Monday, April 18, 2011

40 Days of Lint, Day Thirty-Five: Fouling Up the Temple

Kelly and I went on our first hike of the season after church. It felt good to get our bodies moving again after a long, wet winter. The forest was lush green and bursting with life. Drift Creek Falls trail winds through the forest and crosses numerous streams and a terrific suspension bridge that overlooks the falls. Since Kelly’s work is more physical than mine, he moved along without any problem, but I got tired by the end. Still it felt great to do something outdoors.

 We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get steak, which we feasted on at home with potatoes. We continued after that with too many spoonfuls of cookie dough. By bedtime we were both miserable, sorry creatures.

As we bemoaned our lack of self-control, Kelly told me about the two Oscar fish he used to have. Every day he fed them fish pellets, but once a week they got the special treat of goldfish. “One of the fish was content with just one. He would leap out, grab the goldfish then settle to the bottom of the bowl to digest it. But the other guy was a glutton. With a belly already full of fish, he would grab a second in his mouth and ram it into the side of the bowl until he managed to force it far enough in, to swallow.”

That’s exactly how we felt last night – like that greedy Oscar fish. After a healthy and satisfying hike, we overdid the sweets because it was the one day of the week we could have a treat. Although I know God forgives our tendency to go crazy, I want to consistently honor Him with my body. After all, it belongs to Him.
“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).
The way we take care of our physical body reflects what’s going on in our heart. One of the few occasions Jesus acted in anger was when people misused His Father’s temple. In the outer court (the only place where Gentiles were allowed to worship) moneychangers were taking advantage of those who had come to offer sacrifices, and making a racket in a place intended for worship.

Our bodies are God’s temple where the Holy Spirit lives in us. I don’t want to be legalistic about eating, exercise etc., but I do want to be as healthy as I can. Too far in either direction is self-focused – whether overindulgence or a strict regimen. A few questions can help me determine what is right: Will this contribute to or detract from worship? Will it honor or shame God? Will I be more alert and energetic for Him if I do this, or will it slow me down? What does God want in me to bring into His temple?

Today, I’m back to a healthy diet and a balance of rest and exercise. I definitely feel better without a tummy ache, and I’m able to work with less distraction.

If Jesus came to clean house, what would He clear from your body, His temple, today? Are you willing to let Him show you?

Lint Removed: Clearing the Temple
Cleaning Process: Honoring God with Our Bodies

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