Stewards of God's Talents
Scripture speaks of our physical bodies as being the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). How might this impact the health of our body, mind and emotions? Does temperance, diet or exercise have anything to do with stewardship? What motivates us to be “God’s ‘Stewards of the Temple?’”
In “The Parable of the Talents” told by Jesus in Matthew 25:13-30, we find important clues to our question. At the center of the story is a man who had three servants. Before leaving on a long journey, he gave them each talents of money. When he returned he discovered that all but one had a good return on the money he had given them. It becomes clear that Jesus pictured Himself as the One traveling on a long journey, and His disciples as the servants who had been given the talents to be used in His absence. They were to take these talents and, as good stewards, make them more valuable for their Master. They were not to sit idly waiting for His return.
First, we are called to be good stewards to glorify God. As we experience better health of body, mind, emotion, and spirit we are better able to bring Him glory.
Among the many applications of the truths found in this profound parable, is the importance of adhering to the principles of health (Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 346-348). Like many other “talents,” our health is given to us as a gift that we must take care of, and use for the profit of our Master.
Why Be Good Stewards of the Body?
Unfortunately, it is possible to try to make health one’s own salvation but that is not God’s plan. The Bible makes it clear when it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). It is only by His unconditional love and grace that we will have eternal life. Stewardship comes in response to that gift, and not in order to achieve it. But this does leave us with the question, “Why then should we be good stewards and take good care of our bodies? Fortunately we have inspired counsel to help answer that question. There are at least four reasons we should consider:
1. GLORIFYING GOD: First, we are called to be good stewards to glorify God. As we experience better health of body, mind, emotion, and spirit we are better able to bring Him glory. The Bible is clear when it states ”therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19, 20) and, “whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31). Our motivation is in response to His love and grace towards us. We do it to glorify Him.
2. THE BENEFIT OF A FULL LIFE: Second, we are good stewards for our own benefit. When God gives us principles and laws to live by, it is for our own good. As our Creator, He knows what is best for us, and that includes optimal mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing (Deut. 7:12-15; John 10:10). In a world stained by sin, God’s principles for health are for our own restoration and wellbeing—a real gift of grace!
Health is a blessing of which few appreciate the value; yet upon it the efficiency of our mental and physical powers largely depends."
3. SERVICE TO OTHERS: As good stewards of our bodies we are in the best condition to discern between truth and error and to use our gifts to bless others.
“Health is a blessing of which few appreciate the value; yet upon it the efficiency of our mental and physical powers largely depends. Our impulses and passions have their seat in the body, and it must be kept in the best condition physically and under the most spiritual influences in order that our talents may be put to the highest use” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 346).
4. SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT: Anything that lessens physical strength enfeebles the mind and makes it less capable of discriminating between right and wrong. We become less capable of choosing the good and have less strength of will to do that which we know to be right.!
The Apostle Paul summarized it well when he wrote, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” (1 Thes. 5:23, 24).