Idle (Day 2)

Being idle is not just a waste of life, but it is a waste of opportunity. You won’t just wake up one day and be thankful you spent hours and hours in front of the television. Instead, most people at the end of their lives think back and wish they had spent more time with loved ones. And most believers in Christ wish they had shared their faith more in word and action. I worry so many times that I will stand in Heaven in front of King Jesus and wish I had spent more of my time doing his work instead of doing my work.

The good news is that if you’re reading this, there is still time! Even if today is our last day on this planet we can still be usable and teachable. I hope that you took some time yesterday to get your affairs in order. I hope you followed my challenge and wrote out how you spend your time and how that either matches up with or doesn’t match up with your list of life priorities. Moreover, I hope that we are all on fire to get something done, start moving forward in life, and quit sitting idle.

Perhaps the hardest thing in this nation to keep from being idle is our body. Don’t get me wrong, most of us work physically during the day. Many Americans don’t have cushy office jobs where they sit in the conditioned air and relax in a chair all day. However, the tendency of most Americans is to come home and sit on the couch, grab a snack, and watch television for hours. An interesting study found out that 31.1% of people in the world lead a completely sedentary life.[1]

That means that 1 out of every 3 people on this planet do little other than sit in a chair, ride in a car, sit at a desk, and then come home to the couch. This is a lot of idle time being spent doing other things. Work is different, I hear you. I am a desk job man myself, so I understand. But I also feel the pressure to do more than just sit and idle. We must get ourselves moving physically and be ready, active, and on the lookout for ministry opportunities.

Today’s passage I want us to chew on 1 Corinthians chapter 6. Take some time to read the entire chapter. The immediate context of this chapter is that Paul is admonishing the Church of Corinth to stay away from the Hellenistic (Greek) practices of sex outside of marriage through pagan temple worship. But the point Paul makes about our physical bodies is applicable to being active and fit as well.

1 Corinthians 6 (NLT)

[18] Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. [19] Don’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, [20] for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

 

We must honor God with our bodies. When Israel as a nation still had a temple and worshipped there daily, offering sacrifices and giving praise to God, the temple was put in meticulous order. God gave many commands to the priesthood on how to organize, clean, and maintain the temple. If our body is the temple of God, how much more should be organize, clean, and maintain it!

What if God inspected your body for worthiness of his presence today? Would you be happy with his report? Would I? Probably not. Thankfully, that is not a prerequisite of the presence of the Holy Spirit inside of us. But I do think that if Paul felt that it was important for the Corinthian Church to honor God with their bodies through sexual purity, it carries over that we should honor God with our bodies by keeping it healthy and active.

Consider this as well: most ministries we do are active. Sure, there is evangelism, teaching, counseling, etc. But most of the meaningful activities we engage in to reach out to those who do not know Christ are active. When I was on mission in Haiti many years ago I could not have done the work I did if I was not in good shape. We walked many miles between villages and spent many hard work days building church buildings. There are also many who could benefit from the ministry of house cleaning, mechanical work, yard maintenance, furniture moving, etc.

If we do not maintain our bodies we not only are not honoring God with our lifestyle & we are not completely fit for active ministry, but we also are not being good stewards of our time on this planet. Those who do not take care of their bodies will not have them last as long. Being active and living healthy greatly increases the longevity of a person. Those extra years we earn through healthy living can be used to minister to tons of people who need to know about God’s great love. Sure, we could die in any random accident. But let’s prepare for the long haul, shall we?

Okay, you’re convinced. Being in good physical shape and living a healthy life is a very important aspect of the Christian life. So what do you do about it? That depends on where you are. If you are in good shape, maintain it and look for opportunities to use your bodies to serve others in Christ. If you are in less than great physical shape, begin to learn about exercise and proper nutrition. Go online and read from professionals. Maybe even visit a high quality gym that will let you work with a personal trainer and registered dietician.

Whatever you do, don’t sit idle! Don’t waste more time sitting when you could be going. Rest is important, but too much rest makes us lazy. Let’s get going and be on the hunt for ways to serve others who need help. Maybe you can be the person who serves someone and then is given the chance to share the great news of Christ’s awesome spiritual rescue effort. Let’s get to it!

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