Pretty packaging…..

For those of you who knew my husband when he was young this story will come as no surprise to you….

It was the Christmas of 1985 and Hank and I had been dating long enough to know that we wanted to get married during the next calendar year. Several nights before Christmas, we were having dinner alone at the apartment that he shared with Al. After dinner, we were sitting on the sofa and Hank leaned in to kiss me. As I leaned forward for a quick peck on the lips, I felt him pressing his lips to mine and opening his mouth a little wider than I thought the mood called for. As I responded accordingly by softly opening my lips, I felt something metallic being pushed past my teeth and into my mouth.

While I was  spitting out whatever it was,  screaming,  and demanding what in the world he thought he was doing, he was scrambling on the floor for whatever it was that he had tried to push into my mouth.  After several moments, he finds it, comes to one knee, presents an engagement ring, and asks me to marry him. (Our 30th anniversary is next year…..)

The next Christmas was a somewhat different. Rather than trying to surprise me with gift via kissing, he gift wrapped my present in newspaper, duct tape, and placed it under the tree. (Neither one of us can remember the gift but we both remember the packaging.)

Throughout the years, gifts from Hank have come in all kinds of packaging such as the funny papers, treasure hunts, and department store bags…..

That is, until Hannah got old enough to wrap the presents.  Suddenly, my presents were gift wrapped in paper appropriate for the season with ribbon and bows to match.  Not only were the gifts beautifully wrapped, but as we’ve grown older together, he’s learned what I like and what I don’t like.

For me, like most women, the packaging is often as important as the present because it tells me just how much thought he put into the gift and understands how joyfully I anticipate opening the beautifully wrapped box that calls to me from under the Christmas tree.

As I write this, I can’t help but wonder about the packaging that carries the Holy Spirit into every arena of our lives.  I question whether or not our packaging reflects the amount of time and thought that we’ve given to the fact that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit? When we carry this amazing gift of the Holy Spirit into our homes, our workplaces, and our communities are we presenting it in the best prettiest packaging available?

Do others see something they want when they see us?

97742254382585832gWyaZiTRcDon’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

How dare they…….!

I can almost hear the response of those who read last week’s post. It sounds a lot like this:

How dare they judge me! 

dont-judge-sin-differently-e1347311983984We hate it when others judge us but many, if not most, Christians seem to have very little trouble judging others. (Take a few moments and replay some of your most recent conversations….. Did you or your friends talk about how or why someone has done what they have done? Did you question their values? Have you made or listened to questions about their  lack of morals? Have you said that you’d never do what they’re doing? That, my friend, is not just gossip. That is judgment!)

If judgments by Christians are so easily and quickly made, then why in the world would we think that we would not be judged?

Haven’t you read……

“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For the way you judge others is how you will be judged — the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you. Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye but not notice the log in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when you have the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite! First, take the log out of your own eye; then you will see clearly, so that you can remove the splinter from your brother’s eye! Matthew 7:1-5

Rather than worrying, talking, or questioning what others are doing, it’s time for us to get our lives in alignment with God’s word.

I’ve noticed that Christians like to put sin on a scale. I guess it’s easier to make judgments that way…… (I’m just saying’) And it seems as if our particular sin generally falls into the not so bad category while what  others are doing is sending them to hell in a hand basket.  But God doesn’t do that! To him, sin is sin.

Since the focus of this blog is health and wellness, may I be so bold as to remind you that slothfulness and gluttony are two of the seven deadly sins?

Gluttony  is the overindulgence and overconsumption of anything to the point of waste. The word derives from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow,

In Christianity, it is considered a sin if the excessive desire for food causes it to be withheld from the needy. Because of these scripts, gluttony can be interpreted as selfishness; essentially placing concern with one’s own interests above the well-being or interests of others.

Medieval church leaders (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony,  arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods. Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, comprising: eating too sooneating too expensively,
eating too mucheating too eagerlyeating too daintily, and/or, eating wildly.

While slothfulness  is sometimes defined as physical laziness, spiritual laziness is emphasized. Failing to develop spiritually will lead to becoming guilty of sloth. In the Christian faith, sloth rejects grace and God.

Sloth has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do. By this definition, evil exists when good men fail to act.

For those outside the church (and anyone else who’s paying attention), the sin of gluttony and slothfulness is pretty easy to detect. And once detected, it’s quite easy to judge those who are participating in these behaviors.  (Even Christians judge others by their size, don’t they?)

Those outside of the church aren’t cloaking this in the King James vernacular, are they? They are using words like fat and lazy. Ouch!

The truth is that most people have no right to complain about being judged as a glutton or sloth because of all of the time they have spent judging and talking about others. Worse yet, there are those who bring up what others did before they were saved to remind him or her, and everyone else of how they failed God in the past.

But let’s go back…. judge not, lest you be judged. Words that were whispered in private have made many Christians open targets! If the church doesn’t want to be judged in the area of slothfulness and gluttony, then let’s be the ones who lead the way out of this obesity epidemic.

I am convinced that when we, the church, begin losing those excess pounds and start getting into shape, non-believers will start asking how we did it.

And our response can be just this simple: I finally realized that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus bought me with a price that cannot be calculated, and I am no longer my own but belong to Him. Once I realized this great truth, I decided to do the work necessary to for my body to be the absolute best representation of the One who lives within me.
Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20