Honoring the Body as Temple of God
Vs. 9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire; this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
The book of Ecclesiastes gives us a better and balanced view of life. It never advocates for complete renunciation. It advises us to enjoy life. Having possessions is not an evil, by itself, rather a gift from God. Beware all is transient and vanity. Working hard to attain various achievements in life is not bad. Enjoying life is important however we need to remember that wealth does not secure happiness.
"Satisfaction in life is found in God's blessings"
In chapter 6, writer of Ecclesiastes presents a man with all fortunes of life. He was blessed with wealth, possessions and honor. He has 100 children and lives many years. He "lacks nothing his heart desires." To the Ecclesiastes, a stillborn child is better than the above mentioned person. Why? Like stillborn child he is also deprived of two things: a) enjoyment of life and b) proper burial. Here Solomon reminds us that whatever we possesses, we are unable to enjoy it fully unless God is in the midst of it.
Let us retrospect ourselves: Can I enjoy my life, each moment and in all its details? Is my life worth remembering? Will I leave some marks in the hearts of others? If the answer is "no", we need to rethink about the purpose of our life. And we need to reset our priorities.
Human body is a complex creation. Psalmist says: "you knit me together in my mother's womb.... I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:13b-14). St Paul writes to Corinthians: "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you....For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Ecclesiastes tells us: "All human toil is for the mouth, yet the appetite is not satisfied."(v.7). He asks: then "what advantage have the wise over fools?"(v.8). Bible distinguishes wise and fools not by the intellectual capacity but by the dependency upon God. If our life is meant only for satisfying the appetites of the body, we are leading a foolish life. We go through this world only once. Our given body is God's gift and His temple. Our body is to honor our Creator and our life is to glorify Him. Let us remember that wealth, health and honor does not bring us automatic contentment and satisfaction. God has to enable us to enjoy these gifts. So we need to walk with God and talk with God everyday.
O God, the Creator and Indwelling Spirit, help us to stop the wandering of our desires. Make us to enjoy our life in You by discerning Your purpose and to glorify You always. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAYBut godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 1 Timothy 6:6-7
Rev. Joe John, St Thomas MTC, Elippakulam, Kerala