Is Our Body Really a Temple? Part 1 – Defining the Temple

Body I've decided to get back in shape. Why? Because I'm not.

That bothers me.

It bothers me for a couple of reasons. First, because I feel crummy. I feel soooo much better when I'm in shape. Second, because I do believe my body is a Temple of God's Spirit. So, rather than continue to add rooms to that temple, I've decided to recommit myself to exercise and proper diet. I'm not overweight, according to weight charts…but I love good food…and I weigh a great deal more than when I married Emily.

Now, take that snicker back.

I weighed 148 pounds on our wedding day (almost morbidly thin) and have now made it to…well…a bit higher than that 🙂 For 6'3, my weight is not yet a complete disaster. But, if I don't take this seriously now…it's going to be much harder to whip this old temple into shape properly.

However, here's the question I've had to deal with: What constitutes good stewardship of one's body? Is our body really a temple? Or, is that something we say when we want to keep teenagers from smoking? If our body really is a temple, then is eating a chili dog, an ice cream sandwich, or drinking a cup of coffee a sin? How about eggs? Science tells us they are both bad and good for us. 

It seems to me that if one takes the whole body as temple thing seriously, could one consider virtually anything harmful to it to be a potential sin. But, what is healthy? Is it low calories, low fat, and who dictates what is low?

What do you think? What constitutes a faithful response to the truth that our body is temple of God's Spirit?


Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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2 thoughts on “Is Our Body Really a Temple? Part 1 – Defining the Temple

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  2. i’m in relatively good shape. i eat a lot of foods that are bad for me (hey, i’m from alabama). and i have a tendency to overeat when i get food i know i might not get a chance to eat often (hey, i live in tanzania). but i run, cycle, lift weights, and work outside; i regularly run marathons and try to stay in shape enough to do an ironman with about 6 months notice.
    but, at the same, time taking care of my body is not at the top of my list of 6 criteria by which i evaluate my life regularly. they are:
    1. God — my personal relationship with God
    2. Family — my relationship with my wife and children, Godly leading
    3. Community (my church also falls in this category)
    4. God’s Call on My Life — my ministry
    5. Myself – mentally, socially, and physically (already covered spiritually)
    6. Career/ Job
    so for me personally i’ve got taking care of my body down at number 5. that doesn’t mean it’s not a priority. because everything on this list is. it just means i’ll never neglect my family for my health. and i’ll never neglect my church family for my health. i will, though, work on my own health ahead of improving how well i do my job, though.
    but i find these things are rarely what impede me in taking proper care of my body. in the states for me it would have been tv and facebook — which hardly make the list at all.