Viewpoint from Vicky Haslam for 23/10/09
Last time we were considering fear and how allowing it power over us is dishonouring to Go
d. Another way we dishonour the Lord is by taking for granted his gifts to us and by mistreating them. The first great gift given to each of us by God is our physical body.
Every single thing that we have in this world is a gift of God, and as such we should care for it as a precious thing. This is especially true of our body – it is the most basic possession that God has given to each one of us in his love and it is up to us to take care of it – to watch what we eat and drink and inject and inhale, to live a healthy life insofar as it lies within our ability: you may not be able to prevent all diseases but you can certainly prevent some abuses which lead to disease.
Binge drinking, obesity and drug taking are growing problems in our society and each of them destroys our physical well-being as well as causing huge problems in wider society. We are told in the Bible that our bodies are a temple of the Lord, that he dwells within us. Is it not then our responsibility to keep that temple in good order? Greed (in all its forms, physical, emotional or psychological) is one of the seven deadly sins for good reason, for these are the sins that will kill your soul. This is not to deny any occasions of feasting and celebration, but it does deny excess and abuse. Jesus enjoyed a party, he was called a wine bibber and a glutton by his enemies so we know that when it was appropriate he ate and drank well: but in his travels with his disciples he lived frugally, as he did in the desert.
And from the very simple basic premise of treasuring our bodies would flow such an enormous
change in the society that we live in that it is almost unimaginable: if alcohol were treated sensibly, if people refrained from taking addictive drugs, if we gave more thought to what we eat there would be no more drunken vomiting or fighting on the streets with broken bottles or feet as weapons: no more stealing to pay for drugs, no more avoidable diseases draining the health service, no more families broken by drink or drugs. The many children born addicted to heroin would not have this handicap before they even see the light of day, many others would no longer be living in daily fear of an unpredictable parent’s moods.
God has promised us the riches of heaven, he has promised that we shall reign with him: but he tells us in the parable of the talents that if we cannot be trusted with small things we will never be trusted with great ones. If we fall down on the trust placed in us to look after our earthly body during our lifetime here, how will God ever trust us with our resurrection body, with the treasures of heaven and of kingship? If we abuse what is both the most basic gift he gives us, why should he trust us with anything else?
Be trustworthy in the small things and you will be amazed at how God will trust you with the great.