Jesus' Mercy Changes Me, We and the World

Our Bodies

I saw a cartoon recently showing a guy standing outside an office building smoking a cigarette right through his Covid-19 mask.  After being in the risk management business my whole career, I tend to see the irony in a lot of efforts people and organizations implement to mitigate risk.  Here is a guy that has perhaps more than an 80% chance of heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema or stroke from smoking, but his main concern is his 0.1% chance of death from coronavirus.  

Most of us are no different.  72% of American adults are now considered overweight or obese.  Excess weight is directly linked to many, many types of cancer as well as heart disease, diabetes and strokes, but very few seem concerned about these serious health conditions.  We are more concerned about Covid-19 which is a far less risk.

This all got me thinking about 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “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.”

In Israel’s history, idols were at various times placed in the temple and money changers had turned the temple into a den of thieves.  The junk had to be cleaned out of the temple.  As such we should honor God and clear the junk (and junk food) out of our bodies.  Paul calls us to recognize that our bodies are not our own but belong to God – having been bought at a price by Christ’s death and resurrection.

Daniel and his friends refused to eat the food King Nebuchadnezzar offered them and they ate vegetables instead.  Scripture doesn’t exactly say why, but evidently, they saw the king’s food as potentially defiling to their bodies, so they avoided it.  I think in order to honor God, as well as to be effective in our lives as Christians, citizens, employees, parents, etc. we need to have our spiritual, physical and mental foundations as solid as possible.  This includes eating properly, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep every day.  

Lord, please help us realize that our bodies are a gift from you. Teach us to make the right decisions to continually improve our health which will help us to be more vigorous and effective witnesses to you and your Kingdom. Amen.

Brad Gauen