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Years ago I knew a man who had a number of rental properties in our town. I was often amazed when he would tell me about the condition of the house when the tenants moved. He generally had to spend significant time and money repairing the damage that had been done to his house in order to prepare it for those who would live there next. Teri and I rented homes early in our marriage, and if I were to compare how I treated the rental house versus how I treated houses we have owned, sadly, I would have to confess that I was not as careful of a tenant as I could have been.
In the past, some of my jobs required a fair amount of air travel which usually meant a rental car at the destination. I still shudder at the memory of how those rental cars were driven by my coworkers when I traveled with others. In fairness, I know I was not as careful with the rented vehicles as I was with my own.
As I have grown in the Lord, I have come to see clearly how it was not right for me to be less concerned about another’s property than I was about my own property. I should have been even more careful with their possessions than I was with my own. “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” (1 Corinthians 10:24). I am called to look out for and be careful with property or interests especially when they belong to someone else. It is an attitude of laziness and selfishness when I’m not as careful with another’s possessions as I am with my own.
Have you considered the matter of stewardship with regard to your body? Even to call it “your body” is a misnomer assuming you have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Since the first of this year, our family has repeated these verses at each meal before we eat. It hasn’t taken us this long to memorize those verses (smile), but we wanted to cement them as a priority of our hearts.
It is easy to go through life without the awareness that we are not our own. Look at 1 Corinthians 7:23. “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” The Greek word for “bought” used here is defined in this way: “primarily, ‘to frequent the market-place,’ the agora, hence ‘to do business there, to buy or sell,’ is used lit., e.g., in Matt. 14:15. Figuratively Christ is spoken of as having bought His redeemed, making them His property at the price of His blood (i.e., His death through the shedding of His blood in expiation for their sins)” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words). Those who have repented of their sin and placed their faith in Jesus are owned by Him. Therefore I am His property, and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
At the end of 2011, following a family discussion and unanimous agreement, we decided to make 2012 a year of special health focus. One aspect was that we would pay particular attention to how we treated the temple of the Holy Ghost, also known as “our bodies.” We asked ourselves if we were treating God’s temple with great care and consideration because our bodies were owned by Him. What about you? What type of tenant are you? Are you a good steward or a bad steward?