And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Luke 10:27
In our age of pushing for excellence, the physical body becomes one of the targets for greater achievement—run faster, jump higher, swim farther. The body also becomes a work of art as muscles are sculpted and chiseled to give the appearance of great strength and power. But what does it avail? In a few short years this body will wither and soon be laid in the grave. This is not a pessimistic view of the physical being but simply a reality check on why we do what we do.
There is value in taking care of our bodies and keeping them in prime condition. There is value in exercise and healthy diet to keep our bodies fit and ready to service. But this attention to the body is not for self-glorification or personal gain. Frailty of body hinders the work of God, while good health keeps us going for God. Our bodies are wonderful works of beauty and ability which God designed for a purpose. When Jesus said to love the Lord with all our strength He was letting us know that even our physical bodies can be a means of bringing glory to God. While sports figures can draw the attention and envy of many, the only thing about our physical bodies that will have eternal value is what we have done in the flesh to further the Gospel of Christ. We need our bodies to do the work of the kingdom. We are to glorify God “in the flesh.”