Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1Corinthians 3:16-17
We’ve all heard this verse and felt guilty about the gooey chocolate donut or super sized fries we ate the previous day. We ask forgiveness for not having the gumption to exercise more and get more sleep. (uh, huh- maybe someday when my life slows down). It is easy to go to the woodshed and give ourselves a good spiritual lashing for all of our broken promises and shortcomings. Is that what God wants?
I think not. Sure, we all need to take care of ourselves better so we can be healthy enough to do God’s will and serve him. But we don’t have to all be as toned as Olympic champions or a size 4. God uses all sorts of people to spread His kingdom. After all He made us all different, didn’t He?
Actually, I see this verse a different way- sort of like the potter and the clay. I want God to destroy my temple. Just like he turned over tables and flushed out the evil deeds of the money changers, I want Him to sort out the evil in me and replace it with Him. If Satan comes to destroy what God has done in me as His temple, God will destroy his efforts. And if I have a bad habit that threatens to destroy this temple, God will deal with that as well because I have dedicated myself to Him.
And, that’s the good news. I do not have to do it myself- God is on my side. He is my strength and my protector. And even though there are many days when I don’t feel particularly “holy”, I am in His eyes. That’s a comfort.
Dearest Lord, take this temple You have come to dwell in and mold it to fit your needs. You are the architect of the Universe and of my soul. Tear down walls, enlarge rooms, add on where You need to and make this person Your home. As Psalm 51 says, create in me a new heart and take not your Holy Spirit from me. And if you see areas that need to be destroyed, I know Your love will do that in Your perfect timimg. Through your Son who is called Emanuel- God with Us, I pray, Amen.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1Corinthinas 6:19