Scripture has led me to some practical conclusions regarding my body. I do not seek to impose these on anybody, but I have given a lot of care and prayer to this subject, and I have been prepared to make radical changes in my own lifestyle, if they are God’s will.
My first conclusion, the basis of all the other conclusions, is that I must treat my body with reverence and attune to it as a temple of the Holy Spirit. Again, Paul said, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). If we take this passage seriously, then we are going to deal with our bodies as with a temple, for that is what they are.
Suppose for a moment that God put us in charge of a material temple—a building of stone, timber, and glass. If we were conscientious, we would be concerned about looking after it—keeping it clean and free from dust, with no broken windows or clogged toilets. We would feel tremendous responsibility to keep that building in the best possible condition. As Christians, you and I have an even greater responsibility to keep our bodies, which are the temple of Holy Spirit, in the best possible condition, and we need to find out what is involved in doing that.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul wrote, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [or fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 niv). We see here that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of self-discipline. But there is a subtle balance: He won’t discipline us if we are not willing to be disciplined. If we seek the help of the Holy Spirit in cultivating self-discipline, He will help us.