by Rick Warren — May 8, 2022
From God’s Prescription for a Healthy Life
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship."
Romans 12:1 (NIV)
For change to happen in any area of your life—whether it’s financial, emotional, educational, mental, or relational—you have to begin with the physical.
Your body affects your behavior. Your muscles affect your moods and your motivation. Your physiology can actually affect your psychology.
Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (NIV).
The problem with a living sacrifice is that it can choose to crawl off the altar. People do this all the time. You offer yourself to God, and then you take yourself back. Offering your body as a living sacrifice isn’t something you need to do just once. You’ve got to do it four, five, or maybe 10 times a day!
So what is your “true and proper worship”? The Bible lists three things you can do with your body as acts of worship.
Cleanse your body. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (NIV). There are two main ways to cleanse your body. First, you can cleanse your body by controlling what you allow in your mind through what you watch and listen to. You also can cleanse your body by making good choices about what you eat and drink.
Care for your body. Ephesians 5:29 says, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church” (NLT). Any kind of change requires energy. And to have energy, you have to care for your body. Keeping your body in good physical shape is an act of worship to God.
Control your body. “Each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (1 Thessalonians 4:4 NIV). There is no reason to say, “I couldn’t help myself!” You can learn to control your body.
Do you know it’s time to make a change in life, but you’ve wondered where to start? Start with your body! Cleanse it, care for it, and control it. To change your life, change your body.