“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — that is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1 (NIV)
In view of the mercy that the Father has extended to us through Christ — in light of all we have received in Christ — Paul urges us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, as an act of worship. Is it odd to you that the body can be offered as an act of worship?
So often, the messages I have received from the Christian community is that the body is “flesh,” evil … or at the very least, insignificant. But I don’t believe that is Biblical. The body is a beautiful and incredible instrument that God has given and entrusted to us. It is in and through this amazing body that anything and everything we do flows. And I believe the way we care for our bodies can truly be an act of worship.
How? As with most things, it starts with a perspective shift. A renewing of your mind. As Paul continues in Romans 12, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Then we begin the work of integrating our renewed perspective into the daily way we do things. As with any new spiritual practice, it takes intentionality, focus and repetition at first, but it soon becomes second nature.
So the first step is to ask God to help you renew your mind about the way you interact with and treat your body. God is able to renew and restore damage done by others or by our own hands! Then, take a step of faith consistent with your renewed perspective. In the coming days I will begin posting some helpful ideas and practices in two key areas: how we nourish and how we strengthen our bodies as spiritual acts of worship. Use this poll to let me know which you want to hear about first.