggers are coming along to share in my Work It Out! summer series. Christine Thompson is a local friend whom I met via facebook and mutual friends. She’s also been a part of my Lunch Ladies group. Welcome, Christine!
“Caring for the Temple”
Two years ago, the day after Thanksgiving, I lay in hospital fearing I may have had a heart attack. Lying there that night, I realized I needed to be more diligent in caring for the “temple” God has given me. In the Old Testament the priests were not only assigned to perform the sacrifices, and incense offerings but their duties included caring for the temple.
I Corinthians 6: 19-20 says this:
“Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please; squandering what what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God own the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (MSG)
1 Peter 2:9, calls us a “holy priesthood”, and as Paul stated our physical bodies are where He lives. Our job is to care for this temple.
I thank God that it wasn’t a heart attack, but a much needed wake up call. It was time to change some things.
Inconsistent sessions of walking were not enough. My eating habits were just as bad and maybe even worse. I set goals, started regularly exercising, slowly cut out the bad food and taped a picture of what I wanted to look like to my mirror.
Changing my walking routine to running, I posted my progress on facebook for accountability, and I began reading others posts about their exercising routines.
Seeing more of my friends running, was wonderful because it spurred me on. Second, others told me how inspired they were to do the same thing. After a while I noticed they were running everyday. All I could do physically was run two or three times a week. Some were losing weight quickly while my scale never changed.
The frustration became so great that, I would cry and ask God why. “Why can’t I run everyday like him? Or why can she lose all that weight and my scale isn’t budging?”
The more comparisons I made the more I pushed myself. Weights were added to the regimen. So were abdominal exercises. By pushing myself I was causing injuries. This in turn, caused fear of doing any exercise at all. So I started counting calories, and trying to find the miracle foods that would do the trick. This only caused more hunger and sneaking food to satisfy the grumbling stomach.
The vicious cycle continued until I prayed “I’m doing everything I know how to do to lose weight and become healthy, and to care of the body you gave me God. What am I not doing? Now, five pounds added to my body, and it’s not muscle. I hate looking like this.”
A little voice spoke to my heart, “Why do you compare yourself to others? You are not honoring your body when you force it to do things others do. Make adjustments in exercising and food intake. So what if you aren’t running every day, you’re moving more than you ever did before. You are not that picture on the mirror. I think you are beautiful, because I made you. Bring me into this area of your life, and I will help.”
Not what I wanted to hear. But in truth, it’s what I needed to hear. If you told me two years ago I would run three 5k races, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Because I pushed myself, I have to start over. I haven’t run for about two months, but I started walking again, I have cut out a lot of sugar and other stuff. Yeah, I do have dessert once in a while, sometimes too much.
The most important thing that has changed is my heart. Yes, I still want and need to lose weight and there have been goals set, but ultimately it’s about caring for the God’s temple.
How about you? Why do you exercise? Are you comparing yourself to others or worse photoshopped magazine models? We are called to care for our bodies. You are unique. Ask God how He wants you care for the temple He gave you.
Christine lives in Seminole, Florida, with her husband Mike and three daughters. She has been a freelance writer since 2009, writing for Sunday school periodicals and devotional magazines and websites. Christine loves to reach out to women and encourage them in their walk with the Lord through scripture and personal experiences.
You can read more from Christine on her blog Encouragement for the Journey.
Written by Melanie Dorsey - Visit Website