By Mary L. Hamilton
The Temple in Jerusalem during Jesus’ time on earth was said to be the masterpiece of King Herod’s ambitious building program. At one point, the disciples were so impressed they stopped Jesus on his way out of the Temple to marvel at its beauty (Matthew 24:1).
If you were to build a temple, would you use cheap, inexpensive building materials? Or would you forget the cost and choose only the best? Would you throw it together in a hurry, or would you think through every detail of construction and hire only the most skilled craftsmen to work on it? When you finished, would it look plain and ordinary, or would it be a structure that takes one’s breath away just to look at it?
According to the dictionary, a temple is a building for worship or a holy dwelling. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he uses the Greek word for temple that means “sanctuary.” We often use that term to mean a place of safety and refuge, but it also means a holy dwelling. Many churches refer to the worship auditorium as the sanctuary.
So what does it mean when Paul uses that same term to describe our human bodies? In the third chapter of 1 Corinthians, and again in the sixth chapter, he asks, “Don’t you know your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit of God?”
Have you ever thought of yourself as a temple? I mean, really thought that way? You may look in the mirror and see a larger than desirable waistline, legs that are too short, a nose that’s too long. You might see yourself as plain and unattractive, but God sees you as a beautiful sanctuary, shining bright with gold and silver and bronze and every kind of precious stone.
He didn’t throw you together carelessly with any old material He found lying around. Psalm 139 says He wove you together. Weaving isn’t something you can do without thought. He chose only the finest materials to build a holy place, a sanctuary dwelling where His Holy Spirit would live. That’s not to say we shouldn’t perform a little routine maintenance. Sometimes, even the finest buildings undergo major renovations. But if we consider our bodies flawed or a mistake, we devalue what God intended for great worth. His presence gives us respect and dignity. Seeing ourselves the way God sees us should turn our focus away from what we lack, or think we lack, and motivate us to appreciate what we’ve been given.
Author Bio: Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, including serving as a camp counselor for a week. She decided once was enough.
Mary is a graduate of Long Ridge Writer’s Group and a member of ACFW. Her writing has won recognition in several contests including the Genesis and Selah contests.
When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors watching sunsets. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.
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