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By C.J. Addison  – Columbia, MO

Our bodies are amazingly detailed and intricate.

“For You Yourself created my innermost parts; You wove me together in my mother’s womb. I give thanks to You, for I am amazingly and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful and my soul is abundantly aware of this.

My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, skillfully woven together in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my embryo; and in Your scroll they were all written – the days that were formed before there was any of them.” Psalms 139:13-16 REV

Did you know that our thoughts and minds affect every cell in our body? No wonder God, the Great Physician, intended for us to “lead every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

He designed mankind as a three-part being: spirit, soul, body.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV

Synergy in Motion

When we coordinate all those aspects to function together as God planned, it has a synergistic effect, which is far greater than focusing on only one or two of them.

When we are learning something new, we may need to concentrate on one of those three more than the others.

For instance, when I’m teaching swimming to a client, I give specific drills for the legs, arms, and breathing.

Each drill is practiced separately, but eventually they need to put it all together—so it is with our spirit, soul, and body.

Our best shot at obtaining optimal health is to treat each of these parts with due respect and learn how to take care of each one on a regular basis.

Feeling balanced? You can! And that’s the reason for this series—to shine some light on how our spirit, soul, and body are so interwoven. Let’s explore!

A Balanced Life

Imagine a circle divided equally into three parts: spirit, soul, and body. Perhaps each day some of us run, work out, and watch closely what we eat and drink.

That discipline might qualify us as fitness enthusiasts, but what about our soul life and talking with the Lord?

We need to move our bodies and eat good food value items, but that can get out of bounds if not equally balanced with issues of soul and spirit.

Good Food Value

What does “good food value” mean? Simply put, it’s the usefulness or benefit of a particular food or beverage for our bodies.

For example, I loved potato chips when I was a child. I hadn’t had them in a long time, but recently gave one a bite.

It tasted so good, but I believe that my spirit reminded my soul (mind) that there’s absolutely no food value in what I just ate… like a slow poison. Unfortunately, that describes much of our food supply today.

Hippocrates was born in 460 BC and is considered the founder of modern medicine. He put it like this: “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”

How can food be our medicine if it doesn’t have a good nutritional benefit? God designed our bodies to heal themselves; it’s our job to help set it up.

Please read Daniel chapter one. In their situation, he and his friends chose to eat vegetables and drink water instead of the king’s food and wine.

The results were that they “looked healthier and better nourished” than the others. “Prayer indeed is good, but while calling on the gods, a man should himself lend a hand” (Hippocrates).

Have you heard of Ernestine Shepherd? In 2010, she was the oldest performing female body builder. But she didn’t start working out until she was 57 years old!

She’s very inspiring. Her advice for taking care of our bodies is to develop simple habits in strength training, cardio, eating correctly, and drinking plenty of water.

Shepherd advises that people start very slowly. She also encourages us to “not listen to anyone who says you’re too old or are starting out too late. Once you start exercising, honey, it’s a whole new ball game.”

Notice that she didn’t say that we must do this “perfectly.” We should give ourselves lots and lots of grace!

I’m simply trying to inspire you to consider the true food value in what you eat and drink and to keep your body moving.

Look out for Part 2, where C.J. explores the spirit and soul connections!

C.J. Addison is an aquatic fitness professional with over 20 years’ experience helping people to get their bodies stronger using a pool setting. She has worked extensively with triathletes, paraplegics, quadriplegics, the Wounded Warriors, and neurological conditions, including stroke, autism, Parkinson’s, and traumatic brain injury.