You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Cor. 6:19–20)
Expanded Passage: 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, 18–20
Do you know anyone who is considered too heady or brainy? C. S. Lewis’s novel That Hideous Strength features a French scientist named Francois Alcasan. Francois was beheaded, but his head was kept alive by scientific mechanisms so that he was still able to talk. In other words, he became a “talking head.” Some professors can come across like this. Some Christians can, too. They focus so much on right belief and intellectual knowledge that action and emotion hardly have a place in their faith.
The ancient Hebrew concept of humanity held that a person was one unified being, including the body, soul, and spirit. Later, as Christianity was influenced by Greek thought, personhood was dissected into separate parts, with one emphasized over the other. One result of this dichotomy was that it minimized the role of behavior in the Christian life. If the body was of less importance than the mind, it didn’t matter much if one had multiple sexual relationships or used the body without restraint.
Our culture also espouses a disintegrated view of the body, mind, and spirit. This can lead us either to over-elevate the importance of physical pleasures, or to dismiss physical acts as unimportant. Jesus had a real body. He was whole and human. So it is for all Christians. We are to honor God with our bodies, for that is where God’s Spirit lives.
Write down ways your body, mind, and spirit influence each other.
Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway [Wesleyan] Church, in Warsaw, Indiana. He is the author of Jaded Faith (WPH).
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.