The Owner’s Manual (part 2)

In “The Owner’s Manual –part 1”, I wrote about the need to become “students” of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles info. The more we know about taking care of our physical body, the better it’ll serve us!

That blog addressed one part of us. But we are more than flesh and blood beings; we also have an emotional, mental and spiritual component residing within our physical frame. Let’s look at our body through God’s eyes; after all, he created it. Since he made us, I invite you to consider some thoughts from our spiritual “owner’s manual” – the Bible.

God does some of his best work “behind the scenes”. The psalmist David meditates on his Lord’s creative genius:

You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb… David realized he was wonderfully made…made in secret, and skillfully wrought” (Psalm 139:13-15).

For those who have embraced Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior indeed have a new owner. Paul addresses this issue in one of his Corinthian epistles:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

Later, in the same letter, Paul considered his responsibility for his body:

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection… 1 Corinthians 9:27

In the Old Testament, we see a clear example of making wise choices for our body (see Daniel 1 for the full story). Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, besieged Jerusalem. He brought back some articles from God’s house as well as some young Jewish men – ones we would call “the cream of the crop” – to serve the king and learn the culture of their captors. Daniel and three friends were among those chosen; here was the plan:

And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.

Daniel, however, knew that consuming these “delicacies” was not the way God planned for him to eat, so he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.  To this overseer, Daniel requested a test period of ten days to eat vegetables and drink water. After this ten-day period, the eunuch could compare them to the other “test group” and judge which were the fittest. There was marked, positive difference noted in these four, and they were allowed to continue their healthy eating regimen.

Daniel, even as a young man, realized that the way he ate had an effect on the fitness of his body. What an example for us! The details of his diet were not clearly stated here…it may have been a vegetarian-type diet that included protein-type sources such as beans. However, the basic truths of Daniel’s example and of Paul’s teachings reveal that our bodies are a gift from God, they are remarkably made, they belong to him, they are his dwelling place, and that we honor God by taking care of them.

As you contemplate this blog’s content, are there changes you need to make…according to the “owner’s manual”?

…an aside: The Bible doesn’t demand total self-denial concerning what we eat. Consider these scriptural truths: we have foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:3-4); Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).

 Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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