“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things, and be in health,” wrote the apostle John to fellow church members.
The Bible says a lot about health. Daniel and his three friends refused to eat the unwholesome food served by the king of Babylon. God rewarded them with strong bodies and quick minds. The king rewarded them with high offices in his empire.
The Bible even talks about prenatal care. When the angel of God told Manoah’s wife she would have a baby, he told her how she should eat.
“Be careful not to drink wine, and not to eat any unclean thing,” the angel told her. Her son, Samson, was to be a defender of his people. He would be a super-hero with great strength.
His super strength did not come just from eating, of course. It came from God. But it was necessary for Samson to have a healthy body to handle that great strength. God’s super strength helped Samson rip the enemy’s huge city gates off their hinges. But if his body had not been healthy, he would have been badly injured by the weight of the gates as he carried them away. Some people say, “What does it matter if I have good health? It’s my body, isn’t it?” No, it is not.
The Bible says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.”
Those are strong words. But that is just how strongly God feels about our good health.
What can we do to have good health? For one thing, we can eat a balanced diet. Everyday we should eat food from the four basic food groups fruits and vegetables, bread and cereals (including pasta), dairy (milk and cheese), and protein (including meat and fish, nuts, lentils, dried beans and peas). If we eat all one kind of food, we do not get the vitamins and minerals we need for strong bodies and clear minds.
We can get exercise. It is especially good to work or play or do other exercises outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. We can get enough sleep so our bodies can renew their strength.
We can use plenty of water to drink and to wash away dirt and germs that are bad for our health. It is important to keep ourselves clean so our skin can be protected against germs that cause sickness. The insides of our bodies are cleaned by drinking plenty of water.
Water, soap and deodorant on the outside help us keep fresh, clean and pleasant to be around.
Did you know that laughter is good for your health? Wise King Solomon says in Proverbs 17:22, KJV that “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Scientists have learned that laughing and being happy help to keep away disease and even pain. When we think happy thoughts, we are helping to build up the temple of God.
Hugging is good, too. Every time we give someone a hug we help make both them and ourselves healthier and stronger. Go ahead –hug Mom or Dad. Hug your best friend, or even your little brother or sister. You’ll both feel happier and healthier for it. And old people, especially those in nursing homes who don’t have family nearby, appreciate hugs and other kinds of attention There are some things we should not do if we want to have good health.
We should not eat too much sugar, fat, salt (sodium), caffeine, or foods high in cholesterol. These substances clog our blood vessels, hurt digestion, and make us sluggish. They help cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and other dangerous problems. It is easy to know if these substances are in foods. Read the labels on packaged foods. The labels will tell you what is in the food. Fresh produce is usually better than packaged food. It does not have these harmful substances added to it.
It is well known that cigarettes cause cancer. The old nickname for cigarettes - coffin nails - is very true. Every time we smoke a cigarette we are driving a nail into our coffin. We are defiling the temple of God.
Alcohol kills brain cells. It makes the mind and body slow and clumsy. States are making stronger laws against people who drink and drive. These people are not only hurting their own body temples, they are endangering the lives of others.
Many people today use drugs for fun. Sometimes when people are unhappy they use drugs to make them feel good for a little while, or to help them sleep and not care. But drugs do not cure any problems. They only make problems worse by costing a lot of money and by making our minds and bodies sick. Sometimes the world can be a very unpleasant place, but drugs will not make the world better.
There is only one cure. Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.” He can help, where drugs and alcohol cannot. He does not always make our problems go away, but He has promised to help us cope with our problems. He has promised to help us win against the enemies of unhappiness and He has promised to give us the victory over sin and Satan.
And he has promised to take us home with Him when He comes. Then nothing can ever hurt and make us unhappy again.
Don’t you want to have a healthy body and a clear mind? Why don’t you promise Jesus right now that you will take care of His temple? He will help you to keep that promise.
Maybe you have a problem with drugs or cigarettes or alcohol. Jesus will help you overcome this too, if you ask Him. He will help you say, “No,” if someone tries to tempt you. And there are others who can help. Tell your school counselor, minister or family doctor. They can help you.
When we take good care of the temple of God, we please Him. And we are happier, too.
King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. What did he say about happiness and health? Proverbs 17:22. Angry words can make our stomachs hurt, but what happens when we speak calmly? Proverbs 16:24. What does the Bible say about our bodies being the temple of God? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31