Our hearts and minds sometimes really want to follow God, but our bodies, now that can be a whole other story especially with our culture’s constant messages.
Television, magazines, movies, peers, advertising all scream at us to worship our bodies. We are being taught to obsess about how we look and what we wear and that everyone is looking at us and judging us. Even the right toothpaste, deodorant, and hair color will get you noticed or rejected.
We are told that we ARE our bodies rather than that they are a tool for us to use while here on earth and a dwelling place for the Lord. If we are our bodies then it makes sense that we would idolize them.
When our identities are totally wrapped up in how we look and what our bodies can do, then we will be fully immersed in ourselves and how we look and feel. A bad hair day or a few extra pounds will destroy our self-
A Temporary Home
Our bodies ARE marvelous and science is still learning more of their astounding intricacies and brilliant workings. They are “fearlessly and wonderfully made” by God Himself. They are an astonishing design from a magnificent Designer.
They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities. They delight and offend, they hunger and feed, they are vehicles for great good and tremendous evil.
They are temporary homes, destined to age and eventually die. Temporary but all we need for this earth.
We care for our bodies because the Spirit of God lives in them and we partner with Him through our bodies to bring life and love to this world.
We do not idolize our bodies but thank God for being able to use them daily for Him and because we love Him.
This means we tell our bodies “no” as we would a child when it asks for what is not good. We do not focus on our bodies to the point of idolatry but worship God through them. Remember, they are only temporary, called a “tent” in Scripture, so spending too much time and money on them is like extensive landscaping around your tent on a camping trip.
A Dwelling for God
We care for our bodies, but not for the reasons the world tells us.
- they are a temple of the living God.
- they are a tool for furthering His kingdom.
- they are an offering to God to use as He wills.
- they are a temporary home for a temporary earthly life
- they are as God designed them to be.
- they are beautiful because Christ lives in them
Our bodies as Christians are a dwelling place for the Lord Himself. We walk through this earth with Him and our bodies are not to be worshiped but to be used wisely and with the proper eternal perspective.
Breaking the addiction to ourselves
On a daily basis, we can close our eyes and allow ourselves to know that Christ is present inside of us. We can offer ourselves, the body and all, to Him each day to serve Him. We can ask for His help for the right way to see and use our bodies. We can ask Him to speak truth to the lies we are continually told by the world. We can choose to worship Him rather than ourselves on a moment-by-moment basis. We can get help to stop serving our bodies and rather make them serve us.
Lord, help us to think rightly about our bodies and use them respectfully and wisely for You. Break the bondage we have had to them and give us the freedom in You to use them for Your good.
The body, mind, emotions, and heart are all part of Spiritual Formation.