In my last post, I asked these questions: What are we doing here? What's the point of all this? Why are we alive?
I wrote about the concept of Home- where is it, and what makes it Home? Is it where we live? Is it where we feel comfortable? How do we know where we belong?
I explored the dichotomy Christians experience by yearning for Heaven while living on Earth, destined for Heaven but sent into the world. It's difficult to grasp, especially because for those of us who are Heaven-bound, we've never even seen it yet. We hardly know what to expect; all we're told is that it will be good. But in the meantime, what are we to do?
God's given each of us a temporary housing facility. It's called our body. It cloaks our spirits and it houses our souls. Without the soul, our bodies would be inanimate. Lifeless. But with our souls giving life to our eyes and energy to our bodies, these machines become the instruments for our spirits and the vessels for our wills.
Remember my analogy of the ugly hotel room? I described a scenario where you go on vacation and have to spend your nights in an outdated, grimy inn. I explained that even though the colour of the walls may not suit you and the furniture might be not to your taste, you wouldn't care because you would know it's not really your home. You would know that during such a short stay, there would be no point in trying to fix it up and change everything. You would know that you were going home soon enough.
But surely, we must be expected to take care of our bodies, right? Although our bodies are only temporary houses for our spirits, that doesn't mean we should pay no attention to them, does it? After all, God made our bodies in His image. That's got to count for something. And He's loaning them to us to use for His purposes. How are we meant to go about this task?
Back to our hotel analogy. Once you arrive, you check yourself in, knowing you'll only stay for maybe two or three weeks. It's short enough that you don't have to fret over minor inconveniences or the bad taste in decor, but it's long enough that you'll want to keep it clean and tidy. You'll want to stay more or less packed and organized so that you won't lose anything or forget anything behind.
In the same way, our bodies are the hotels for our souls. I think it is prudent to take care of these machines- not as an obsession or as an ego-booster, but for functionality! If these bodies are temples for the Spirit of God, then that means the Spirit's work within us will manifest itself in outward actions. The Spirit moves inside, and our body moves outside. The Spirit grows our love, and we express that love in words. The Spirit moves us to pray, and our lips do the praying. The Spirit convicts us to give, and our hands to the giving.
Everything inside comes out.
everything hidden becomes known.
So while we do not worship the temple God has given us for Him to reside in, we'd better take care to give honour to our bodies just as we would care for a valuable gift given us from a friend.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 glorify God with your body.
These bodies were created to reflect the glory of their Creator. They were made to be transparent, that the Light of Christ might shine out for all to see. (Matthew 5:16)
We aren't here to stay, we're here to work. We're not on vacation, we're on a mission! Our souls are what's lasting, and these bodies are simply the temporary tools with which we are called to serve our Lord. He called us, He saved us, and He sent us.
And He's in us.
He's in you. How's the condition of His temple?
Is it so flashy that it conceals Him? Is it so distracting that it overshadows Him? Is it too dingy to work with? Is it too weak to follow your willing spirit? When people look at you, do they just see you? Or do they see the Man within?
Whatever it is, it was never meant to be your own. It belongs to God.
To quote the singer/songwriter Jon Foreman, "This skin and bones is a rental."
I suggest we take that truth seriously.