A sound and blameless body is a phrase taken from the Bible; from 1 Thessalonians 5: 23 to be exact.
"May God himself, the Lord of peace, sanctify you thoroughly. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept sound and blameless at his second coming."
Clearly it is God's desire that we should be strong in body and sound in mind. But those are attributes that evade many of us; could it be that very often we are ourselves to blame?
The context of the passage is that the apostle Paul is telling us that the second coming of our Lord will be like a thief in the night, catching many by surprise. He reminds us that in contrast we are children of the light, and must always be alert and ready, lest we too may be caught out.
He is the God of peace and it is His desire that every part of us, all the way through, Paul emphasises, should be untroubled not only with Him, but with ourselves, and one another too.
In this blog, I ask, is your body ready for him? Is it sanctified, set apart and strong; and ready for His sacred use?
Whilst this is the mission of every Christian, many of the great saints have remarked on what a struggle it is, so we should not feel all alone. St Francis of Assisi for example described his body as Brother Ass; a useful, sturdy and lovable creature, but stubborn as all hell.
What makes up a strong and whole body? In no particular order of merit I would suggest the following to you.
No Christian that I know has ever described this life as an easy one. In Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan aptly describes the many temptations and pitfalls that he had faced; anyone who has read the book will find him or herself nodding in agreement.
Put on the whole armour of God, is the apostle's cry. Protect your spirit, soul and body from the temptations of the evil one. Should he succeed in bringing down any one of these three, he will have blunted our effectiveness as warriors of the Lord.
Daily exercise of one sort or another should be an imperative for every Christian; that might be taking a walk, digging in the garden or riding a bicycle, or many others. Perceived as an instrument that protects the whole body, we embrace it joyfully, in theory, but in practice for many it is hard. Brother Ass can be very stubborn.
View taking exercise as an act of obedience to God; worship and wait on Him as you walk or garden keeping your body strong and free from the wiles of the devil as he seeks to bring you down, and make you less effective as a Christian through pain and sickness.
Just as one is called to protect the soul with the breastplate of righteousness, so exercise contributes to saving our bodies from disease and disability, helping to keeping it sound and blameless.
In few areas has Satan been more successful than in making worldly and ruinous meals appear to be the norm for Christians too. He has very successfully seduced us into thinking that fast foods, especially those that are sugary and highly refined, are just fine for Believers. Yet we intuitively, deep in our spirits, and confirmed by strong science know that they can completely undo a sound body, making us weak and less effective soldiers of our Lord.
This whole site is about our well-being as Christians, so I'm not going to belabour the point here. Just recognise that it is His intense desire that you have a sound and blameless body, sanctified through the Holy Spirit, ready for His command.
The inference here is that we are often ourselves to blame for the poor state of our minds, souls and bodies. The God of peace will forgive and sanctify us, but poor decisions by Brother Ass can nevertheless leave us permanently marred and scarred.
I find it interesting that Satan tempted Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the temple, suggesting that his heavenly Father would command His angels to save Him so that he would not even dash his foot against a stone. But he saw through the wiles of the devil because he himself had created the law of gravity; he would have been completely to blame had he leaped from the heights.
He knew that it was his Father's desire that he should be completely blameless, even in facing the forces of nature.
And so it also is His desire that we too should have sound and blameless bodies. Let us recognise the wiles of the devil for what they are; temptations that will lead to the destruction of our well-being. Swallowing junk food may take a little longer to destroy us, but in the end it will be just as effective as jumping from the pinnacle of the temple.
A sound and blameless body is surely something we all desire but it means saying a firm no to temptation and asking forgiveness when we have slipped.
Now we see through a glass darkly, later, when we face Him we will have the many mysteries of life explained to us. Not for a moment am I suggesting that all of poor bodily wellness arises from our stubbornness and stupidity; but much of it does.
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