Health · Identity

Your Body is a Temple

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. “

Whenever I heard this scripture spoken in sermons I thought of it in the context of sexual purity, or in the case of not getting tattooed.  But in the past week God has shown me a few new interpretations.  I’ve not longer just isolated the body as a temple in a sexual purity sense but also emotional, mental,  physical,  and spiritual.

If we look at the body as a whole it is made up of the mind,  a heart,  the soul as in the spiritual body and the physical body itself.  So in context of ‘treating it as a temple’ that would mean treating each part as sacred and holy.

We are all human beings and we all have emotions,  thoughts, an ability to connect to spirituality and we thirst and hunger and everything else a working body does.  All of these work together as a whole, each to their own part,  but ultimately serving one purpose : they are created by the creator and to be a blessing to God and to you.

Your body is a gift and as so it should be treated properly.  Nobody is given a present by someone else then turns around and throws it in the bin.  The same goes for your body.  We must honour and protect ourselves,  look after every part of yourself and be thankful for God’s good work.

I had this analogy in my mind today as I felt dehydrated on my way to work.  It’s been a busy four days straight this week and I’ve felt stressed and exhausted.  My instant knee- jerk reaction to thirst is to buy something sugary and try to counteract my exhaustion with caffeine.  But it is not the healthy option and it does not quench your thirst like water does.

My thoughts turned to the passage in the Bible when Jesus says “ whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” – John 4:14.
Sometimes in life we always choose the easy, less boring option of doing things our own way and making unhealthy choices in our lives that wreck havoc on our body ( mind,  body,  soul)  We look at water (God’s teaching)  as a bland choice,  and are much more enticed by the colourful other choices that are presented to us in life ( alcohol, drugs, parties etc) . But instead of quenching that thirst and fulfilling us,  we are left thirsty again and again, and the cycle never ends.

You guys will be glad to know I chose water today against my force of habit.  I realised I needed to start literally drinking more water to restore my body to optimum health and metaphorically train myself to follow God’s teachings over what the world presents.

Maybe there are some addictions in your life you know you need to kick. God can help you with that. Maybe you know you need to get your thoughts in check,  talking to someone you trust can be good for your mental health. If your generally just having a rough day and your all over the place, it’s okay to press reset and take a break.
We as Christians are called to be the example in this world, and to honor God with our bodies. Sure, we may not seem cool from society’s standards, but that’s okay! You honor God by saying ‘no’ to your boyfriend. You honor God even by choosing a salad over McDonald’s, because God sees your efforts, and he rewards you for them.
‘YOLO’ is a popular millennial Gen Y saying, and it has some truth in it, but not the way the world sees it. The lies of this world lead you to believe you only have one life to live, so you may as well party and live recklessly, right? But my understanding is that because you only have one life, you should be cautious. Eat well, exercise, and have a healthy mental, emotional, physical and spiritual state. In circles, people say it’s cool to live on the wild side, it’s what gets you noticed, it’s what makes you popular, but I call them out on that. There’s nothing cool about being self-serving in life, what is cool however is living joyfully and generously. It is being honest, loving, kind and treating others and yourself with respect. Now that’s way cool!
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3 thoughts on “Your Body is a Temple

  1. Hi Kelly. I’ve been reading your blogs for about 8 months now and I think they’re wonderful. I find them very encouraging, uplifting and insightful. God is using you to bless many women and, like me, even some men. I’ve never had any real issues with what you’ve written, but I feel the need to comment here.

    If you’re using this verse as a commandment to look after yourself better physically, it may be taking it away from its original context; which I believe is dealing mostly with sexual purity. I agree that it can also be applied to not sinfully abusing your bodies, however, I believe that the sin of not honouring God with your body is on a spiritual level.

    Personally I wouldn’t choose to get a tattoo or piercing but I believe it’s a matter of conscience whether someone does nowadays considering the Levitical laws no longer apply.

    I agree that we should look after our bodies and respect what God has given us. I also understand the analogies you are trying to make, however I don’t think having sugar or caffeine is necessarily wrong if taken in moderation.

    Matthew 15:11 says: “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Jesus was referring to the strict Jewish eating laws in this verse. In other words it’s the heart/spiritual temple where the sin takes place, it’s has nothing to do with what’s eaten itself. Sins like gluttony and getting drunk are more to do with a person’s heart attitude towards abusing their body. I’m sure you know this but I’m just putting it out there.

    In 1 Corinthians 3:16 – 17 it talks about false teachers corrupting God’s people which are His temple.
    “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple”.

    I’m sure this is not talking about physically marring someone but rather those setting out to destroy the church on a spiritual level. I believe this is a spiritual temple, which also applies to the spiritual temple within us mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

    1 Corinthians 6:18 (which leads into the two verses you quoted) says: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body”.

    Comparing abstaining from McDonalds with saying ‘no’ to your boyfriend is a huge difference. I know you never said it outright, but to some readers this may imply that eating McDonalds is a sin. It may not be the wisest or healthiest choice but I certainly wouldn’t put it in the same category as something that is dishonouring your body.

    Once again there is nothing wrong in looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally; we should. However I hope none of your readers start to feel guilty for eating something sugary or having a coffee. God is happy that you are trying to eat healthy, but I hope people who are healthier don’t think they are somehow holier than the person eating a Big Mac.

    Thanks for reading my comment and sorry if it sounds too critical. I’m not trying to be disparaging, just give some constructive criticism. I know you probably weren’t saying half the things I addressed, but I felt the need to post it just in case. Keep carrying on with your blogs because they are excellent.

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    1. hey James,

      Thankyou for commenting, I appreciate your feedback and your following.
      My comments about the Mcdonalds were done out of humour. I don’t want my readers to cut out unhealthy food completely from their diet, I was just referring to those times in life where you feel like all you are eating is junk food, and it’s wrecking havoc on your health. The occasional coffee or coke is completely fine, I was merely addressing my own personal conviction in drinking water over soft drink, as I knew my health was poor at that stage, and I needed to hydrate appropriately. My metaphors or analogys though, should not be the main focus, but the message behind them should be. If my message was clear, and insightful to my readers, while also having some funny relate-able analogies along the way, then that was my main goal.
      Thanks for stopping by, hopefully this gave you clarity as to my intentions!

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  2. Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for replying and clearing that up. I thought I was possibly over analyzing what you were saying about healthy eating/drinking, so i’m glad to know you weren’t getting into legalism or anything. My main point was simply that all sin comes back to the inner person on a spiritual level. Whether that comes about through how one treats their physical body, or their thoughts, emotions etc.
    I also understand you were referring more to spiritual thirst/hunger and how we may be filling that void with the wrong things and not what God wants. Funnily enough I had a similar experience a few months ago where I was really dehydrated and the next day I heard a sermon on John 4 which got me thinking.
    Once again keep up the great work!

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