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The sun has not even yet peeked out to wake the day, and I am done. What a great feeling! Another few miles in the book, and I am feeling great as I get showered, dressed, and ready for a new day. By the time I head out the door, feelings of accomplishment and pride (ugh!) threaten to take over my day. I head into the Dining Hall for a quick breakfast before school begins. Oh the joys of being a boarding school teacher-an array of wonderfully delicious food at my fingertips for every meal! And no prep or clean up! Woo hoo! Not yet an hour from my run, the pride still welling in my brain, I bypass the fresh fruit for a bagel with EXTRA cream cheese and some bacon. Oh and some coffee- with EXTRA creamer. Before my meal is over, my pride has been squashed, replaced with feelings of shame and disgust. Eww... how could I have eaten all that and crushed all that I accomplished with my run? What is wrong with me? I'm such a failure.
Have you ever been there? Accomplished and strong one minute, weak and loathsome the next?
Our beauty is a constant struggle for us all- well, at least it is for me. The world tells us that we have to look a certain way, wear a certain dress size, have a certain color hair, or length, or hairstyle, dress a certain way, act a certain way (and so on and so on) to be of any value. Deep down, we as daughters of the King, know that these are all lies. But still, our hearts often believe the lies. How can we get past this?
God's Word has the answer. 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." Simple enough, our bodies our not ours. So we must treat them as such.
But be careful here. All too often, I see us ladies use this scripture as an excuse to focus on our bodies. We post selfies of workouts with the caption "My body is a temple", and we own it. We wear shirts with these verses on it. We get fixated on our bodies, thinking "well, God is telling me that I need to get skinny, get strong, get beautiful." And I think we miss the point.
Yes, perhaps God is encouraging us to be healthy. To cherish the body He has given us, and to keep it healthy in order to do all the things He has called us to do. But there's a fine line here. And I speak of it not to judge, but to confess, because I am guilty of crossing the line all too often. My body is a temple. This does not mean it should be something I worship. It means that my God lives in me, and so I need to live remembering this. God is in me. Respect my body. Stay healthy, of course. But healthy means a lot more than getting in the gym, or eating right.
My body is a temple. The Holy Spirit lives in me. So gossiping is disgracing God's temple.
My body is a temple. The Holy Spirit is inside me. So envy, and pride, and anger, and pride, and greed, and pride (get it?) are a shame to God's temple.
Our bodies ARE a temple for the Lord. So let's be sure to stay healthy all around. The minute we (I !!!) get hung up on our own accomplishments about keeping our body strong as the temple of God, that's the minute we miss the entire point. For that's when pride fills our temple, something which God hates. Something which I am all too guilty of doing.
Let's be encouraged today to get healthy, both physically AND spiritually. Let's keep our eyes and our hearts fixed on the Lord, and thank Him for choosing to live in us. And yes, let's maybe skip the bacon or the EXTRA cream cheese. But let's also remember to skip the gossip, the envy, the pride. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Let's live like it.
Are you encouraged by the truth that our bodies are a temple for God? Or does it cause you a struggle? This is a tough one, so let's encourage each other in prayer. Comment below, so we can be encouraged together.