Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Throw Our Bodies Away? Certainly Not!

I wonder how many buildings there have been, especially churches, where the plaque to commemorate the building’s opening reads, “Dedicated to the glory of God.” There are probably millions.

There is a similarity I want to draw upon between dwellings: buildings (as above) and the human body--our physical[1] bodies. If people live, worship and work in buildings, what dwells within the human body?

The apostle Paul talks about guarding our bodies, in the context of sexual purity:

“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body”
–1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (Amplified).


Now to the actual context of this article, regarding addictions that bring grave compromise to the body:

“Our bodies are not our own to use or abuse as we please, to damage and destroy… Rather our bodies are God’s temples. When we throw our bodies away to addictions, we throw away the most valuable gift God has given us in our creation.”[2]

Addiction--as far as the body is concerned--is not only about alcohol and other drug addiction. It includes other addictions in life including unhealthy diet and poor exercise lifestyles, and any practice really that undermines the healthy maintenance, and bastardises the function, of the ‘temple’ God has given us on loan--the ‘tent’ that the Holy Spirit dwells within.[3]


We need to be broad-minded when approaching this topic as we’re apt at congratulating ourselves for the things we do right, to the detriment of the things we ignore or aren’t even aware of, notwithstanding the terrible sin of denial.

Denial is both rampant and rife in the human condition. Everyone denies something or other. But, we’re called to truth (John 4:24).


It’s also relevant to the simple day-to-day habits we form--the destructive habits. Habits have the uncanny knack of proving to be stumbling blocks for us; we don’t make good habits stick anywhere near enough, and poor habits cling like stench.
Bad habits encompass various forms of addiction.

Consequences, Good and Bad

Sadly, there are poor bodies[4] everywhere these days; a reminder of the very personal misery available for breaking God’s code.

Both Proverbs 23:19-21[5] and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (as well as other scripture) guide us faithfully and practically back to the source, and to rejecting known addictive behaviours in ways that are forever sustainable--for real and saliently undeniable reasons.

Back to the building analogy for a moment; can we see here the vision God has for us and for our bodies to glorify him as glorifiable specimens?

When we take our tent (the physical body on loan to us from God) back finally, will we be revealed as dutiful and responsible mortgagees’?

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
[1] Read this word “physical” as everything that encompasses our personal being.
[2] Thomas C. Oden, The Good Works Reader – Classic Christian Readers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), p. 194.
[3] See 2 Corinthians 5:1, 4.
[4] It is useful to mention that when I say ‘body,’ I mean (especially) the internal body complete with vital organs, and not simply the superficial outer ‘tent’ cover that some people spend endless hours and dollars preening.
[5] This proverb is Saying 16 from the Sayings of the Wise in Proverbs 22:17-24:22, and goes: “Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” (TNIV)

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