Wednesday night, Moma and I decide to skip our regular midweek church service. Our preacher was out of town on a mission trip and y’all know how I feel about guest speakers. Instead of going to our home Church, we went to the Church of a pastor who had long been friends of our family, a preacher who instilled a healthy fear in my adolescent mind preaching hell, fire and brimstone on a quite frequent basis. Not that it helped me stay out of trouble, just made me pray Jesus wouldn’t come back on a Saturday night. This man who had baptized my Daddy and laid my Pawpaw to rest had recently handed over the pulpit to his son to carry on the family business of saving lost souls.

As the newly appointed pastor brought forth the word, he spoke matter of factly from the book of Corinthians. He looked at the congregation of about fifty and said, “I hear there are several in the Church who are trying to lose weight. It’s a good thing cause I see several who need to.” Talk about not mincing words. This one time heavy-set preacher’s kid who now runs almost daily, trim and healthy, spoke about our bodies being the temple of God. Most of the time, preachers use this verse to warn against smoking and drinking but this guy who loved a good cheeseburger just as much as the next took this temple thing to a whole new level. A level that left many in the sanctuary squirming uncomfortably in their seats, me and Moma included.

Oftentimes, we think since we aren’t hitting the crack pipe in a dark alley and don’t have vodka bottles stashed in the linen closet for a secret sip, we are treating our bodies as the temple God intended. Maybe you haven’t thought that but I certainly had. Shoving buttermilk biscuits, sawmill gravy and fried pork chops in my mouth until my pajama pants cut off my circulation couldn’t qualify as a misuse of God’s property as far as I was concerned. Laying up on the couch letting my muscles atrophy until I was too weak to walk across Walmart’s parking lot without getting winded wasn’t what God had intended for my temple.

I don’t think the preacher was saying if you’re overweight, you won’t make it through the pearly gates. I certainly hope not because if that’s the case and the trumpet sounded today, I’d be in a world of hurt. I do think he meant that we shouldn’t let things like food or laziness control us and that God desires, and maybe requires, us to take care of our bodies.

Just like Jesus barging in the temple and laying the law down, it was time for me to take back the temple. Maybe that’ll make me think twice before I eat until my pajamas don’t fit. Lord help me, when they don’t fit. They’re already big enough for a whole Girl Scout troop to camp under.

God had made me a steward over one of his most prized possessions, ME. My temple was in need of some remodeling, might even have to take it down to the studs and start from there. I better go. I got work to do.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (AMP) 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.image