By Roelf L. Ruffner
“For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,
which are God’s” (I Cor.6:20). In our efforts to dwell upon
our duties to our Savior as Christians we often forget our
body. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins He not only
laid claim to my spirit but my body as well. I am to be His
servant: spirit, mind and body.
Yet that isn’t the way it usually
works. We love Jesus and our neighbor. We worship God “in
spirit and in truth” (Jn.4:24). We don’t drink alcohol, use
illegal drugs, dance, fornicate, dress immodestly, or do
anything that will bring reproach upon our Master and His
bride – the church of Christ. But in other ways we neglect
our bodies, “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (I Cor.6:19).
This principle came home to me
about six years ago. While moving boxes I almost ruptured
two discs in my lower back. My doctor said that they could
heal, if I took care. For eight months I did not drive a car
or do several other activities. To avoid future back surgery
he said I should also lose weight, taking some pressure off
that injury. I began to give this serious thought. I have
always had a weight problem and have lost (and found!)
hundreds of pounds in my life.
I thought, “Should my weight loss
be for spiritual reasons not just health and appearance
concerns? Was I glorifying my Savior by ignoring my weight?”
When the world sees me digging my own grave with a knife and
fork, what does it say about my discipleship? “I beseech you
therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service” (Rom.12:1).
It grieves me to see otherwise
faithful Christians who do not practice self-control (cf. 2
Pet.1:5-8). They continue to smoke, chew and dip tobacco in
spite of the many dangers to their health. They overeat,
disregarding their doctor’s warnings about heart problems,
high blood pressure and high blood sugar. I know many are
quietly fighting this battle and I am thankful for their
vigilance. But others are apathetic and seem to have a
secret death wish.
We must always seek to look at
things the way our Father in Heaven does. For example, our
neighbor borrows our automobile for a few days. After a
period of time he returns it with a flat tire, a burned out
engine, stains all over the upholstery, and a broken
headlight. He then pushes it into our driveway and thanks us
profusely for its use. We are upset and disappointed.
Perhaps this is the way God feels when we do not take care
of His present to us – our bodies.
At the end of time will we present
Him a legacy of a battered body which did not glorify God?
Or will we have a history of a body worn out in use to His
service? The choice is ours to make each day. “….as always,
so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it
be by life, or by death” (Phi.1:20).
- Roelf L. Ruffner, Columbia, TN