Mark 11: 15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.
The average person certainly requires some level of fitness and dexterity to take on most jobs whether that be working construction, or serving tables. Few professions, however, are as dependent on their body as a tool for work, as the professional athlete. If an athlete’s body is not performing at a high level then it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, to carry on the tasks of their job. “Professional athletes can’t afford for their bodies to completely break down early and prematurely force them out of a competition. If it happens, then their livelihood is threatened because multi-million dollar contracts and endorsements will no longer exist.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yura-bryant/the-business-of-athletes-_b_8364214.html
Because an athlete’s body is so important, significant time and attention is paid to it. Sometimes there are entire teams dedicated and focussed on an athlete’s body. While this is certainly important and necessary, it can lead to an unhelpful focus, or even obsession with their body. Look at any health and fitness magazine these days and you can see or read that the body is almost worshipped. For many their body is their temple that they worship, whether or not they will admit it, or even recognize it.
Interestingly, the analogy of the body being a temple is actually a Christian principle; however, with a significantly different focus. On a few occasions, the Apostle Paul refers to our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. In his first letter to the church in Corinth he says: “18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6: 18-20). If you back up to verse 12 in this same passage you can read the context of Paul’s writings. I smirk a bit when he quotes other saying “’I have the right to do anything”, you say’. The world really hasn’t changed much as I have frequently heard young Christians making the same claim today, minimizing the sin of their sexual immorality.
As humans, we are quite adept at justifying our actions and even as Christians we are very capable when it comes to rationalizing sin. But if you truly understand the meaning of this passage of scripture and what it means to house the Holy Spirit, our rationalization will not stand up to God’s scrutiny. If you read Mark 11: 15-17, you will see how Jesus felt about God’s temple being desecrated. Jesus was righteously angry and he overturned tables and drove out those who were sinning. That is precisely how God feels when we fill the Temple of the Holy Spirit with sexual immorality. “The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13b). Are there things in your life, thoughts or behaviours that you as a Christian have been justifying, without honestly seeking God for His approval? I challenge you to study these scriptures and others and to bring them before Jesus to ask Him to convict you where you have sinned. Don’t let the world be your gauge of what is right or wrong.