The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Love your Body for Christ's sake

In much of modern Christianity there is a very non-materialistic view of the faith. The primary emphasis is on emotions and thinking, feelings and the mind. Very little focus is given to the body, the physical aspect of our faith-filled expression of life. We can blame the absorption of Plato into western Christianity for this misunderstanding. There are a few exceptions who emphasize that Christianity is a muscular faith. St. Paul was quite clear about the role of the human body as a vehicle of the embodiment of faith:

“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” (I Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV). This is how I remember learning these words as a young Christian.

Here is a more modern rendition of St. Paul:

“Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns 
the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body” (Corinthians 6:19-20 MSG)

Besides understanding that our faith is expressed in our physical being, St. Paul points out another dimension that shatters our ego-centered existence: we are not our own beings; we belong to a Divine Lover who has gone to great expense to show us Divine Love. We owe it to the Divine Lover to live out our lives in love to others.

Ronald Friesen © 2015

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