Your Body Is A Temple

Your Body Is A Temple

Sherry struggled with a negative self-image for years. She hated her body, and she always found some flaw with it. When things didn’t go well, she blamed herself. She often thought things like…

  • I didn’t get the job I wanted because I’m not pretty like my sister.
  • I’m not married because I’m not as skinny as I could be.
  • I didn’t hear back from the editor because I’m not bubbly like my friend.
  • I’m not talented enough to reach my dreams.

Can you relate to some of Sherry’s thoughts? Do you struggle with verses like the one found in 1 Corinthians? If you’re not familiar with the passage, it says…

16“Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

The truth is that your body is God’s temple. In the Old Testament, God dwelled among the Jews in a tent known as the Temple. Eventually, King Solomon built a permanent temple for God where the Jews would come to praise Him.

The Temple was holy and sacred. It was set apart for worship, and it was a beautiful thing to behold. God was extremely detailed in sharing what He wanted the temple to look like, right down to the curtains! (You can read the last half of Exodus for these descriptions.)

You Are a Masterpiece

There’s no doubt about it—the Temple was special to God and the Jews. Since Paul is calling your body the Temple, you are unique to Him as well. Not just your spirit or your mind, but your body, too!

Consider Paul’s words to the Ephesians. He said,

10“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) NIV

The New Living Translation takes it a step further and uses the word masterpiece to describe Christians. It reads,

10“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) NLT

Imagine if you found the Mona Lisa—not a reprint—but the original Mona Lisa painting lying unattended in a dark alley. Now imagine it’s been damaged. It’s ripped and dirty, stained.

Despite the flaws, you’d pick it up and take it home. You’d carefully restore it because even if the world forgot, you would still understand the infinite value and beauty of this work of art.

Now know this – you are God’s, Mona Lisa. That’s right. Long before Da Vinci painted a mysterious smiling lady, God was painting your features. He chose the texture of hair you’d have and the color of your eyes. He picked where to put your cheekbones and dotted every freckle onto your body Himself.

When He was done, He stood back and whispered the same thing He always does over a new creation, “It is good.”

But I Don’t Feel like a Masterpiece!

David was born with a rare medical condition. As a result, one of his hands was deformed and shriveled. When he was a kid, his classmates teased him, and no one wanted to be his friend because he was so different looking.

To cope, David became outgoing and funny, a bit of a class clown. He found that if he could make people laugh, they weren’t as scared of him. In fact, David became a comedian full-time after graduating college.

Although David was a Christian, he struggled to believe he was a “masterpiece” or “God’s workmanship.” He didn’t understand verses like,

13“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)

Sometimes, he wanted to ask, “God, did you drop a stitch somewhere? Because it sure looks that way to me!”

It’s hard to think of yourself as God’s Temple or masterpiece if you’re disfigured, suffering from an illness, or disabled. In these moments, it’s easy to believe that God may have overlooked you.

Maybe you’re even tempted to think that there wasn't enough to go around when He was handing out good things. Or perhaps you worry that your suffering is due to sin in your life or the life of a family member. 

You’re not alone in asking these hard questions. The Disciples did, too!

Created to Show His Glory

One day while traveling with Jesus, the disciples encountered a blind man. This man had been blind since birth, so he’d never gotten to see his mother’s face, never experienced the breath-taking beauty of a sunset, and never marveled at the enormity of the deep blue sea. 

When the disciples saw the man, they made a dangerous assumption. Listen to how they phrased their question to Jesus in John,

2“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2)

The disciples thought that because this man was different, there must have been a sin committed by him or someone who loved him. 

But Jesus has a radically surprising answer for his followers.

3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)

You see that disability, disfigurement, or disease isn’t a punishment from God. Instead, it’s an opportunity to display God’s glory. 

He may choose to display His glory by healing you completely, or He may show His glory by giving you the grace and strength to endure living in a broken body. 

God makes no mistakes. That’s a hard truth. It’s a painful one—that God would choose to allow us to suffer here on earth can leave even the most stoic of Christians aching and raw. 

It’s OK to acknowledge these difficult emotions. It’s OK to go to God with your hurts and whisper, “I don’t understand, and God, I ache from the weight of this suffering.”

Soak in Truth

Your Body Is A Temple

It's important to examine your thinking when you’re struggling with your body and how God created you—whether you were born perfectly healthy or with a condition or disease.

The enemy cannot change how deeply, and dearly God loves you. He cannot alter God’s plan for your life or keep God (who is always faithful) from fulfilling that plan.

So, the enemy will try to do the next best thing. He will try to get you to doubt your worth and value, and he does that by attacking your thoughts. 

Annie F. Downs wrote a book titled Perfectly Unique about the struggles of body image that many pre-teens and teenage girls deal with. In it, Annie shares the story of a mentor who had her write down every negative thing she thought about herself. 

Each thought had to go on a single card.

When she was done, Annie read each one aloud to her mentor. Then she would ask her mentor, “Is this true or a lie from the enemy?”

If the things she thought were false (and almost all of them were), her mentor would share a Bible verse with which Annie could refute the lie. Annie wrote the Bible verse on the back of the card that contained the lie. Then she could regularly review these verses and soak in the truth of who God called her to be.

If you hope to gain ground in your struggle with your body image and self-esteem, understanding what God says about you is vital to overcoming the lies. You may need to reach out to a loving mentor or a Christian counselor who can walk beside you during this season.

Speak Love over Yourself

In addition to storing up God’s promises about you in your heart, you also want to begin speaking love over yourself. This can be difficult if you’ve never seen someone speak well about themselves.

Maybe you lived with a parent who had low self-esteem and constantly talked about their flaws. Perhaps you have a spouse who constantly belittles you and makes you feel worthless.

But consider, this loving yourself is a Biblical commandment.

30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

Many Christians make the mistake of focusing on loving their neighbor. But that ignores the part of the command where Jesus states “as yourself.” Clearly, God wants His children to be loving towards others and toward themselves as well!

Here are a few loving thoughts you can proclaim over yourself…

  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14)
  • God has a plan for me! (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • I am God’s masterpiece! (Ephesians 2:10)
  • God calls me His child! (John 1:12)
  • I am an overcomer! (Romans 8:37)
  • God is at work on my behalf! (Romans 8:28)
  • I am deeply loved! (1 John 4:16)

Embrace Small Changes

As you begin to see your body through God’s eyes, you may be convicted of the way you’ve been treating yourself. 

Maybe God is calling your attention to the fact that you are a stress eater. Perhaps God is showing you that you’re a couch potato. Maybe He’s asking you to give up an unhealthy habit such as smoking cigarettes or drinking to the point of blacking out.

When God reveals these things to you, change may at first feel overwhelming and scary. After all, you may have been engaging in this habit for years or even decades, and the thought of doing something different sounds hard.

But remember that you have the strength of Christ on your side. That’s what Paul meant when he said,

13“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

You don’t have to make significant sweeping changes all at once in your life. Take it slow and focus on replacing one bad habit or starting a new healthy routine.

When Tony wanted to get his stress eating under control, he started tracking when he did most of it. He discovered that he was more likely to stress eat late after his day shift at the hospital.

To keep himself away from the drive-thru, he made a standing appointment with a good buddy. Each evening, the two friends would immediately leave work and do something active like playing basketball at the local Y or hiking nearby mountain trails.

Once Tony stopped stress eating, he focused on drinking more water to stay hydrated and focused throughout the day. Tony started to celebrate his body and the amazing God who created it by building on little habits.

One Step Forward…Fifteen Backward

God has opened your eyes to a bad habit. You’re determined to overcome it and start being healthier. You’re excited and pumped up. You do well for a few hours or a few days, then it happens.

You mess up.

Maybe you binged on a whole bag of cookies. Perhaps you stopped exercising regularly. Maybe you got blackout drunk again.

Now, the enemy is taunting you. He’s telling you that you’re a failure and can’t change. That you’ll never overcome your old habits. 

But consider these words from Proverbs...

16“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” (Proverbs 24:16) NLT

When a toddler falls, you don’t assume he’s not meant to walk. Nor do you think it means that he’s a failure or dumb. You understand that he’s simply learning and that part of learning means failing sometimes.

Just like a good father is patient and lifts up the toddler who has fallen, God does the same thing when you fail. In Psalms, David proclaims,

14“The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.” (Psalm 145:14) NLT

But more than that, you have the assurance that God is faithful, even when you are not.

9“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

God will give you a beautiful new beginning at any moment in time. You need only ask Him for it.

You Are Loved Right Now

Some Christians make the mistake of thinking that if they improve their lives or their bodies somehow, God will love them more. 

While it is good to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, it does not affect how much God loves you. He will not look at you and say, “Oh, Daniel finally got his act together. That guy is worthy now!” 

The truth is you make God happy just as you are right now. You bring joy to Him simply because you are His child. 

Consider the words in Zephaniah…

17For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17) NLT

You are a masterpiece, God’s unique creation. He loves every detail of your body, from the shape of your nose to the thickness of your thighs to the sound of your laugh. You delight Him, just the way you are!

Grace and peace,


Free Downloads

Whew! You made it to the bottom of this blog post. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to read what was on my heart. I'd like to thank you by offering two free PDF downloads when you fill out the form below.

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The first is a 7-day devotional journal that goes deeper into how and why your body is a temple and includes Bible verses, reflections, prayers, and guided questions.

The second is a checklist that contains tips and advice on how to love your body.

You can read the PDF downloads on whatever electronic device you use and fill out the journal answers in your own journal or a notebook. 

Another way to enjoy the downloads is to print them out on your home printer or email them to your favorite printer like the UPS Store, Staples Business Depot, or Kinkos and use them in printed form.

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