I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my body. You’d think that wouldn’t be a problem at 38. You’d think wrong. Of course Christianity really hasn’t known what to do with bodies. It’s not something we’ve ever been good at it. We’re good with the don’ts: Don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t have sex. But we’re never told what to do. As Barry Taylor told John Morehead:
A problem a lot of people have with Christianity is that it externalizes the spiritual experience that basically de-emphasizes the importance of this life but the real importance is where you go after this life. So you want to be ready for heaven. But there is very little advice about what to do with your body while you’re waiting for that experience: don’t do anything wrong, don’t be bad, accept the decay.
Barry goes on to say that this is strange considering that Christianity is “one of the most material spiritualities out there where we celebrate that God puts on flesh and lived as one of us.” Not only is it “a problem a lot of people have with Christianity,” it’s a problem a lot of Christians have with our own religion. Including me.
It doesn’t help that I grew up with a contradictory view of the body. On the one had i heard my body was the temple of the Holy Spirit. God lived in me. But I heard things like this a lot more: “The body is sinful flesh.” “The flesh is evil, and the Spirit is good.” “The body is the devil’s playground (or the mind depending on the preacher). And then there was “one day we’ll shed these evil, sinful bodies and go to heaven.” I don’t think I’ve ever quite believed the body was a temple, let alone my body. After all how can the flesh (i. e. the body) be evil, and the Spirit good, and my body be the temple of the Spirit?
But I am coming to see and believe that my body is good, Spirit-filled, and even holy. I am coming to believe that my body is the temple of the living God. Here are some of do’s:
Do be nice to your body.
Do tell your body it’s beautiful just the way it is.
Do get enough sleep.
Do eat when you’re hungry.
Do rest when you’re tired.
How do you see your body? How has your relationship with your body changed? What are some of your do’s?
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