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“Honor God with your body”

January 26, 2024
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Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

12 I have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful. I have the freedom to do anything, but I won’t be controlled by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, and yet God will do away with both. The body isn’t for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 God has raised the Lord and will raise us through his power. 15 Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of Christ? So then, should I take parts of Christ and make them a part of someone who is sleeping around [Or a prostitute; commonly, women who sell their bodies to multiple sex partners but includes those who are sexually immoral]? No way! 16 Don’t you know that anyone who is joined to someone who is sleeping around is one body with that person? The scripture says, The two will become one flesh [Genesis 2:24]. 17 The one who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 18 Avoid sexual immorality! Every sin that a person can do is committed outside the body, except those who engage in sexual immorality commit sin against their own bodies. 19 Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? 20 You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Ancient Corinth made sexual pleasure a “god.” Literally—a famous temple served Aphrodite, “ancient Greek goddess of sexual love and beauty.” * Many Greek and Roman thinkers said humans no longer use their bodies after death, so what they do with them in life doesn’t matter. The apostle Paul strongly differed. Eugene Peterson superbly rendered 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works.” **

  • “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit… you don’t belong to yourselves?” Paul asked (verse 19). “The point of the Temple was that God lived there; part of the point of being a Christian is that God himself lives in you, in the person of the Holy Spirit…. you cannot simply tell him to take a vacation somewhere else while you go off on your own.” *** How can God’s dwelling in you guide you to make better choices about what you do with your body?
  • It’s not clear in the text whether “I have the freedom to do anything” was Paul’s own view of a Christian’s freedom before God, or if he was quoting the Corinthians’ opinion. In either case, Paul did not directly dispute it. Instead, he said, in effect, “Some things [like the sexual promiscuity common in Corinth] are not smart and will hurt and control you.” In what ways have you seen sexual immorality have hurtful results in your own life, your family of origin or friends?
Prayer

King Jesus, make all of me—body, mind and heart—a temple where your Spirit dwells. Remodel me from the inside out in your beautiful holy image. Amen.

GPS Insights

Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook serves as the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection. She is a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

I have been there. Oh, how I have been there. You?

This place I’m talking about is that locked, secret place between our heads and our hearts where we run into the first vestiges of a desire, a perceived lack, an alluring thought. It’s the space where we ask ourselves the questions we don’t ask aloud to another human and we begin to ponder and wonder and think, “what if?”

Like I said, I’m pretty familiar with this place. Most of us are, whether we’ve named this place or not. It was in this place where I first ran into something I lacked. In my childhood years, I ran into the thing that whispered, “You are not enough”. That whisper got a little louder with each passing year, and by high school it said, “You will never be enough”. In college, the thing got more specific. It started to scream, “You are not thin enough, you are not pretty enough, you are not smart enough, you are not kind enough…”

And here is the thing: this thing and this space is within us. We cannot outrun it, we cannot hide from it, we cannot ignore it. This leads most of us to try to control it. We try so hard to control the world in response to the things that get brought up in this space. For me, this looked like an eating disorder with a side of high-functioning anxiety. For you it might look like those things, it might look like over-functioning, under-functioning, hypersensitivity, a hyperfocus on getting tasks and people “completed correctly,” a lack of desire to do anything to avoid, pleasure-seeking, and so much more. No matter what shape it takes, so often we forget that our bodies and every part of them, including our tender hearts and our secret places, are deeply known and immeasurably loved by God. Even more than that, they are known and loved just the way they are.

That locked, secret place? God is right in there with you. He hears the whispers you hear, feels the temptations you feel, is ready to gently respond to that desire for control. He hears our doubts, He hears our rationalizations, He hears our questions and our fears. So, what if, rather than using all of our strength to bend the world and everyone in it and ourselves into the shapes we think they ought to be, we used all that we are and all that God created us to be to honor Him? To simply put a hand up to the thing in the secret place and say back, “I hear this and I see this. Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Is this belief/thought/desire aligned with what God wants for me and will it reflect His image?”

I’m proud of you for doing the hard work of living faithfully in a really loud world (and maybe also in your own really loud head). He is with us here, and within us here. Let us walk together in that beautiful, wondrous truth that sets us free.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* From https://www.britannica.com/topic/Aphrodite-Greek-mythology.
** Peterson, Eugene H. The Message Numbered Edition Hardback. Navpress. Kindle Edition.
*** Wright, N. T., Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians (The New Testament for Everyone) (pp. 74-75). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.