James 3:8-10; Romans 1:26-27
God gave us our bodies with purpose and meaning. Take for example the human tongue. Jesus’ brother James said of the tongue, “It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:8-10) Johaness Benz, who helped lead the reformation in Germany, said something similar of our whole body: “Our whole body was created so that it might offer itself in obedience to the Word of God. For which reason, if it passes over to the service of Satan in obedience to sins, the whole body is dishonored. Therefore, nobody, no matter how powerful an enemy they might be, can dishonor us as much as we ourselves do by the abuse of our own bodies.” The Apostle Paul gives another example of dishonoring the body. Though it has become culturally controversial, you can read about it in Romans 1:26-27.
How do we redeem our use of our God given bodies? We offer them up to God. The Apostle says in Romans, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).” We are to view every part of our bodies and their uses as means by which we can worship God.
An old hymn offers us a prayer in this regard that we could pray regularly: “God be in my head, and in my thinking. God be in my eyes, and in my looking. God be in my mouth, and in my speaking. Oh, God be in my heart, and in my understanding.” How might God use such a heartfelt prayer like that in you?
Christ came to redeem every part of us. He came to redeem us spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, cognitively, and even bodily. We are prone to use these bodies, which God has given to us, in ungodly ways. In doing so we might find some instant gratification, but in the end we almost always find ourselves miserable. Even to our seemingly mundane bodies God wants to give new life. The abundant life includes renewed honor for our bodies.