While the term sports is used, this gate is inherently about physical activity and wellbeing.
As Christians we can easily get so caught up discussing soul and spirit that we forget that we still have physical bodies that are a fundamental part of who we are. Physical bodies that we are supposed to wisely steward throughout the duration of our lives on earth.
How do we think about our bodies?
When you look at yourself in the mirror what do you see?
Can you look at yourself in the mirror?
What do you believe about your body?
Who/what shaped those beliefs?
For a people whose image and likeness comes from God, we pay far too much attention to what the world has to say over what God has to say.
The first lie ever told to humankind – that God withholds good things from us and we have to strive after them for ourselves – has woven its way into our perceptions of our bodies.
We rarely think of contentment in relation to the bodies God gave us. The height, skin tone, shape, size, gender, the sound of your laughter, you name it, are an intentional act of creation on God’s part. To think that He made a mistake with you is to think of something that is not as though it were.
The danger with that is that if you think a certain way long enough it becomes your reality – whether or not it was the truth to begin with.
What have you believed about your body?
Who/what shaped those beliefs?
What does God have to say about the body He gave you?
How do we speak to/about our bodies?
Out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths speak. Internal monologue will always find an outward expression.
There are those of us who are great at complimenting others but are their own worst destructive critics.
There are those of us who are far too enamored with themselves to even take note of the value in others.
There are those of us – who never stopping to question the source of their beliefs – thrust them upon all and sundry with all the vitriol and self-righteousness they can muster.
There are those of us – who never believing in the power of their voice – won’t dare to speak life into those around them who need it.
It’s a slippery slope when we collapse our finite understanding of what is good and bad with the infinite wisdom of God.
Are you declaring life over your body? Over those close to you? Or have you been speaking death over it because you don’t see the value within you? Within those who are right in front of you?
How do we feed our bodies?
Do you have a healthy relationship with food?
“It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you.”
– Janet Greeson
How much thought do you give what you put in your mouth?
The nuances of the food relationships that exist are diverse ranging from seemingly harmless comfort treats to extremes seen in starvation & malnutrition and disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
The politics of food is equally vast including everything from organic vs. GMO debates, famine relief efforts to food loss due to ineffective logistics between farm and fork.
Have you ever considered why food exists? It’s not like God couldn’t come up with alternatives to keep us alive. But here we are. A people who rely on food and water to live.
In a feeble attempt at simplicity, I chalk down the purpose of food to – a joyful fuel to sustain my body and enable me to live my God-given purpose.
Fuel because it does have a functional role to keep me healthy and strong.
Joyful because I think what we put in our bodies can and should give us joy. Especially if we consider it as a revelation of God. If all of creation bears the mark of its Maker, doesn’t that mean food – in its intrinsic nature – does too?
What labels have you given food and how have they affected your relationship with food? Where’s the point of departure from what God intended food to be to you?
How do we maintain our bodies?
Beyond nutrition, our bodies need to be maintained. It’s unfortunate just how many fitness conversations are centred more on looks rather than health and wellbeing. There’s nothing wrong with looking good but we were made for more than that. In any case, who’s defining what good looks are?
For all the service rendered to us by our bodies, many of us are downright unkind to them how we treat ourselves.
We’re literally living ourselves to the ground. And it shows. In the shorter life spans. In the lifestyle diseases. In the aches and pains we’ve rationalized as normal. Our bodies are screaming angrily at us but are we listening?
What changes do you need to make in becoming more intentional in taking care of your body?
How do we use our bodies?
When all is said and done, the point of stewarding our bodies well is so that we can use them.
But are we using them well?
We can have about as many definitions of this as there are people so let me be clear. The Potter knows what He makes His pots for.
Are we using our bodies based on our Potter’s blueprint for them?
Can we truly say that we have glorified God not just in spirit but even with our bodies – the most apparent and evident expression of our identity?
On one end, there is the danger of abuse and misuse of our bodies in our conduct and speech that in turn causes grievous harm to others…and to ourselves.
But on the other end, is the threat of a life so safely and comfortably lived that it accomplishes none of what it was designed for.
Are you glorifying God with your stewardship of your body? Allow the Holy Spirit to celebrate and encourage you in the areas where you’re doing great and to challenge and teach you how to do better in the areas that could use improvement.
This marks the end of my foray into the 7 Gates Of Society. Catch up on those you may have missed in the archives.
Niyi Morakinyo’s book – The 7 Professional Nations: Reconciling Them Back To God – is the genesis of the categorization of the 7 gates as I’m writing about them. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to be fruitful for the Kingdom of God. You can download it from the Joshua Generation Trust website as a free resource. Just click here. 🙂