Advice Columns

March 25, 2014

The Bible notes our responsibility to take care of ourselves

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’m an emergency room nurse in our local hospital, and I get very discouraged because so many of the people we see are there because they’ve done something stupid or they haven’t taken care of themselves. Does the Bible say anything about taking care of our bodies? Or is it just concerned with spiritual things? — D.E.
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’m an emergency room nurse in our local hospital, and I get very discouraged because so many of the people we see are there because they’ve done something stupid or they haven’t taken care of themselves. Does the Bible say anything about taking care of our bodies? Or is it just concerned with spiritual things? — D.E.

DEAR D.E.:

Yes, the Bible has a great deal to say about our bodies and our responsibility to take care of them. In fact, many of the laws in the Old Testament had to do with healthy living, and the Bible repeatedly warns us not to harm our bodies but to use them for God’s glory.

After all, God gave our bodies to us, and he doesn’t want us to neglect or misuse them. Furthermore, when we come to Christ, God himself comes to live within us by his Holy Spirit, and if we misuse our bodies we are sinning against the Holy One who now lives within us.

The Bible says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit ? Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Why do people abuse their bodies and neglect their health? I’ve often pondered this question because (as you witness every day) it can only lead to sorrow and suffering, and even death. But sin, like a deadly disease, has taken hold of us, and it deceives us into thinking we will get by with it. But we won’t.

Turn to Christ every day for the encouragement you need. What you’re doing is important — to others, and to God. And ask him also to make you a blessing to those you meet, not only helping them physically but also pointing them to Jesus as you have opportunity.

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