How do you feel about fire? Do you light candles or attend bonfires? Obviously! It’s an enjoyable experience. Do you make s’ mores at this bonfire? Obviously! They are delicious. But do you put the candles next to your curtains or your bonfire under dead trees? Of course not; the fire could spread and cause damage.
We love fire.
For generations, we have used fire as a creative, constructive tool. It has saved people from starvation and hypothermia. The fire built civilizations. All the while, these civilizations have prevented it from destroying the objects we value. We have firepits for our bonfires and fire alarms for our houses. The government created the fire department and allocated millions of dollars to fire safety. We take every precaution to prevent fire damage.
We fear fire.
How can both be true at the same time? Merriam-Webster defines fear in two ways. First, “an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.” Second, “profound reverence and awe especially toward God.” The first definition is scared-fear; the second definition is respectful-fear. We have a respectful-fear of fire.
How does this apply to your body?
Our bodies, like fire, should be respectfully feared. They are a useful tool but can destroy us or those around us if not treated with care. We have to include our emotions, desires, and thoughts, all worthy of fear.
In her book Starving in Search of Me, Marissa LaRocca says the following, “Today, the way I feel about my body is entirely different, my body is a part of me…I feel my own body to be something sacred and worth protecting.”
The Bible says the body is the temple of God. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” — 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17, ESV Your body is a gift from God and should be respectfully feared just as we fear the Lord.
You might ask, how can a thought harm me? How can a desire get in my way? Why would my emotions deceive me? The world told me my passions are suitable and to “follow my heart.” This…