YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE. Excuse me? Say what?? That’s exactly what we address in Temple Care and Maintenance!
What in the world does a “temple” have to do with your body and why might it need decluttering?
“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.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
Before we can discuss decluttering your body, we must understand and appreciate exactly what this verse means to grasp the enormity of God’s actions and our responsibility.
When Paul made this statement in First Corinthians, he was signifying your body, your temple, is a place where God dwells. He is within you and your body houses and embodies him.
“[W]hom you have received from God…” Not only does God dwell within you and your body is a temple for him, BUT he is the one solely responsible for giving you your body in the first place. Without him, you would not exist.
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” God may have given your body to you but it wasn’t free. He paid a hefty price; Christ shed his blood to pay that bill. This payment on your behalf obligates you to him. When you occupy something owned by someone else, you have a responsibility to take extra good care of it. It’s NOT just yours to do what you want with at your own discretion.
“Therefore honor God with your body.” Simply put, when you take care of your body, you are honoring God and being obedient to what he calls you to do.
When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit enters you and your body is no longer your own. It’s a figurative and symbolic entering, but Christ does dwell within you, within your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Have you ever thought of your body in this way? A unique challenge today, but reflect on the gift God gave us (our temple!) and his expectations for it as we tackle Temple Care and Maintenance throughout the rest of this week.
STRESS IS DISTRESS!!!
God made it clear, we OWE him to take care of our bodies. One of the biggest ways we can accomplish this is to remove / reduce stress in our lives.
DID YOU KNOW:
- 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress
- 75-90% of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints
- Stress is linked to the six leading causes of DEATH: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.
- Behavioral symptoms of stress can include but are not limited to: obesity and over-eating, increased or excessive drinking of alcohol, increased smoking, increased caffeine / coffee consumption, and substance abuse.
- Common physical symptoms of stress and anxiety can include but are not limited to: migraine headaches, indigestion, nausea, tremors, asthma attacks, and chest pain or palpitations.
Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Mt. 6:27). Actually, we’ll add that not only does worrying NOT add any time to your life but, quite literally, it can cut your life short. Whatever it takes, you can’t afford to allow stress free reign in your life.
WHAT (OR WHO) must you declutter? A challenging question to be sure, but an important one. Make a list and start crossing this harmful clutter out of your life, one line at a time. There is no benefit in delaying positive changes. For the sake of your life and health, and for what God has commanded of you, do the work, make the tough choices, and declutter stress from your life forever.
WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK FROM EXERCISING AND EATING HEALTHY?
Whatever it is, it’s time to overcome the obstacle and find victory. Easier said than done? Sometimes! We have our bad days too; days when we just don’t care or have the energy to walk or workout, but then we need only think of the people that can’t and our attitude is quickly adjusted.
We have befriended a man in our neighborhood, Bob, who walks 3 miles with his trusted Beagle every night. Bob is in his 60’s, has had too many back surgeries to count, and is in constant pain. Can you imagine NEVER finding relief? No matter how you sit, lay, or stand, the pain is always there. And not only is the pain unyielding, but you know there is NO hope for it to go away. This is it. You’re stuck with what you’ve got.
It would be easy for Bob to give up. Heck, with all he’s been through, he’s got every right; no one would argue. But he doesn’t. He knows the bad will just get worse if he stops walking, so he continues. Some nights we find him propped against a half wall or a fire hydrant just to take a momentary pause in the struggle.
What about the person, like Sherry’s stepfather, who just died from lung cancer? It’s too late now to take back all the years of smoking. The damage is done and the choice is gone.
You may have 30 lbs to lose but think of those that have 200 lbs or more. 30 doesn’t look so bad, does it?
Whatever it takes to convince yourself to get moving, we challenge you to DO IT. Sure, some will have it better, but there are many who have it far worse. Make positive decisions within the choices that are available to you. And don’t forget the ‘God Factor’. He TELLS us to take care of the bodies he’s loaned us. That shouldn’t be a choice!
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13)
Go get em’ tiger!
GOD’S DESIGN & EMPTY TOMBS
Do you ever question God’s design? Be honest!
Why am I so short? Why do my ears stick out? How come I have such thin hair? Why are my eyes so close together? GRRR! The list of possible grievances is endless.
Most of us don’t look exactly how we’d like to and probably never will.
When these moments of self-doubt and criticism creep in, remind yourself the decisions on how you were formed weren’t up to you. You were designed EXACTLY as God saw fit. The desire to tuck this and nip that is overwhelming for some, but whose standards would you rather measure up to anyway? God’s or the world’s? Yes, you have an obligation to take great care of what God has blessed you with, but you aren’t called to look like air-brushed, photo-shopped models who don’t remotely resemble the real person they are.
Sherry was discussing this chapter with a close friend, Angie, and she made an astute observation. She said when at the gym, she sees well-sculpted “temples” everywhere. Gorgeous bodies, tight abs, and muscles of steel. There are those who work out to stay fit and healthy as part of a balanced lifestyle, and there are those who are completely obsessed and fixated with their body image for all the wrong reasons. Angie said as she looked around the gym, it dawned on her that many of the temples are empty
tombs—people who look beautiful on the outside but who don’t know the love of Christ or have any idea what he has to offer them on the inside. So many gorgeous but lost souls living unfulfilled and hopeless existences.
It’s easy to get discouraged or disgusted with your body if you focus on every little dimple or imperfection, but remember, by human nature we are all flawed. Your directive should be to do the best you can with what God has bestowed upon you and check the rest off your list.
Praising God for exactly what he’s created in you and keeping your eyes focused on the splendor of all that makes you unique can be quite a challenge, but we ask you to trust in God’s design! He knows what he’s doing!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Rom. 12:1).
Don’t you want to offer the healthiest body possible? Doesn’t God deserve that?
There are certainly a variety of ways in which you can declutter your body and care for your temple – eat right, exercise, sleep well, don’t smoke, avoid drugs, drink in moderation (if at all), get regular check ups, de-stress your life, etc.
If you take good care of yourself, you’ll:
- Increase your chances for sticking around as long as possible by eliminating many high risk groups
- Save loads of money on addictions, prescription drugs required manage poor health, or on all the extra food you would’ve been consuming
- Spend less time and money on doctors’ visits
- Be in a better position to enjoy your family
- Have more energy
- Be less prone to injury
- Heal faster if you get hurt or need surgery
- Sleep better
THE BENEFITS ARE ENDLESS, and as far as we can tell, there are NO detrimental side effects in taking great care of your temple.
ONE LAST IMPORTANT ADVANTAGE – Serving God! How much more effectively can you minister and how much better will your ability be if you’re ready to go anywhere, at any time, to do anything? Can you serve God if you struggle with a weight problem or health issue? Of course. It just makes logical sense, though, that the healthier you are, the fewer problems you may encounter which could hold you back, the more energy you’ll have for service, and the better witness you’ll be on caring for the temple that God entrusted to you.
This is one challenge not to skip! Only YOU know what areas need the most help. We urge you to speak them out loud and become responsible for change. Check out our ‘Action Team Guide’ under the ‘Free Gifts’ tab. An Action Team is a program we designed for Christians to support and encourage one another and would be a great way to enlist the help of a trusted individual to help get you going in this area, or even in your overall walk. All you need to do is choose someone, read the simple one page guide, and get started. Your life, quite literally, depends on it!
Next week – Our Kids: A Decluttering Work in Progress. Even if you don’t have kids, this is a must read. Everyone knows someone who is either already a parent or planning to be one. Maybe you could share our advice? Perhaps as an aunt, uncle, friend, neighbor, etc., you might find a nugget of helpful information? There’s something for everyone!