As a temple to the living God, by way of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us as believers, (1 Corinthians 3:16), I firmly believe that we are to take great care of our earthly body. By doing so, we are at the ready to serve others now and, statistically speaking, we are better able to share His love well into our golden years. (Qualifier: Obviously, there are no guarantees and God sometimes has plans that we don’t understand. But statistically speaking, a higher quality of longer life is associated with good fitness).
I also believe that scripture speaks at length to the virtue of physical health and the consequences of sins against the body. In fact, through the Run For God study we covered several passages that provided inspiration by way of running analogies and goals. Heck, this blog is based on the correlation between these topics and the idea that ‘rising above’ is both spiritual and physical.
That said, my wife was reading the Psalms while we were on vacation. She came across Psalm 147:10-11, it reads:
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Talk about a big dose of perspective. Yes, we are to use our gifts and blessings to their fullest. Physically, that might mean staying strong or it might mean running long. But if what we do to maintain our physical health does not provide an avenue to praising, honoring or worshipping God, then He has no delight in our actions. Ouch! As I listened, I was reminded of the verse in 1 Timothy 4:8,
For physical training is of some value,
but godliness has value for all things,
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.