My Body and Me
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Do you not know that your body is the 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 (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
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In the beginning, God fashioned Adam's body from the dust of the ground, then breathed the spirit of life into him, "and man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7). Every one of Adam's descendants share the same makeup: a spirit dwelling in a physical body.
In addressing problems in the church in Corinth, Paul argued that our life in the hereafter will be enjoyed in a new, resurrection body (read 1 Cor. 15 carefully). Contrary to popular opinion, when we die we do not immediately "go to heaven." Our disembodied spirit waits for the resurrection morning, when we will receive "a spiritual body" with which we will enjoy eternity (1 Cor. 15:44).
By definition, humans are body-based creatures. Our bodies are the instruments by which we interact with the environment around us. They were created by God in order to glorify God, so how we choose to treat our bodies is a matter of no small significance. When people in large numbers reject God, or deny that He even exists, then everything about their lives loses meaning--including the sacred value of their bodies. In such an setting, it should come as no surprise to see people abuse their bodies.
For example, in our text Paul is warning against sexual immorality. When people treat sex as a recreational pasttime to be enjoyed with whoever, whenever, they are degrading one of the fundamental purposes of their body. Elsewhere, Paul argued against homosexual behavior as "dishonoring the body," resulting in a "penalty" inflicted upon the body (Rom. 1:24, 27). This is not the purpose for which God designed our bodies.
The misuse of alcohol and other mind-altering substances has significant negative impacts on our physical health. "Wounds without cause," the wise man calls them (Prov. 23:29-35). Why would any self-respecting person do that to himself?
Today, medical science has provided avenues for taking this abuse of the body into uncharted territory. The current epidemic of transgenderism involves the deliberate mutilation of the body via surgery and/or drugs to alter the most fundamental component of our individual identity: our sex. Again, why?
Gluttony, self-harm, tattooing, anorexia, poor hygiene, poor diet, lack of exercise, and more -- all of these destructive behaviors are symptoms of an underlying spiritual disease: a failure to appreciate the Master Craftsman who designed and gave us our remarkable bodies.
We cannot honor God without honoring the physical tabernacle in which we live. "Glorify God in your body." It's the only one you have.