In the wake of natural disasters, we easily relate to Paul’s words of a groaning creation (Romans 8), and the decaying of our bodies proves that a final, eternal redemption is a necessary reality of the future. Since salvation affects not only our hearts and souls, but also our bodies, does it follow that our bodies enter into the regeneration process of sanctification?
In one sense, the body bears the brunt of the broken world, and all bodies eventually yield to death. While the spirit may grow stronger and stronger, the aging process spirals the body from one degree of weakness to another.
But in another sense, the body bears witness to a thriving spirit. A person’s mental commitment to health can pull a waning body from illness. A hopeful heart can fight off illness. God has created an intricate relationship between body, soul, and spirit.
Would it not follow that just as we guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, we should also guard our bodies in Christ Jesus? After all, bodies are important to the Lords–so much so that he’s promised us a new resurrection body after our old body has passed from this life.
We speak often of the devil’s schemes, his flaming arrows against hearts and minds. But what about the attacks against our bodies? I don’t mean the physical persecution to which many Christians face. I refer to the more subtle attack of our culture on the meaning of beauty. And our bodies bear the impact of the entrapment of our minds to false beauty-ology. Unnecessary diets or cosmetic surgeries. Rigid exercise programs that stretch beyond health to addiction. Inappropriate investments of time and money in attempt to chase a particular standard of beauty. Crazy obsession with celebrities who possess said standard of beauty. Worry–lots and lots of worry over our imperfect shapes, colors, sizes, etc.
The freedom that Christ brings to our hearts should extend to our bodies.
Every choice we make regarding our bodies should reflect the transformations taking place in our hearts. As my heart and mind becomes more like Christ, and the fruit of the Spirit intensifies within me, I should treat my body with more of that fruit. More love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Someday we’ll have to give an account, not just for our words, but also for the things we’ve done to and with our bodies. Christ is coming back someday, and I want to be completely ready: body, soul, and spirit.