Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and should be treated with care (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). However, many of us make choices daily that can poison and destroy our bodies slowly. As Christians, it’s important we understand what the Bible teaches about caring for our physical health. In this comprehensive post, we will explore key Bible verses related to poisoning our bodies and extract principles on how to honor God in how we nourish ourselves.
- Our bodies belong to God and are temples of the Holy Spirit, so we should care for them well.
- God designed our bodies to need healthy food, water, air, sunlight, exercise, and rest. Depriving our bodies of these can poison us slowly.
- Drunkenness and gluttony are warned against in Scripture as poisons to the body.
- We should pursue moderation and self-control by God’s strength when eating and drinking.
- Smoking, vaping, and drug abuse harm our bodies tremendously. As Christians, we are called to sobriety.
- When we care for our bodies well, we honor God and can serve others more effectively for His glory.
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Our Bodies Belong to God
As Christians, our bodies are not entirely our own. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 makes this clear:
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, 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. (NKJV)
Our physical bodies actually house God’s Holy Spirit when we accept Christ. Therefore, we are called to steward our bodies carefully to glorify God. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 further warns:
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. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (NKJV)
When we engage in activities that can poison or defile our bodies slowly, we grieve the Holy Spirit who lives in us (Ephesians 4:30). This is a solemn responsibility. We are not our own. Christ paid the ultimate price so we could be redeemed to live for Him. Therefore, we should honor God in everything we do to our physical bodies.
God Designed Our Bodies to Need Healthy Fuel
When God first created man and woman in the Garden of Eden, their nutritional sources were simple:
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” (Genesis 1:29 NKJV)
After the flood in Genesis 7, God permitted eating clean meats as well but set boundaries around how to distinguish those animals from unclean ones. When the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years, God provided manna and quail for them to eat (Exodus 16).
The food choices were limited but sufficient to nourish their bodies well. In Psalm 104:14-15, we read:
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart. (NKJV)
God designed the human body to thrive on natural foods from the earth, plants and animals included. Water is essential for life and health, as 60% of our bodies are composed of it. The air we breathe, sunlight for vitamin D and warmth, rest for regeneration, and exercise for movement are all part of God’s original plan for nourishing our mortal frames.
We poison our system gradually when we deprive it of the healthy fuel sources it was designed for. Eating too much processed, artificial, and genetically modified food slowly toxifies the body. Insufficient sleep, sunlight, or activity wears down our physical health over time.
This is not to condemn medical interventions or technology but to highlight that our bodies were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) by a wise Creator. When we honor God’s original design in how we nourish our bodies, we walk in greater health and vitality to serve Him with our lives.
Drunkenness and Gluttony Poison Our Bodies
With growing affluence and abundant food options today, two prime candidates for poisoning our bodies are drunkenness and gluttony.
The Bible consistently warns against drunkenness which impairs judgment, modesty and self-control:
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1 NKJV)
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 NKJV)
Drunkenness can destroy our livers and brains when taken to extremes over long periods. While alcohol may have some health benefits in moderation, overindulgence poisons our Temples slowly.
In a similar vein, gluttony or overeating poisons our body with excess food intake.
Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty. (Proverbs 23:20-21a NKJV)
Obesity and chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease result when we fail to exercise self-control in our eating habits.
As Christians, we are called to sobriety and vigilance over our appetites:
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:6 NKJV)
Rather than abstinence from alcohol, the Bible recommends moderation and self-control empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our attitude, not just our actions matter.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (Philippians 4:5 KJV)
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17 NKJV)
Drugs, Smoking and Vaping – Gateways to Poison
With rampant substance abuse today, Christians must especially guard their bodies against mind-altering drugs. Smoking cigarettes, vaping e-liquids, consuming edibles – all these deliver poison steadily into our bloodstream.
Scripture warns us:
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. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV)
Medicinal marijuana may have limited benefits for terminal illnesses, but recreational abuse is dangerous. God desires us to be of sound mind and sober judgment:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)
Smoking anything delivers carcinogens into our lungs over time, marring God’s temple. Second-hand smoking also impacts others, especially children.
As Christians, we are called to keep our minds clear and focused to serve God wholeheartedly. Intentionally polluting our brains with intoxicants goes against honoring our Creator who fashioned our minds.
Caring for Our Bodies Honors God
A key motivation to avoid poisoning ourselves should be glorifying God with our lives. Paul urges:
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV)
When we steward our bodies well, we honour the Lord and can serve others more effectively. It also testifies to unbelievers that we are different:
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (1 Peter 2:15 NKJV)
Caring for our physical health demonstrates godly wisdom and self-control empowered by the Spirit. It enables us to fulfill our callings with energy and zeal, rather than be sidelined by preventable illnesses.
Finally, as God’s workmanship created for good works (Ephesians 2:10), we must not destroy His handiwork through negligent living. We can glorify God by pursuing healthy habits of eating, exercise, sleep, and emotional rest.
Our physical bodies belong to God and are temples of the Holy Spirit. We should steward them carefully by providing healthy fuel from God’s creation while avoiding poisons like drunkenness, gluttony, smoking, and recreational drugs. Moderation, self-control and sobriety should mark our lifestyle, with the Spirit’s help. When we care for our health diligently as Christians, we honor God and testify of His goodness to others as energetic, wholesome witnesses of His grace.