Speechless

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself ….” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT)

This verse renders me speechless. Speechless and in awe … for several reasons.

First because it talks about the fact that God cares about my body. This is something that our culture — even our churches — talk little about. But here, we are reminded that God cares about our bodies.  He cares what we do with them, how we treat & interact with them, even how we view and understand them.

Moreover, this verse says that our bodies do not belong to us.  For Christ-followers, even our bodies are not our own!  I think most of us interpret this verse as saying that our hearts or spirits or minds or dime other intangible aspect of our lives belong to God … but this verse clearly indicates that God also bought our bodies. A sobering thought … particularly in a culture like ours where the one thing that we feel like we can control and own is our own body. But for Christ-followers, even our body belongs to Him. I surrender all …

Finally,  there is the Temple reference. (Oh, to be able to read that verse through the mind of an ancient Jew!)

We have nothing equivalent to the Temple in American culture. We have nothing equivalent to the Temple in Western Christianity. But in the Bible, the Temple was an awe-inspiring, most holy place.  It was the place where God dwelled, where the Holy of Holies was, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.  Only the priests could enter the Temple after ceremonial cleansings and sacrifices. And the Holy of Holies could only be entered by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. One day a year.  It was that holy.

The words used to describe the Temple — sacred, holy, set apart —  are  words  we don’t even use in our culture because we have so little to attach them to ….

But in this passage, God calls us His Temple. He calls our bodies the Temple of His Holy Spirit.

And it renders me speechless.

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Aging

“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate … for He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.” Psalm 103:13-14 (NLT)

Lately I’ve become aware of the effects of aging. Some personally, some within my family, some in other people’s families. But with aging, there seems to come a number of issues that involve our bodies (& sometimes our minds). Our bodies begin to age and weaken and become increasingly susceptible.

So how are we to treat our aging bodies?

The answer might sound familiar: the same way Jesus would. We should treat our aging bodies the same way Jesus would treat our aging bodies — with love, tenderness, compassion & understanding.

God’s mercies are new every day … & so should ours be … even to ourselves.

Instead of comparing yourself to what you used to be able to do (5, 10, 20 years ago!?), assess who and where you are today & start from there.  If you used to bench-press 80 pounds and can only bench-press 20 today, so what!? Bench-press the 20 today! (Or maybe even 10 until you really know you have the muscle stamina.)

Our bodies are not machines.  They are delicate pieces of craftsmanship created by God. Think of them as Stradivarius violins:  of great worth, able to pay beautiful music … but you must learn how to play & care for it properly.

And if you are aging, think of yourself a an aging Stradivarius violin: still of great worth & still able to play beautiful music … and needing a bit more tender-loving care.