Sun, Sand, and String, Oh My!

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” –1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Sports Illustrated magazine must be rubbing their hands together with glee all the way to the bank.

I was checking out my groceries at a large chain grocery store when I caught the latest SI cover with “Kate the Great” staring out at me from the magazine rack. This gorgeous young women beckoned me to take a second glance because she was wearing not a stitch of clothing. Or at least, clothing as I think of clothing. Nothing that could be called “fabric” or that had been stitched by a sewing machine. If Kate is on the cover of a “swimsuit” issue, it seems to me that she should actually be wearing something made of fabric (on another cover she actually wore a bikini bottom). Instead, what greeted me in the grocery checkout was a shapely woman wearing nothing but a creative knot-making project. It appeared someone had taken a ball of string, unrolled it, knotted it several times, and passed it from neck, vertically down torso, added a few patches around the private parts, hips, and that was it. Her arm was positioned over the chest, which did nothing to cover it.

At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I was astounded this picture was greeting me at the check-out lane at the grocery store. I know many magazines are sold, with a  variety of models and “clothing”. I generally pass by and don’t think a thing of it. But for some reason, this bothered me. If people want to look at these magazines in the privacy of their homes, that is their choice, but I have teens and know many children and teenagers pass through these check-out lanes and see this magazine.

What message does this send to our young male population? How about our teen girls? Our children?

Kids nowadays can stream any type of movie they want into their homes, look up any video to teach them anything on YouTube, and look at a ton of internet sites for things designed for adults. As a result, our children have lost their innocence at a much younger age. Our teens have become jaded, because “that’s what everyone does.” And many of our adults have given up trying to monitor a culture that bombards our children’s senses 24/7.

God calls us to be more. Paul is writing to a church in Corinth struggling with sexual immorality, and he describes our bodies as holy, and a temple for the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are not our own, they were bought at a price. What we put into them (through eyes, ears, and heart), or do with them, directly affects God. Would we hang up pornographic posters around in our local churches? Would we play offensive lyrics in our worship services? Would we sit around naked in the pews? No, we probably wouldn’t. So what are we doing with our bodily temples now?

Sun, sand, and string, oh my! Let’s work on keeping our temples covered by God’s word…and in doing so, we will please the Holy Spirit living within us.

Prayer- “Gracious God, I know that I do not always keep my temple pure for you. Show me the areas I need to change, help me turn away from the things that defile me and draw me away from you. Purify me and work in me to please the Holy Spirit within me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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