The Temple: Worthy of Nurture
“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.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
One of my biggest struggles that God has grown me in over the years is learning to have a healthy outlook on my body. As a child, I was a bigger kid and I was very insecure about my weight. When I went to middle school I thinned out very quickly and my mindset from then on was “I have to stay this way”. Since then I have been pretty consistent in the gym all of high school and college. My main struggle has been having a healthy outlook about going to the gym and being healthy as well as controlling the number on the scale. It is a hard but vital struggle to learn to see your health as God sees it.
In our key verse, we see that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we are called to take care of them, and worship the Lord with our bodies. When we shame our bodies or are only working out to look a certain way because we feel we need to look that way or we are “worthless” or “ugly”, then it is impossible to praise God with your body.
This year I created a strict gym schedule and knew that I did not want to have the common gym mindset. I wanted to love my body to the fullest potential possible, and look at myself through the lenses of God. I sought out God in the process and asked Him to help me believe the truths He tells me about my body and remind me of how much everything else about me means so much more than what I look like.
I learned that the big secret to changing the way you think about yourself and everything in general, is changing your mindset! Furthermore, the only way you can change your mindset is by submitting your mind to the Lord and letting all your thoughts be filtered through Him. One verse that led me in this process was 2 Timothy 1:7…
“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
God does not desire our minds and our hearts to wander in fear and timidity, but He calls us to flourish and overcome our trials and the enemy in power, love, and self-discipline! Something I can remind you of is that the thoughts that you have is a result of the condition of your heart. Everything you think affects you! You can not only take care and nurture your body and health and not pour into your spiritual and emotional life. It is an equation that many follow and leads them to wonder why they are so dissatisfied.
I have been spending some time reading through 1 Corinthians and there was a verse that truly stood out to me due to a command that is within it, that we hear multiple times in the word.
‘God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”’
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NLT
These verses state the plain and simple truths of the gospel, that you have been saved by the wisest entity that exists in this universe, who cleansed you of all your sin, pain, loneliness and oppression. Who has given you love, freedom, purpose, and eternity in paradise with him! So if you want to boast about anything, BOAST ABOUT HIM! Is that not just extremely humbling. Who do we think we are boasting about our bodies or smarts or net worth when the God of the universe had redeemed us, such unredeemable people.
The little snippet I am going to give you today is, take your eyes off yourself (stop thinking about your rolls or how you hate a certain part of your body or personality) and plant your eyes on Him! Then boast in him, and spend time in His presence.
Lucky for you, this is only the intro into the series I will be writing on body image, a healthy gym life, and treating your body like the temple it is. I know for a fact that every person reading this struggles in some way and I want to encourage you, let’s go on this journey together and let God turn our hearts to the truths that set us free. You are not a slave to your body, you are a child of a God that has the power to liberate you in his grace and love.
I pray over every soul reading this devotional, I pray that you would soften our hearts so we would be able to hear from you so clearly. I pray that we would hear your truths as we go throughout this journey of learning about what you want for us in our health lives. I ask that the pressures of society and the world would fall off our backs and we would only listen to what you have to say about our beauty. Lastly, Lord I pray that you would show us each more and more every day that our physical beauty stands vain to who we are in you and what we do to show the world who you are. We love you and we worship you always God.
In Jesus Name I Pray,