By Barb Roose
When’s the last time that you considered what it meant for your body to be the temple of the Holy Spirit?
I began contemplating 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 this weekend after my third BIG bowl of luscious, buttery pecan ice cream. There wasn’t anything sinful about eating ice cream, but when I started choosing to eat ice cream over real food, it was time for a reality check. In fact, I got a shock when I flipped over the ice cream container to review the nutritional information. Holy Moly, Batman!
Every half-cup serving contained a whopping 15 grams of fat and 240 calories. No wonder it tasted so good!
But just because it tasted good, didn’t mean that it was good for me.
When we consider the Apostle Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we’re reminded that our bodies are not our own. As believers, we’ve chosen to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2) in light of what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross. So, while my temple may be named ‘Barbara” on my driver’s license and social security card, God owns my body.
With that in mind, I must determine if what I eat, drink, watch or wear will honor God’s authority over my body or not.
I’m not talking about following strict rules to gain God’s favor. Instead, it’s about the kind of relationship that I want to have with God. I love how God give me Himself, as well as a life of freedom and purpose. Since I want God to do more in me and through me, I must stay attune to God’s leadings in how I steward the temple that He’s given to me.
Because when we’re careless about the body that God has created for us, we’re essentially trashing our temple.
Here are a few “temple topics” that come to mind when I think about how I honor God with the body that He’s given to me.
Temple Topic #1: Movies
I have a vivid imagination. Anything that I see sticks in my mind for a very, very long time. Years ago, I felt that any movie rated over PG-13 had too much mind clutter for me. So, I made the decision to not allow extreme content in my mind.
Now, am I telling you that any movie over PG-13 is wrong or sinful? Nope. I’m just telling you that my temple mind can’t handle PG-13 or above. You’ve got to decide how God calls you to steward your temple.
Temple Topic #2: Exercise
Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that God has created us to do good works. But, I’m concerned that too many of our lady temples are too tired and out of shape to do the work that God has called us to do. Even if you’ve got health limitations, are you treating your temple in a way that allows you to have as much energy as needed to serve where God calls?
I don’t love to exercise, but I need to have a healthy body because as God’s ambassador, He’s got things for me to do. So, I want to stay stretched and strong to the best of my ability. So, I get up and move my temple on a regular basis to get it stretched and strong.
Temple Topic #3: Sleep
When my husband began working nights last summer, my sleep schedule fell apart. My cherished eight hours per night plummeted to less than six hours per night. It didn’t take long for me to feel sluggish and grumpy. My temple needed more shut-eye!
It took some trial and error, but I now back on track. My Fit Bit gives me an honest and accurate record of how much sleep I’m actually getting. I started wearing a sleep mask and ear plugs so that I wouldn’t awaken at 3 or 4am when my husband got home.
A well-rested temple is important. How’s your temple doing in this area?
I know that I’m getting up into some of your business right here. But, as God’s beautiful daughter, is it time for you to put a microscope over what you’ve been eating lately? Are you eating in a way that honors God’s authority over your body? Again, this isn’t trying to please God by following a bunch of rules. Jesus already freed us from that! Rather, ask yourself if you’ve consulted God lately about your eating or drinking habits. If so, are you walking in obedience to God’s leading in that area of your life?
If we truly believe that God has put more in us and that God wants more for us, then it’s up to us to pay attention to our temples and listen for how God wants us to use them.
QUESTION: Is taking care of yourself a struggle for you? What gets in the way of good self-care?