Recently, I have begun really struggling to improve my health for personal reasons. In that struggle I have revisited this verse and some others that have helped me to better understand my health challenges as a spiritual struggle as much as a mental/emotional struggle. In this post I will share about a few of these scriptures and how they are forming me even now.
Before I revisit the "temple-body" verse, I want to take a look at some other. First off is Matthew 22:37-39. Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Okay - so I KNOW that it's important to love God with all that I am, but what does that really mean? Well, if I'm loving God with all that I am (heart/soul/mind), then it is important to be mindful about the things I am putting in to my body. Now there is also a second command here that I would be in fault if I skipped - "love your neighbor as yourself". This means that I first have to love myself. What does it really mean to love someone? It means I choose to want what is best for that person. I make decisions that will benefit the persons I love, in this case - me. Wow. I need to take care of me and then others. This is part of loving God!
Now back to 1 Corinthians - "your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit". My main beef was about the way it was presented. As I am able to read it again in a different light, I can easily understand that this is not a verse about my outward appearance only. (Yes, I said ONLY). We DO need to take care of our outward appearance because as a person of faith, I am a representative of the God in whom I believe. Does that mean I think tattoos are evil? Nope. Does that mean I think it's a sin to color my hair? I better not, I do that fairly regularly. It does mean this: It is important to be taking care of my body. Taking care of myself, living a clean healthy life, is part of my testimony. If the Holy Spirit is in me, and I believe it is, then I must choose to live in a manner that is honorable to God - WITH MY BODY.
Here I sit, yep sit. I am a leader in faith by trade. I'm overweight and underhealthy. I struggle EVERY DAY with making good healthy choices for my family. I am diabetic. I have 3 beautiful little boys and want them to learn to honor God with their bodies. I also want to live to see them grow - and see them grow in healthy ways. I realize (and this is a painful realization) that I am not always good at honoring God with my body. When I am not honoring God with all that I am, I don't feel so good about myself. I have some personal habits to address and some faith areas to work on growing in.
How do you rectify your beliefs about what God desires of you, and your way of living? Are you there? How can you strive to new heights?