1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”
When this scripture is explained, often it’s spoken about in conjunction with scriptures that warn about the sin of gluttony. (Titus 1:12, 16; Philippians 3:19; Proverbs 23:2,19-21; Proverbs 25:16) Jacob’s brother Esau sold his birthright because of gluttony. Gluttony can actually be considered a form of “idolatry.” We need to be aware of excessively eating and drinking so as not to fall into this sin. Again, as with so many things in this beautiful life, balance is key. With balance, joy is found.
But, let’s take this scripture a bit further. Yes, our bodies ARE indeed temples of the Holy Spirit. When we ask God in prayer to bless us with His Holy Spirit, we are asking for his “active force” to dwell within us. That is literal. The scripture clearly states “…the Holy Spirit, who is in you…” The Holy Spirit guides us, directs us, heals us, bears witness, intercedes on our behalf, and so much more.
Now let’s consider the last sentence of that scripture. “Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” Before we move further, let’s take a deeper look at the word honor. In some cultures, honor is very specific… rich with customs, practices and rituals. In the United States however, I feel that word is a bit more generalized, and it doesn’t seem to carry a lot of specific weight. Usually, when we think about honor, we think about respect. But there is a bit of a difference. So, let’s define what honor really is, and once we are clear on that, we can decide how that relates to our bodies and God.
There are two meanings in the dictionary for the word honor. 1. High respect; great esteem. 2. Adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.
The correlation of HONOR and GOD would then reason to be: As we hold God in high respect and great esteem (or admiration), we would therefore treat our bodies accordingly as we host the Holy Spirit. Treating our bodies with respect would include, taking care of our physical bodies with proper nutrition and exercise, not putting ourselves in danger with excesses or deprivation, not giving in to drugs and alcoholism (alcohol in moderation is not a sin), getting proper treatment for any illnesses we may have developed, abstaining from sexual immorality, abusive language, aggression, etc. and not taking part in any other substance or activity that is known to harm the body. As you get into God’s word, He reveals many ways to keep our bodies clean in His eyes.
Holding onto what is right in the Bible and holding ourselves to higher standards is the way we can fully and completely honor God with our bodies. The beauty is that when we adhere to what is right, the quality of our life skyrockets! All of the warnings in the Bible are meant to safeguard and protect us. None of God’s ways or rules will ever harm us.
WARNING: Our flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41) This means that in one way or another, we are surely going to struggle. But God knows what our struggles are, and He is here to walk with us through it. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Honor God with your body, your lovely temple, and behold His glory in your life!
Prayer Suggestion: Thank you Father for blessing me with this body and another day of life. Today, I will choose to honor you with my mind, body and soul. Please bless my effort by sending your Holy Spirit to reside within me. Please prompt my heart with ways I can better care for my body and honor you. Bless me with clarity and wisdom as I read your Word daily and bless me with courage and strength as I move to apply your ways into my everyday life. Your will be done, Father. Thank you. I love you. In Jesus name…Amen!
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