How to be a Light to the World part 4: Honor your temple

How can we be a light to the world? How can we serve others by caring for ourselves? Does our lifestyle have any correlation with how we can show up for others? 🤔Let’s discuss!

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In today’s message we continue in our series on how to be a light to the world.  Please be sure to check out our other messages in this series:

As a recap, here are the topics we plan to explore::

  • Show kindness
  • Help those who are in need
  • Do no harm
  • Honor your temple (mind, body & spirit)
  • Pray


In this message, let’s discuss the concept of Honor your temple.

So first off, what am I referring to when I mention your temple.  I am referring to your whole self.  Your body, your mind and your spirit.  I use the word temple because part of walking with God is to prepare ourselves for His dwelling within us.  

This is beautifully illustrated in scripture, for example 1 Corinthians 3:16:

“Do you not know and understand that you [the church] are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells [permanently] in you [collectively and individually]?

1 Corinthians 3:16

So what does one do to honor your mind, body and spirit? How do each of these play a role when it comes to being a light to the world?

Let’s look into each of these one by one.

First, let’s discuss honoring your mind.

As you know our mind is the part of us that is fully responsible for every action we take from the time we awake until the time that we sleep.  

It is the center of our reasoning and our decision making.  It is the source of our triumphs and our failures.  It is so much more, but for the sake of this discussion I want to zero in on how honoring our mind is so important when it comes to being a light to the world.

how we deal with stress can affect how we show up for others

The decisions we make in our lives will influence our mental health and state of mind.  We all have responsibilities and obligations.  Some may include work, school or family.  In the midst of our responsibilities, it is important that we are mindful to take care of our emotional and mental health.  Balance is key.  We all struggle with balance from time to time.   Work, school or family obligations may at times require a level of attention and focus that can bring stress into our lives.

When we are out of balance, it can be more difficult to be in a position to be of service to others.  We cannot always control how stress may show up in our lives.  Often it can come unexpectedly, but how we deal with stress can affect how we show up for others.

In our walk with God, we can and will have opportunities to be a light to the world.  When the mind is stressed or overwhelmed we can miss out on these opportunities – due to fatigue or overwhelm or stress.   

Taking care of our mind means being proactive and mindful to promote wellbeing and mental health.  If there is stress in your world, ask God to lead and guide you to the resources and knowledge that will help you learn how to lower your stress in your circumstances.  If you are overwhelmed, ask God to give you guidance and discernment as to how to restructure your life in a way to be less overwhelmed

God will lead and guide you to what you need – even if what you need is professional help.  There are an abundance of resources available for our mental health.  Podcasts, mobile apps, books for example.  The “Pause” and “Calm” apps are two very popular examples of  mobile apps that can help us to manage our mental health day to day.

Ask God to help you to make mental health a priority.  In doing so, you can be equipped to serve Him and others by having a healthy mind.

Next, let’s talk about the body.

What does taking care of your body have to do with being a light to others?

You could look at this from a few different angles.  One very simple angle has to do with your health.  The better your health, the more likely you are going to live longer.  The longer you live, the longer you will have opportunities to be a light to the world.  Simple enough right?

So, just before I go any further, I am not by any means someone who does not need to hear this information myself.  I, admittedly, need to practice things in my life that will ensure that, God willing, I am able to live longer so that I can serve God longer.

With that out of the way, here are some of the ways that we can take care of our bodies:

  • Healthy diet
  • Getting proper sleep and rest
  • Regular exercise
  • Not using tobacco, alcohol or drugs
  • Be safe at work, play or home
  • Stay in touch with your doctor with regular checkups

 

Okay, how did you do on that list? I confess I am only doing 2 – maybe three of the things on that list.  I confess sometimes I just don’t want to eat healthy.  I confess sometimes I just don’t want to exercise.  I despise doctor visits.  Nonetheless, these are the things that will help us to have a healthy body and even a healthier mind.

ask God for the guidance and the will to take the steps to a healthier body

So, let us ask God for the guidance and the will to take the steps to a healthier body.  It is never too late and we CAN ask God for help with anything.   I actually have an alarm that goes off a couple of times a day to ask God for help in resisting the urge to snack. 

I have another alarm asking God to help me remember to take proper steps to get a full night’s sleep.  In both of these situations, I am seeing the results of my prayer and how it directly affects how I take care of my physical health and my temple.

If you are struggling with any of these ways we can have a healthier body, ask God for help!  By having a healthier body, we can be assured we will be far more equipped to take on more opportunities in our lives to be a light to the world.

The last area I want to touch on today is our spirit.

How does our spirit play a role in being a light to the world? I believe that we all have a choice as to how we take in the world around us and I believe the choices we make in consuming what the world has around us plays a role in the state of our spirit.

When we consider the fact that it is our spirit that is connected with God, I think it becomes clear how important it becomes to be mindful of the actions of our minds and how they can affect our spirit.

I believe that if we make decisions with our minds that prioritize living as the world does and in particular performing activities that place us farther and farther from God, the health of our spirit will suffer. 

In honoring your temple, you provide an environment for God to dwell in you and share His light through you to the world. 

I have touched on this in previous messages, but I most certainly recall a time of my life that I was wrapped up in sinful things and the ways of the world and what I know now is that this left my very spirit in a place of lack, sorrow and pain. For a very large swath of my adult life I found myself sleeping around with different women, using profanity as if it was a necessity in my day to day language and being caught up in the throngs of addiction as an almost daily routine.

In this state, while I considered myself a nice person, a good person, I did not have many instances where I could be a light to the world.  Why? Because I was living a life that was shrouded in pain and darkness.  This ‘normal’ life for me also introduced lack, emptiness and vulnerability to the randomness of how the world works when it is turned away from God.

Now, as I seek to walk in step with God, and I seek to make decisions to perform activities that bring me closer to God, I can honestly say my spirit feels alive.  It feels peace, it feels a vibrancy that I never felt when I was in the world.  

Do I experience challenges and setbacks in life? Of course, but my spirit feels a connection and intimacy with God that in turn allows me to shine brightly to the world.  I believe that God knows that the state of my spirit is such that He can trust to send me into situations where I can be a light to others.

In this message we have discussed how you can be a light to the world by honoring your temple.  By caring for your mind, body, and spirit.  In honoring your temple, you provide an environment for God to dwell in you and share His light through you to the world.  We are all in different places in life.  Even though I have areas to improve on when it comes to honoring my temple, I am confident that with God’s help, I will continue to learn how to honor my temple more and more each day.  In doing so, His light that lives in me will also grow as will the light to the world.

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