It’s the same with this body God gave you. As much as those of us who are Christians would like to think otherwise, our bodies are not our own: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit … 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” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

You see, your body is merely a rental. It houses your spirit until that day when you will be given a perfected and glorious new body (Philippians 3:20–21). When you realize you’ve been entrusted with this body, it should cause you to think twice about how you treat it.

This body you’ve been born with doesn’t belong to you. You’ve got it on loan. And anyway you’ll be getting a new one later. You’re not stuck with it forever! So does it make sense to become depressed and not enjoy life while we’re here? Does it make sense to isolate ourselves because we think we don’t compare to this culture’s standards? Of course not. This is the body God has given you for this life. Learn how to rejoice in it.

However, let me ask you something. Would you intentionally ding up that rental car or pour cheese wiz into the gas tank? I hope not. One, it’s not smart, and two, it doesn’t belong to you. In the same way you should not mistreat your body. You are a steward that has been entrusted with a special gift. You’re to care for it and keep it in good condition until it’s called in for return, regardless of shape or size it’s a blessing.

The proper motivation for getting fit is to be a good steward of the body God has given you.

You have a spiritual responsibility to care for your body. Why? Because your physical health directly affects your ability to serve God. Christians are the hands and feet of Christ on this earth until He returns. How effective you are in this is directly related to your stamina, strength, endurance, and perseverance.

Look at it as if you were a soldier in God’s army (which you are). Would you be fit to serve if the call came today? Are you in shape to do whatever your commanding officer requires? Or would you be disqualified from some amazing mission because you’re just not physically able to do it? A good soldier must be able to take the physical challenges, tests, and training required by the job. You don’t want to be passed over for assignments. You want to be ready at a moment’s notice, whether it’s to hike to some African village or be on your feet all day at a soup kitchen.

The right motive for getting fit is so you can do anything and everything God calls up on you to do. Your body is the vessel God has put you in for these years. It’s the rental car. Treat it well and it will take you far.

From "The Final Makeover."  © 2005 by Dino Nowak.  Used by permission of Siloam – A Strang Company.  All rights reserved. 

A physical fitness expert, Dino Nowak has trained and consulted high-profile artists in the entertainment industry in both the mainstream and Christian markets.  He writes and produces a weekly radio program and is a frequent contributor to several fitness magazines.  Nowak is certified through the American Council on Exercise, and the Cooper Institute.