The New Testament refers to the human body as a temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells. For this reason we are told to abstain from sins which would pollute the body. The specific context of the verse is speaking of sexual immorality. We can see why this specific type of pollutant is dangerous to the believer because we can see how misplaced sexuality changes behavior, thought patterns and potential.
But the verse is widely interpreted to include activities outside the realm of sexuality that also pollute the person. Today for Theology Thursday I want to make a few observations on our obligation to God to keep our bodies. For the purpose of this discussion we will not be talking about our bodies exclusively as the muscles and bones, but also the mind, personality and morality of our total being.
Take special note of the way our human appetites generally stand in constant tension with our being healthy. This tension comes from the fall and Satan seems to have intended it to be a way of bringing harm to humanity. God on the other side knew it was a chance for us to learn discipline.
One appetite is for food. If we fail to eat sufficiently we will be doing harm to our bodies. I know only a handful of people who have this problem. Most, including me have the opposite problem and tend to eat too much because of having difficulty limiting the appetite for food. Gluttony is specifically listed as a sin in Scripture, and we should strive to control our appetite for God’s sake.
Another appetite is for activity or recreation. This will help us stay physically fit, as well as allow diversions for the mind. Without recreation or exercise we will not only be weaker physically but also we will become bound up mentally and emotionally. This too can be over-consumed robbing the person of the opportunity to serve God by the time lost to their recreational pursuits.
Taking harmful substances into your body is also polluting the temple. So I believe anything that lowers your inhibitions, falsifies pleasure or harms your health should be avoided. I would include drugs, alcohol, tobacco and the latest herbal fad for raising your metabolism. Give those herbs a chance to become tried and true before jumping on board, since the world has had a series of harmful products marketed as miraculous discoveries.
To wrap up let me invite you to respond back in the comments. What do you do to stay healthy? What do you find to be the hardest challenge you face in keeping your temple clean?