Day 8

Glorifying God in Body and Spirit

from the 1 & 2 Corinthians reading plan


1 Corinthians 6:1-20, Matthew 18:15-20, Titus 3:4-7

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:1-20, Matthew 18:15-20, Titus 3:4-7

Last August, I started snapping photos of waiting rooms in doctors’ offices. In an attempt to manage my pre-medical exam nerves, I snapped the first picture in an empty, grey walk-in clinic during my lunch break. I assured myself that when I walked out of the room and closed the door, I’d look back at the picture on my phone and laugh at how silly my fear was.

Almost a year later, I’ve amassed quite a collection of waiting room images. I still have the strange spasm in my shoulder that causes pain and is now considered chronic, at least by those doctors. It keeps me up at night, and hurts most while doing the work I love and feel called to—namely, writing. This year has brought more questions than answers, leaving me insecure about my pain. In the end, I feel like my body is more a vessel of shame and weakness than a temple of praise.

In some ways, our bodies ache with sin and pain. Our muscles, memory, and metabolism may fail us. Our bodies betray us with limits, and we betray our bodies when we disregard those limits. All this brokenness is an ever-present reminder of Christ’s body broken for us, our sin, and our shame.

The apostle Paul tells us we’ve been washed, sanctified, and justified “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (v.11). Therefore, because of Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection for us, our bodies are no longer our own; they were bought with a price. “So glorify God with your body” (vv.19–20).

Paul tell us to flee from sexual immorality, to not be mastered by anything, to avoid legal disputes with one another—all in an effort to glorify God. Without the context of Jesus, this can begin to sound like a legalistic to-do list. But as theologian Henri Nouwen says, “The church is not an institution forcing us to follow rules but a community inviting us to still our hunger and thirst at its table.”

In 1 Corinthians 6, we find ways to still our hunger and thirst (1 Corinthians 4:11), but when we try to do so without filling them up with heavenly things instead, our bodies still feel like empty vessels of shame. Jesus is the only one who can truly fill us up and sustain us. When we turn to Him, we’re reminded that it was His body that was broken, His blood that was shed, for us.

To glorify God with our bodies means to place physical trust in His plan to bring redemption to our brokenness. It means taking part in the groans of humanity and the painfulness of sin. It means remembering His promises to bring wholeness and healing now, even if we don’t know when it’s coming.

Acknowledging our aches and limitations is at the heart of what it is to be a child of God. He is all that we will ever need to withstand our heartache, pain, and sin. In our weakness, His power is perfected, and He is glorified (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We are not our own. We are His glory vessels. Thanks be to Him.

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75 thoughts on "Glorifying God in Body and Spirit"

  1. Lost but Found says:

    As I reflect back years ago and losing sight of God and trying to fill myself with satisfaction in the wrong ways.. I remained an empty vessel of shame. Shame of premarital sex, abortion x2 (months after baptism and I lived dark shame after this because I wanted to be married first then children–which I still punish myself for now as I’m married and don’t feel worthy of children due to past decisions beginning with premarital sex leading which caused a lot of problems), desire to feel loved and companionship (because I never had the love of my earthly dad or a relationship with him that made me feel appreciated, just physical abuse and being told ‘you should have been a miscarriage’).

    Times today, I still feel scarlet in appearance to God. For I don’t know how he could forgive a murderer like me or an adulterer like me or an idolater (for any type of affection, physical presence). I JUST WANTED TO FEEL LOVED physically. I wasn’t loved growing up in my household, I was a burden, a problem, a ‘mistake.’ I made a lot of mistakes in God’s eyes and by the mystery of God.. I’m forgiven.

    1. Melinda Aberman says:

      Isn’t it incredible? He loves you so much anyway! You are a child of God! At the end of the day, He will decide whether you should have children or not. I know there are complications with having children after abortion, but if you have confessed to Him then let go of the shame!

    2. Mary Roy says:

      Dear Found!

      I am starting a ministry for women who have had abortions, starting with Christian women. We are many & there is deep healing & forgiveness. Yes, loss is loss & grief is grief & we do carry that with us, just as we do any loss. But we need not carry the shame. I did not have children & very much wanted to. But I don’t attribute it to the abortion. I claim my healing & rest in our Father’s forgiveness. You are not alone in this.

      There are Christian pregnancy centers who offer Biblical counseling for us.

      You are
      dearly loved.

    3. Laurie Crary says:

      You are a precious child of God. Oh how He loves you!!!

  2. Emily Wydo says:

    I have recently entered into a relationship with a Christian man and it has already proven difficult for us to stay sexually pure. We have crossed lines I have set only to worry me that we will continue to cross them before it is time (marriage). And then passages like this come up just as I need them and I know that I have a new name, and that I am not defined by my sin but have the power to fight against Satan and to find victory in Christ. Sisters, if you see this, please pray for me and my relationship. I want to glorify God, it’s just a lot harder to rely on Him when it seems I continue to try to operate on my own will power which fails us every time.

    1. Lexi Nick says:

      I will be praying for you daily! You are worth the wait. Remember to never ignore the part that says we need to run from sexual immorality. I encourage you to do your best to make it impossible to cross those lines (not being alone in a house, or whatever your pit fall is)

    2. Gabriela says:

      Jesús, I pray that you would help Emily make the right decisions in the relationship she is in right now. I suggest You make sure you guys have the same boundaries before moving on with the relationship.

    3. Amy Rinta says:

      Praying for you Emily!! Honored by your honesty as I am sure the Lord is proud of your willingness to admit where you are at in humility. Accept Gods grace. You can not go back and change the past but His power is sufficient as you walk forward and establish the foundations of this new romantic relationship. Renewing your mind and growing in the fruit if the Spirit with every new step of obedience to God.

    4. Kylie Gumban says:

      Emily, please know that many of your Christian sisters have probably found/find themselves in similar places in their own relationships. You are so not alone in the struggle. Something that helped me was talking to a trusted girlfriend (who is also in a relationship) about it, and also really asking the question: how close can I get to Jesus in this? Jeff and Alyssa Bethke have an awesome video on YouTube about relationship boundaries that is not about “don’t do this or that,” but how you and your boyfriend can honor one another AND the Lord by staying pure.

  3. Jena says:

    What a great reminder. That Jesus surely paid for me
    with His sacrifice. I was purchased and I shouldn’t think I can do what I want with this body; it is for Him and I will glorify Him with it!

  4. April says:

    Acknowledging our aches and limitations is at the heart of what it is to be a child of God. How fitting this is today. My husband and I are in the process of entering full-time ministry with our 3 children, and today the ache of leaving our very wonderful life for a life of ministry has been overwhelming. I needed the reminder that my life is not my own, my body is not my own, but I am His, bought at a high price. On days like today, when the aches of my human experience just seem like too much, I need to remind myself I am His and my life is an offering to Him.

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