Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 6.20’

As stated in my previous post, The Lord has greatly convicted me as a Pastor that there were things in my life I needed change. Much of it centered around bad habits, excuses and lack of disciple in regards to what went in my body and the fat that I was putting on. He then brought to mind at least four areas that confirmed why change was desperately needed.

The first area is the area of health. This should be the obvious one. Health is so obvious when it comes to the idea of putting on fat. We know fat is bad therefore we shouldn’t get fat. Yet, this knowledge does not seem to affect many of us like it should.

Think about it, if you have been around the church for any time at all, you know the verses found in 1 Corinthians 6.19-20 where it says, “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? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

These two verse have been used for years as proof texts for those who wish to preach against smoking and drinking from the pulpit (understand I am not recommending you pick either of these habits up). They will rail on sinful lifestyles and bad habits all in the name of protecting the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is rather ironic that this occurs when you consider that some research shows that 77% of male pastors are considered to be overweight (statistics are cited on sowhatfaith.com in the article “Overweight Pastors”.

Don’t drink or smoke because it harms the temple say the fat guys! Well, as a pastor, I too have at different moments mentioned bad habits that people form that directly affect their health. I have cautioned people to be careful not to become a slave to something that can harm their body because they only get one body. All the while I was packing on the weight myself and eating things that were horrible for me and nearly never exercising.

Is anybody noticing an inconsistency here? Well, God convicted me in a mighty way. Health is a huge deal. Did you know that studies have shown that more liver damage is done by obesity than alcohol and that studies have indicated that obesity leads to more doctors visits than smoking? Perhaps, pastors, we should start modeling a life of discipline in regards to what we put in our bodies before we tell others to guard what they put in their bodies. (I believe Jesus called that pulling the log out. I am now desperately trying to yank out the log)

If we read the entire context of 1 Corinthians 6.19 we also must read things like “you are not your own” and “you have been bought with a price” and “therefore glorify God in your body.” What I take from this is that when I harm the “Temple” of the Holy Spirit then I am being a poor steward of something that is not mine. Poor health, when it is a choice equals poor stewardships.

I know pastors who were not able to completely fulfill ministry duties due to health related to obesity. I was headed that direction with an extremely unhealthy view towards food that involved a whole lot of fast food and pizza. I was on the path to harming my calling. I refuse to allow my calling from God to be a victim of my poor choices (this calling involves my marriage, my kids and my ministry). I have chosen to prioritize my health over my cravings because I crave God more than food.

20140715-155512.jpg

I will never forget the day that my cap gun broke.  I loved that cap gun.  Why did it have to happen? 

About 6:30 in the morning on a road that runs parallel to the train tracks in my hometown, Medina, NY.  I was armed with bag full of newspapers, a cap gun and an endless supply of paper caps.  As I was delivering papers I was shooting nearly every house, cat, dog, squirrel, and tree I could find.  I was having a grand old time. 

Let me tell you, this gun was sweet.  You could shoot caps as fast as you pulled the trigger.  It would make a noise and the sparks would fly.  In my mind, I was a cowboy in the Wild West or a gangster like Al Capone.  I was unstoppable and then it happened.

It broke! My gun broke and it was irreparable.  Reality was it wasn’t as cool as I thought it was.  In fact it was quite cheap.  Pieces required to operate actually broke into multiple chunks of useless plastic.  I was pretty upset.  Sadness, anger, and disappointment all were experienced the day my cap gun died.

Somewhere in China my gun had been made for a purpose.  That purpose:  to bring hours of enjoyment to a young boy.  It was meant to snap paper caps.  Now it did neither of these things.

I am sure you can relate with me.  Surely you at some point had something that you loved fail to do what it was created to do.  Maybe it was car that you could not afford fix.  Perhaps a kickball that developed a hole that just could not be plugged.  Whatever the case was, you probably got a bit upset.  After all you paid for that item.  It was yours and now it was useless.

With that in mind, I wonder how it makes God feel when His creatures (you and me) that He bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6.20) fail to operate as He intended.  He saved us and when He did He had a particular task in mind that only we could fulfill (Ephesians 2.10).  Christians believe and preach this truth yet we continually fail to fulfill our calling.  It makes it seem fairly ironic that while we fail to fulfill the purpose God has place on our lives, we have the nerve to get angry when life does not go our way.  We slip into Jonah chapter three mode where our comfort becomes more important than the salvation of the world.

God is asking us to make an eternal mark on this world and in the lives of those around us.  Yet we get so caught up in the temporal stuff that we seem to forget.  Again I say, I wonder how that makes God feel.