The Temple

You are what you eat, that’s what the health gurus tell us, but is it the full story? After all, it’s not just the food we consume that impacts our wellbeing, but the energy we absorb from the world around us, including people, books, television and that modern-day plague; social media. Every element contributes to our physical health because the mind and body are inextricably linked. If we want our bodies to last, we need to take care of them.

But this isn’t an article about taking care of our bodies for the sake of our health. It goes far beyond that. It’s about taking care of our bodies because they house the most sacred treasure – God. When I first heard the expression, “my body is a temple”, I assumed it was the product of a contemporary society, fixated on vanity. But later, I discovered its origins lay in ancient scripture which had been adapted to suit a secular audience. When the Bible tells us, “We are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16), it’s reminding us that our bodies are the dwelling place for God. Perhaps that’s a terrifying thought but it’s intended to be quite the opposite. It’s meant to fortify us during the adversities of life as a powerful tool in our artillery. But like all tools, we can only use it if we know we have it.

Personally, I’ve never experienced anything more reassuring in my hour of need, than knowing God resides within me. Nothing has given me greater strength, confidence or chutzpah. Ultimately, if God is within me then I don’t need to get to the right place or wait for the right moment. I can communicate with Him anywhere. All I have to do is go within. Naturally, we all have our sacred places where we go to be alone with God. But life doesn’t always afford that opportunity. Some decisions need to be made immediately. We have to act in the moment and don’t have time to procrastinate. And some situations can only be faced alone.

When I was wheeled into the operating theatre to have a biopsy under local anaesthetic, I was trembling with fear as masked medics bustled around me. But knowing God was with me, enabled me to connect with a transcendental peace, which kept me calm throughout the procedure. As a newly qualified lawyer, I was terrified of speaking in court and making mistakes in a public arena. But when I reminded myself that God would prompt me if words failed me, I stepped forward with confidence. And it’s not just the big moments which call for the inner cavalry. It’s everyday situations – like motorway driving – which always unnerved me until I learnt to connect with God.

Perhaps you’ve never visualised God in this way? Perhaps you think He’s something outside of yourself? Separate. He isn’t. He lives inside you. So, whatever you’re facing today, whether it’s monumental or mundane, look within for help. God made a home in you for a reason.

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