“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Holiness. It’s one of those “churchy” words that many people often hear but rarely understand. Many sing the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” use the term, “Holy Spirit,” and are even familiar with the derogatory phrase, “holy roller,” yet have very little actual understanding of what the word holy means. Holy means to be set apart and sacred. It means to be completely pure. To be holy means to be completely different from ordinary things.
Once you do understand what holiness means, there is a tendency to apply it to your spirit but not to your body. The truth is, however, that God is not only interested in your spirit or soul but also in your body. The fact that God created us with a body tells us that God values our bodies. In fact, our bodies are so important to God that one day He is going to raise them from the dead. “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed,” (1 Corinthians 15:52b). The Bible teaches that the resurrection is a transformation of the same bodies we had on earth. We will not be given a different body disconnected from the body we had on earth. As humans, we are not just spiritual, but physical. Our bodies are a very important part of our identity – they are part of who we are.
People tend to go to two extremes with their bodies. Some people don’t think their body is as important as God does. Other people think their body is more important than God does. The tendency is either to ignore the body or to adore the body. The truth is that God is interested in both the spiritual and the physical. He wants us to see our bodies as He sees them – as a dwelling place for His Spirit. How we see our bodies will determine how we treat our bodies.
Whether you ignore or adore your body is not a physical issue, but a spiritual one. When we learn to see our bodies as God’s temple, we will understand that living healthy is a part of living holy.
Father, Help me to see my body the way You see it – as a dwelling place for Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.