April 29, 2013

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 body.

Here we have the definitive reason that every Christian should take care of their body. That certainly doesn’t mean we are to be obsessed with our bodies, but it does mean that we are to avoid destructive behaviors, like smoking and overeating, and be careful to get the exercise and rest our bodies need. The passage as a whole is obviously focused on sexual behavior, so that should go without saying. However, society today is so saturated with sex that it’s hardly surprising that aberrations have crept, and at times flooded, into the Church. For any thinking person, this passage should completely end any uncertainty on the issue of homosexuality. Not only does such behavior violate moral constraints, it has a proven negative impact on health. There’s no way a Christian could rationalize such behavior in the the face of this passage. However, heterosexual immorality had come into the Church before homosexuality was even on the radar, and that’s what this passage is most focused on. The very last line should be the clincher: “honor God with your body.” (The Japanese says, “Display God’s glory with your body.”

This, of course, applies to me as much as it does to anyone. It is very dangerous when church leaders start thinking they are “above” any instruction in the Bible. When we teach others, why would we think we are exempt?! The issue of immorality is one I have been aware of for a long time, but in recent years I have become more aware of the health issues that also come under these two verses. If I, for example, borrow a power tool from someone, I am to treat it carefully while it is in my possession, keeping it clean and using it appropriately. My body is “on loan” to me from God, since, as this passage says, He is the Owner. That means I’m to be just as careful with my body as I would be with a power tool. That’s not to say I’m not to make full use of it; tools are made to be used. However, it is to say that I’m to watch my weight, get appropriate exercise, and generally keep to a good maintenance schedule. I’ve already outlived my father, and I’m not so interested in longevity as such, because I have an inkling of how wonderful the next stage is. However, I need to do all I can to see to it that this body is as useful as possible for as long as God wants me to use it.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that I’ll be able to go walking this morning. Thank You for the good health care that is available in Omura. Help me keep my focus on You, rather than on my body or on any of the abilities You’ve placed in me, so that I will be fully available to You at all times for whatever You want to do through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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