My Body is a Temple of God?
My body is a temple of God? Can that be true? Well, I believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God. So it must be true, because I Corinthians 6:19-20 says,
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
There are many verses where God talks about his dwelling places, His temple. In I Corinthians alone, it is mentioned nine times. Some verses refer to the church, some to the church body and others to our physical body. He is making it clear that His dwelling place is to be cared for. In Psalm 8:41 the Bible says,
“How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!”
Well we – His temple – are made up of mind, body and spirit. Would you describe yourself as lovely? Is that how you see you?
Does that mean that His dwelling place – my body – is lovely? Wow! I am guessing that most of us would NOT use the word “lovely” to describe our body. Regardless of what size clothes we wear, we tend to struggle with how we perceive our self. Even the thin and fit find flaws and imperfections and are never satisfied. Our body image often becomes distorted in our minds. There is an App on my I-Phone that allows you to video yourself with a distorted image and voice. Last night, some friends and I played with this crazy app for some time, laughing hysterically. However, when we stand in front of the mirror and our distorted image is on display – it really isn’t a laughing matter, is it? We can obsess over this image and allow it to cause us to say and think such terrible things about God’s temple. I never really understood this whole “my body is a temple” concept until recently.
In Jennifer Rothschild’s Bible Study, “Me, Myself and Lies” she touched on this. She told a story about someone who was in charge of maintaining the temple building. They worked hard to keep it looking just right. The purpose of the temple is to Honor God, right? But sometimes the temple keeper becomes more focused on how the temple looks and forgets its purpose. So, the question needs to be asked…should we work on the temple to bring honor to the temple or should we work on the temple so we can bring honor to God? Are our intentions – our motives – distorted? If we are focused on having a body that will bring attention and glory to our self – then we are wrong and are dishonoring God. So, let us instead make good decisions to eat right, exercise and be healthy so that we can serve and honor God.
Not only is there the physical appearance of the temple, but there is also the well-being of the temple. We talked about our body – but what about our mind? Is it sound? Do we think healthy thoughts like “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”; “I am God’s beloved”; “God has created me with worth and with purpose”? Or do we think things like “I stink”; “I could never be like her”; “I have no purpose”; “I am a failure.” You see, when we say or think such negative things we are dishonoring the temple. When we dishonor the temple, we dishonor God. And by the same token, when we say or think things like, “I know more than they do”; “I am the one who is right”; “I am better than they are” - we are also dishonoring God. It is wrong to have a deflated view of ourselves and it is wrong to have an inflated view of ourselves. God’s truth is that He created all people with value. We all have worth and we all have purpose. We should work hard to believe this and act on this.
Then there is the foundation of the temple - the ground on which it is built. For us, that would be our spirit. Our foundation should be built on the Bible and its truths. We should not focus on being religious. We should focus on building a relationship with Jesus. How do we do that? Well, the same way we build a relationship with anyone. We need to spend time with Him. You see, He speaks to us through His word. We speak to Him through prayer. The more time we spend together, the closer we become and the healthier and stronger our spirit is. Again, when we dishonor the temple and do not place it on a firm foundation – we are dishonoring God.
So what are we to do? Well, I believe that God is telling me that I am to stop obsessing over my body and start being obedient to Him. I am to make healthy decisions and do what I need to do to maintain my physical health – not for my glory – but so I can glorify Him. I believe He wants me to accept His truth when it comes to me and stop saying and thinking deflated or inflated thoughts. This is hard for most of us. But as I said in the beginning, I believe the Bible is the infallible word of God. I cannot find the scripture that says, “Pam, you stink.” So, I will stop believing my negative thoughts. Will you? And lastly, we are to keep our spirit healthy by spending time with the Lord. It is so easy to be too busy for this. But, when we make Him our first priority – it seems everything else in our life just falls into place.
Lord, help us to remember that we are Your temple. Help us to maintain a temple that glorifies YOU!