“So our aim is to please Him always, whether we are here in this body or away from this body.” 2 Corinthians 5:9 (NLT)
Who are you? If I were to ask you that, you would probably start offering a list of adjectives describing yourself. Some of those adjectives would describe your personality, like and dislikes, etc. Others would, most likely, include physical descriptors such as tall, brunette, pretty, whatever. It’s only natural, right? It’s part of who were are.
Or is it?
Part of what Paul is talking about here in his second letter to the church of Corinth is that God has prepared a new body for us in heaven — an eternal body. We will leave these “earthly tents” (v. 1) when we die, & we will put on a new heavenly body. Anyone who has stood at the bedside of someone who was dying has seen this reality in living color.
It stands to reason, then, that if you leave your body, your body is not you. You are something much more profound. You are you, something inside your body. And Your body is, instead, a vessel … a container of you. Said differently, it is the container in which you live and move and have your being. As such, I would argue that your body is a gift — an amazing, beautiful, complex gift that God has given you to steward during your lifetime. Yes, it will pass away (as will money, time, resources, talents, etc.) … but unlike all those other gifts you steward, your body is with you your entire journey.
God has given you a beautiful gift. It is your body to use throughout your entire earthly journey. It is the vessel in which you live and move and have your being. It is, arguably, your most precious gift. Every ministry act you ever make is made through it. Every act of kindness, charity, love or generosity is made through it. And only you can care for it and steward it well.