I was purging my closet a few weeks ago and I threw out everything that was too big for me. I decided against tossing out most of the things that were too small. I discarded the dated, trendy stuff and kept the classic-styles even though I had to squeeze into them. You might surmise that I’m trying to lose weight; if so, you’re right. It’s not so much that I’m saving those clothes so I can fit into them “someday”. I’ve learned that the more comfortable I am in my clothing–those baggy sweats, the stretchy slacks–the less I think about my weight problem. The more snuggly-fitting jeans and jackets remind me that I need to forego that cookie, that bowl of chips, or that second slice of pizza.
There was a time when Jesus visited the temple in Jerusalem and they were selling animals and doves to the people for sacrifices. Jesus was quite perturbed at what the money-changers were doing. So He made a whip to chase the animals out, then He admonished the leaders for making His Father’s house into a den of thieves. They questioned His authority and He let them know Whose authority He had been given, and even said He’d level the place then raise it up in three days. They were not impressed and mocked him. They rebuked Him, questioning His ability to rebuild what took them forty-six years to construct. They didn’t understand. “But He was speaking about the temple of His body. When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” John 2:21-22
Paul spoke of another temple: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Christians are the temple. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are bought with a price–the blood of Jesus Christ. When we recognize and receive our Lord and Savior, we need to remember that what we do in our body affects the entire body of Christ. Our actions and words do make a difference to others. Our neglect and abuse of our body hinders how effectively we can serve the Lord. I know, for me, I neglected my health and am paying a price for it today. Some of my health issues may have been unavoidable, but others were not.
When we become Christians, we often give up a lot of unhealthy habits. But still there are things which cling to the walls of our hearts and interfere with the work of the Spirit in our spirits. Sometimes we think we know what everyone else needs to sacrifice–to be made right with God. Our lofty ideas and attitudes war with our thoughts and focus on Christ. Our emotions and loyalties war with our first love for Christ. Our self-reliance upon our own intellect and knowledge overload our minds and leave no room for the wisdom of God. These things should make us spiritually uncomfortable. We should be so uncomfortable that the cloak of humility would squeeze the pride right out of our minds and hearts.
PRAYER: Lord, help us daily check the state of our temple. Help us clean out the habits of our lives with which we have grown comfortable, and help us make more room for You. Squeeze our hearts until we submit to the pressure of Your chastening, and lose those things which keep us from being all we can be for You.