Contrary to popular belief, you are not invincible! Culture, mass-media is desperate to convince us we can live forever, even if it is virtually. Most advertisements are geared for millennials with this idea that you can have and do and be whatever you want with no real negative consequences! Newsflash! The amount of wear and tear you put on your body during your 20s and 30s will directly impact how well life goes for you in your 40s and 50s and beyond. Recently, while in to see the orthopedic doctor for my broken wrist (due to a bike accident), another man in his early 50’s, was telling me of his woes. They were fusing two of his toes because of all of the injuries he incurred in his 20s and 30s dirt biking. “It finally caught up with me! I’m getting too old for this!” He was close to having an amputation.

God gives each of us one body. One conception. One birth. One death. One life. We are usually at our prime in our 20s, when our risk tolerance is greater. Just pay attention to the age range of those who do wild and crazy stunts. You know, the guy who bungee jumps off a bridge. The dude who lines walks over a deep canyon. The downhill skiers who do those crazy mid-air flips at speeds none of us could imagine! In my wife’s home country of Canada, you can edge walk on Toronto’s CN Tower; 1000 feet up hanging on by a cable.

Beyond such adventure risks, there are internal risks. How much will you push your body beyond its limits? Sometimes our greatest competition to push the envelope is ourselves. Our son is a cross-country runner. From middle school through university and beyond, he was always pushing himself to beat his own PR (personal record). Those victories came with great feelings of success, but also at a cost to his body. Bloody feet, internal issues that plagued him for days after a run. As he matured, he figured out his limits and how far he could realistically push his body. It takes an internal compass to know when enough is enough.

Warriors (ages 18-30), are granted by law several legal permissions. Alcohol and smoking are two that guys will often experiment with. Some push themselves well beyond intoxication. Binge drinking can lead to some serious liver damage, even death. Legal and illegal substances are readily available. Sometimes our push to use and abuse them is driven by internal wounds we’d rather escape than face. That temporary escape from reality may seem worth it at the moment, but that hangover or withdrawal that follows can be torture. And, good guys who want to follow Jesus often find themselves down this dead-end cul-de-sac.

The reality is if you are a Christ-follower, your body is not your own. You don’t call the shots anymore. God does. His love for you is so MEGA, he bought you with a price; the blood of his son Jesus Christ. “So, glorify God in our body.” This phrase in scripture comes on the heels of Paul writing about sexual conduct. Yes, even your sexuality is part and parcel of how you are to glorify God. We’ll save the entire issue of managing your sexuality for a different article, but the point I want to make here is that no aspect of your human body is to be excluded from God’s lordship. Yes, have fun! Yes, go on adventures. Yes, accomplish some of your own PRs. In my 20s, I lived one summer in Austria, working at a 15th-century castle. On my days off, I hiked the nearby Alps. I ascended a total of 40,000 feet in 8 climbs. The granddaddy of them all was ascending Grossvenediger; the second highest mountain in Austria. Up and down in one day! The base valley was about 3,000 feet. The peak over 12,000. That’s a total of 18,000 feet in one day! Needless to say, I pushed my limits and dealt with altitude sickness for the next 4 days.

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Think through your choices. Can I do_________, can I try __________, can I consume _________ and glorify God? Will this push my body to an unrecoverable place? Living for the moment, like many warriors do, can have its rewards, but if you push yourself too hard, too many times, you’ll pay for it in the decades to come. Glorifying God in your body first begins in your mind. As you live out what it means for Christ to live his life through you, what you do in and with your body will start to align itself in a way that God gives you the strength to do amazing things and He gets the ultimate credit for your life. That, my friend, is the best way to live in your body!

David Riffel © 2018

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.