What does the sanctity of human life have to do with personal health and well-being? Everything! Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Because human beings are made in the image of God, we must see human life as sacred and special — above all other creation.
Inherent in believing in the sanctity of human life is the call to defend and protect all human life. Christians are to value life, including our own. Life is sacred, and even though we bear God’s image, we are spiritually dead until we are born again in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 139:14 reminds us that we “are fearfully and wonderfully made.” When a person becomes a Christian, the sanctity of human life takes on an even greater respect and responsibility. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul asks believers an important question: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
Life is valuable and special. We should value life, and we should value our own lives. For most of us in America, this means living a lifestyle that demonstrates we truly believe life is sacred. How do we live? What about our health and fitness? Do we care?
Here are some suggestions gleaned from medical experts:
1) Eat breakfast — It jumpstarts our metabolism and helps us not to overeat.
2) Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated daily.
3) Exercise about 30 minutes or more each day. It does not need to be intensive running or weight training, just a half hour of working out at the level your body can handle. As we age, we need to work on exercise that helps us keep our balance.
4) Don’t smoke or use alcohol. The medical experts counsel us to drink only moderate amounts of alcohol. However, that can easily lead to drinking too much alcohol — especially when you are stressed, anxious, or depressed. Baptists have historically recommended no consumption of alcohol.
5) Spend time outdoors. There are many positive results of spending time outdoors, and one important one is the raising of your vitamin D levels (especially on a sunny day).
6) Meditate. Psalm 1:2 describes the righteous person as one whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” To meditate is to think on or think through something. Some studies indicate that eight hours of weekly meditation can positively change parts of our brain relating to mood, learning and memory.
7) Do at least one meaningful thing each day.
8) Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
In addition, we should have a healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids — while we stay away from unhealthy foods like fried anything, red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks (if possible, avoid sugar altogether), trans fat, and sodium (salt).
If we are not getting all the nutrients we need, we should consider taking vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E, as well as zinc, iron, copper, selenium, and magnesium (if needed).
We should strive to reach a healthy body weight and even step on to the scales daily, or at least weekly. Our goal should be near a normal body mass index — between 18.5 and 24.9 BMI.
Monique Cello is a medical doctor who formerly taught at Harvard Medical University and worked as a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. She stated, “A 2012 mega analysis of 15 international studies that included 500,000 participants found that over half of premature deaths were due to unhealthy factors such as poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake and smoking.”
One writer simplified a formula for living a life that respects the sanctity of human life: “Move more, eat right, keep balanced.”
The final aspect to respecting the sanctity of human life in how we live is to watch the company we keep. First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” Friends are important, and having friends contributes to well-being and happiness.
Our thoughts also reflect whether we really believe in life’s sanctity. What we think and how we think can trigger anxiety and many other destabilizing symptoms. We must learn to think right and work at being thankful for life every day.
If we believe in the sanctity of life, we must begin with our own life. What we think in our hearts, we live out in our lives. By thinking good and godly thoughts, we can live longer, better, and more fulfilling lives. Respecting the sanctity of all human life — from birth to natural death — begins with believing our own lives are sacred.