I’m currently studying 1 Corinthians and this week my focus is on chapters 2-3. I like to read each chapter from a few different versions and also look up some commentaries. Yesterday, while reading chapter 3 I was really struck by The Message version of veses 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.
Trust me, I hear and remind myself all the time that my body is not my own – it is the temple in which God dwells, and therefore should be treated with the utmost care and respect.
The problem is, really a temple means nothing to me. I mean, I get that it is sacred – or was sacred – but I don’t worship in a temple and have never been brought up doing so, so I never gained respect for any physical temple. Likewise, I live in a society which promotes pleasure, especially pleasure through acts that tend to destroy my
body temple. The foods we consume, the way we overwork our bodies – through physical exercise and a tendency to dismiss rest, sleep, and solitude – as well as drugs and alcohol abounding. We are about pleasing our bodies… and destroying them.
I’m just as guilty, and I am not saying these things are bad in and of themselves. We just don’t know how to discipline ourselves, to take things in moderation so as not to cause harm.
In my battle vs my body and vs food and also vs self image, I am often reminded of these verses and the fact that as a Christian, I am a dwelling place for God, and therefore need to take care of myself. But mostly, I am reminded that my heart is the sole dwelling place for God living in me, and I should really take care to protect my heart.
This is all a learning process for me – watching what I eat and how much I work out – not to look good for the approval of man, but to honor God as a steward of this body he has given me.
1 Corinthians 6:12
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that 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.
Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Chronicles 17:1-5
Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. …