“It’s my body and I can do whatever I want with it.” How many times have we heard people say these very words? How many times have we said these very words? As much as we want to believe that our bodies are our own, the Word says otherwise.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
There are many ways that we could dishonor God with our bodies. The Word emphasizes one in particular many times: sexual immorality. Paul talks about it in I Corinthians 6:15: “Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!” And again in 1 Corinthians 6:18 he wrote, “Run from sexual sin.” By engaging in sexual immorality, we make a mockery of His temple and an act that God created as pure and beautiful for marriage. Let me be the first (or millionth) person to tell you that it is not easy! But it is a courageous and righteous decision to choose purity over our worldly desires. We cannot do it with our power alone, however; we will fail every time. We need God’s supernatural power to intercede on our behalf. All we have to do is simply ask.
Dishonoring God’s temple is not limited to just the physical; we can do so with our thoughts as well. Philippians 4:8 tells us “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” There are millions of things that we see, hear and experience every day that can alter the way the way we think and what we think about. That is why it is so important that we are careful of what we let enter our hearts and minds from what we watch, music we listen to, people we hang around and more. It’s not enough to just remove these things from our lives, but we must replace them with things that are in agreement with God’s will for us. Not everything is easy to rule out as bad or unhealthy for our relationship with Jesus, so it is imperative that we pray and ask the Holy Spirit for discernment.
We do not belong to ourselves. Our bodies are the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit and anything or any place that contains God’s presence is deemed holy. It is our duty to make sure that our bodies are in livable conditions for the Holy Spirit and that we are reflecting His nature in every aspect of our lives.
Speaking from personal experiences, it is a difficult process that includes self-control and many sacrifices. A lot of us, including myself, are still learning and growing as we continue our walk with Christ, and that’s okay. For the times when we are tempted to fulfill selfish desires, try to keep this in mind: Jesus sacrificed His life (and body) for me, so I can at least do the same for Him.