1 Corinthians 3:16-17
You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred – and you, remember, are the temple.
For the last three weeks, I’ve shared thoughts on our spiritual, emotional and mental lives. This week, we’ll ponder our physical lives.
Several years ago, I ran across these verses from 1 Corinthians. Read them again carefully. Here is how I interpret them: our bodies, created by God, are very special. In fact, we should think of our bodies as God’s holy temples, as sacred as a sanctuary in which people worship God. It is our responsibility to treat our temple carefully, not hurting it or caring poorly for it. When we treat our temples, our bodies poorly, we say to God that God’s creation is worthless and not sacred.
Whew. My body is God’s holy temple. We often think of a church as God’s temple. Here, it says our bodies are just as sacred as any old church building. The question becomes: how well do you care for your temple? Do you treat it like a sacred structure of God?
Most often, we tend to abuse our temples than treat them holy. We expect our bodies to run on little sleep, without proper nutrition and certainly with not enough exercise. Let me be clear. In many ways, American culture puts a lot of ridiculous expectations on how we look. Young people feel pressure to be rail thin. We over admire outstanding athletes while downplaying a person’s intellect. Some people in wanting to have a model-thin body or achieve outstanding excellence in sports do damage to their temples.
Most of us will not be paid because of our physical appearance or abilities. Whether we are or not, we must respect our bodies as God’s holy and sacred creations. Before we can respect and achieve a properly balanced physical live, we need this understanding and respect. For the next few days, I’ll share a few thoughts about how we should treat our bodies. The things we’ll look at are things I struggle with. I pray we can remember how we treat our temples must come from seeing our bodies as a valued creation by God, designed for us to treat and properly care.
Thank you for creating my special body, my holy temple. Forgive me for when I have not treated it as a sacred part of your creation. Inspire me to treat my temple sacredly, with respect and honor to your name. Encourage me to ponder these next few days how I might honor my body more for the glory of your kingdom. Amen.
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