What comes to mind when one hears the word “temple?” Perhaps an ancient structure that took many years and hands to build where countless people have gone to worship; or perhaps of a newer building design that was constructed within a few months with new furniture and icons galore; or perhaps the first word that came to mind was a body. So what is a temple? A simple Google search defines it as “a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling place, of a god or gods or other objects of religious reverence.” Well, that definition didn’t quite describe a physical body, but can a body be a TEMPLE?! Yes, the human body has been described as a temple in the non-secular and secular realm.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it states that the body holds the spirit. It is the physical outward dwelling or temple that inside the spirit is worshiping God if one so chooses.
Do you not know that your body is the temple of The Spirit of Holiness who dwells within you, whom you have received from God, and you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore be glorifying God with your body and with your spirit, which are God’s.1 Corinthians 3:16-17 echoes that idea as well:
Do you not know that you are the Temple of God, and that The Spirit of God dwells within you? Whoever destroys the Temple of God, God destroys; for the Temple of God is holy, which you are.The question that should be asked next is, how is this relevant or why is this important? Humans were created in the likeness of God as stated in Genesis 1:27 –
So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.Since man was created in the image of God, there should be an acknowledged perspective. Many will claim “my body, my will; I can do what I want” or something along those lines, but everyone has been given life as a GIFT. This gift is invaluable, irreplaceable, and magnificent so therefore it is something to prize and cherish whether or not anyone has a specific belief or not in a higher power.
Humans have this body to use as a vehicle in this physical realm and it is of course operated by each person’s soul/spirit. If each vessel or temple is important because it is a gift, why do humans take it for granted? No one is perfect of course, and thankfully God inspired those who wrote the Holy Books to ensure mankind knows and is reminded that God made and gifted everyone to have that experience and choose to either be grateful or selfish.
In most temples, by definition, acts of worship are conducted. What is worship? It is essentially giving something [like a deity] its worth in adoration. In theory, those acting selfishly are worshiping themselves because they feel worthy and grateful to themselves. Where on the flip-side, those who decide to honor and be grateful by taking care of their gift [life, their temple], are worshiping their Creator and the blessings bestowed upon them. A person who indulges too much in bad things such as alcohol and drugs can have a negative and detrimental impact to their gift of life, even destroying their life into death. Whereas a person who decides that their body and health are important would choose perhaps not to indulge in harmful substances or situations that could eliminate their gift.
Overall those are rudimentary examples, but the underlying principle is there. Those examples pertained a lot to the physical sense of the body even though they can also have a spiritual impact. Viewing the body as a temple in more of a spiritual aspect, consider this: If a person only watches violent TV shows and news, or focuses on all the bad things in their life is their spirit going to be filled with bad things and violence? Most likely. If a person is being uplifted by watching and listening to positive and inspiring things while being grateful in life, then their spirit will be filled with inspiration and positive things. The way the human psyche works, that’s usually the case. How many times to emotions get struck because of “bad” or “good” news of any kind? One usually responds within those realms and it influences them. Consider what is being put into the body is being absorbed by the spirit and released as a form of worship because we are giving that item or substance “worth.”
The passage above also talk about God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit dwelling within the body. Do you think the Spirit of God would want to dwell within someone who gives worth more to themselves or to the world? Ephesians 4:30 states:
Neither be grieving the Holy Spirit of God, for you have been sealed in him for the day of redemption.1 Thessalonians 5:19 tells us “DO NOT quench the Spirit.” This statement is profound because it is a straightforward command, yet many choose to ignore or disassociate themselves from these vital keys. God’s Spirit is the one guiding and comforting, why would anyone want to diminish and get rid of that?
The human body has a heart and mind connection. Science has proven that both of these act hand-in-hand. The physical and spiritual coincide together which makes the decisions in life matter and count. Using both the heart and mind by seeking and differentiating will help to maintain the highest standard of growth spiritually possible. Scripture says that if one destroy their temple, God destroys them. God wants His people’s temples to be holy so His Spirit can reside in there and He can be given His proper worth. Since man was given life, it is only the righteous thanks that can be given to properly use the gift to its full potential and fulfilling His will in which He commands. By upholding that perspective of righteousness and ensuring that only good and holy things enter into the body, physically and spiritually, God will be given His worth. In doing just that, it becomes a righteous form of worship to Him from the essence He has given each individual. The question to ask then, is it WORTH giving time to something that will not inspire or give spiritual growth to one’s life?
Weekly Challenge:Meditate and reflect on what it is you watch, listen, speak, and do in a day/week/month. Are you allowing too much unholy or negative things into your temple physically and spiritually? If you are you may want to reconsider those things and the value you are placing by giving it worth in your life. Consider replacing those things with positive and uplifting things that go in line with God’s will. Remember to use your heart and mind connection to truly seek God as he helps you differentiate what is necessary for proper growth in His will because that’s how you can mind your temple.