“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
Although this passage does not directly address physical fitness, it does stress the importance of accountability for our bodies. We are the “managers” of our bodies, not the owners. We are to preserve, protect, and care for our bodies the same way we would any of God’s property. We will be held accountable for how we managed what we were given.
This approach is countercultural to the prevailing idea which suggests that our bodies are ours for us to do what we think is best. Our bodies are a gift from God. Our bodies are God’s own image projected here on Earth. Our spirits reside in them and they are made to honor God and do His work. As believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit resides in us.
When we believe our bodies belong solely to us to do as we please, we are not worshiping God, but worshiping ourselves. Self-worship pulls our focus away from God and distracts us from serving Him. The worldly culture tells us self-worship is acceptable as a means to greater self-esteem. As Christians, we know our confidence and self-worth comes from our faith in an unchanging God and the grace given to us by Jesus. When we begin to regard our bodies like the gifts they are, and revere them as blessings from our Creator, it takes the focus off of ourselves and places it on the Lord — where it belongs.