Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I believe God gave us this analogy so we could better understand the value He places on caring for our physical bodies. Many are deceived into believing our physical bodies don’t matter. “It’s what’s inside that counts.” We’ve all heard it, right? Well this is partially true, but our bodies do matter according to Scripture; it’s where the Holy Spirit (and our spirit for that matter) dwells!
Outward beauty isn’t something God places much value on; outward beauty is just a gift, and we all have gifts. It is the world who places more value on physical beauty than just about anything else, not God.
What God does place value on though is our bodies—how we care for them, how we honor them, how we protect them, and how we present them to the world.
Dressing modestly is one of the ways we are able to honor our bodies. God wants us to have a unique style but at the same time be mindful of how we are presenting ourselves.
Eating healthily can be seen as an act of worship—glorifying God with your body by treating His temple with honor. It’s important to be attentive to what our bodies need and don’t need. It sounds so simple, yet ironically, it’s one of the things most of us get wrong. Diets and restrictions just feel like punishment, and truthfully, they are. Most of the time, they won’t work because people are looking for a short term solution to a lifelong issue. We have to get our minds, our intentions right. When the goal is to be healthy and glorify God with your body as opposed to looking like x, y, or z by this month or that month, you are able to make true and lasting change. Putting good nutritious things in your body and learning to listen to what it needs will eventually reflect on the outside if you’re patient. Patience comes when our intentions are focused on glorifying God and not ourselves. When we aren’t focused on how we look, it’s easier to be patient for the physical body we desire.
Laziness is a sin, and honoring the Sabbath is a commandment. God places great importance on finding balance between activity and rest. When we are living in our purpose, using our gifts, fellowshipping with others, and working, we leave very little room, very little time for sin. Idle hands are truly the devil’s playground. How many times have you taken a break that lasted just a little too long, and you ended up overindulging? It’s almost inevitable! Likewise, when we are too busy, we can become burnt out and not have time for God. I have reached a point in my life, a point where I am able to say the words “I give myself permission!” I give myself permission to not say yes to everything and not accept every invitation. I give myself permission to stay home when I need to. It’s important to find balance between work, play, and rest; between socialization and introversion; between pushing yourself and treating yourself. It’s so easy to forget that we are confined to these physical bodies that need both rest and ample movement, but we are, and they do.
In order to protect our bodies, we must prioritize freedom from addiction! This includes all addiction. Junk food, for instance, is a sneaky addiction. Over half the world struggles with this! If you are someone who really struggles more than others, then don’t have certain foods in your house at all! Eliminate certain foods from your diet. I personally had to completely eliminate a few “trigger” foods from my diet. Others, I’ll occasionally indulge in, and then others are reserved for weekends and holidays only. If you’re someone who can’t have just one drink or are unable to drink without getting drunk, don’t drink! Know your limits, and don’t lead yourself into temptation.
Present your body as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1) Fleeing from sexual immorality is what God deems “reasonable service” in other words, it is expected of us that we do this to honor God and ourselves.
When we willfully sin against our bodies, we are basically mocking Jesus who died a brutal death for our sin. Sin isn’t just a list of rules God made up to control us; fleeing from sin protects us; it protects our spirits as well as our bodies. The whole reason these bodies eventually die is because of sin.
When we care for our bodies, our temples, we are not only giving to ourselves one of the best gifts we can give, but we are giving God a gift as well by taking part in a form of worship! In loving and caring for our bodies, we are creating a safe space for our relationship with God to grow, to flourish, and to reach it’s full potential.
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