Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body. –1 Corinthians 6:19-20
It’s my body, I can do what I want to…do what I want to…do what I want to…and you can, too, ’cause it’s all up to you. No, wait. That’s not how the song by Lesley Gore went. It was something about a party, not a body. In our individualistic culture, however, we think we have complete ownership of everything and can treat even our own bodies with disdain or abuse.
In the verses above, the apostle Paul was trying to convince the Corinthians that GOD wants a 100% commitment, that we belong to the Creator and, therefore, do not have the right to treat our bodies as anything less than holy. The way we treat our bodies reflects how we treat GOD and how we feel about ourselves. We’re also told by Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves. How can we love our neighbor if we do not love ourselves?
Loving ourselves involves caring for ourselves–for our body, mind, and spirit. Here in the United States, obesity, hypertension, and a host of related maladies plague a large portion of our population. Fast food and highly processed foods are easy to come by, inexpensive, and pleasing to the palate. Just today my daughter pointed out how many calories there are in a prepared serving of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and little nutrition is provided. I believe one would honestly be better off boiling the box and eating it with a little pepper and olive oil.
Loving ourselves means eating healthily, exercising regularly, and resting. It means taking care of all aspects of our health and avoiding activities that would harm our bodies, minds, or spirits. Health and well-being are difficult to reclaim once they are gone.
It’s easy to assume that one is invincible and that one little slip up or poor choice will not have any consequences. That is not necessarily true. Have sex with the wrong partner and end up with a life-long disease. Smoke too much as a youth and risk lung cancer later one. Party hardy in college, and discover that your genetic make-up predisposes you to alcoholism. Eat a steady diet of fast food might put you at risk for a coronary later. Yes, there’s a reaction in response to every action, sometimes sooner but often later.
Treat your body, mind, and spirit well. You are special. You are made holy by the GOD who loves you more than you can comprehend. No, you are not your own, and that is a very good thing.
For Further Reflection
Think about any ways that you treat your body as less than holy. Do you constantly burn the proverbial candle at both ends? Do you eat too much or too much of the wrong things? Do you drink too much or smoke? Is your eating disordered because you do not see yourself through the lens of love through which your Creator views you? If so, resolve with God’s help to repair, restore, and renew your precious body. Be conscious of what you put into it and how you treat it. It’s the only one you have, and in your Creator’s eyes you are amazing. Pray for help to make changes. Seek counsel from healthcare providers if needed. Covenant with a friend for better accountability and support in making changes.