Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Cor. 3:16)
I can remember my dad having two contradictory sayings. In my younger years, I remember him saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Then I remember a project in later life when he said, “Good enough for who it’s for.” He was doing something for himself.
Because serving God is the most important thing in the universe—even the only truly important thing—anything done for him should be done with the right attitude. The house we build for God should be the best house. “Give of your best to the Master,” a well-known song goes. God does not want serving him to be a burden; God does not expect perfection of us. At the same time, we clearly should have the attitude of giving him our best.
It is important to recognize that the “you” in this verse is plural. The verse is not talking about our individual bodies—not about smoking or doing drugs. It is about the church, which Paul had just been talking about. It is about us building up others in the church, about building unity. It is about loving our fellow Christian, about building others up rather than tearing them down.
When we fight against each other in the church, we are tearing down the temple of the Lord. We are building hay and stubble on the foundation of Christ.
Recognize that God’s temple is more the church than the individual.
Ken Schenck is vice president for university partnerships with Campus EUD. He previously served as vice president for Houghton College (NY) and dean of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.