As missionaries here at Covecrest, we live according to the Life Teen Missions Rule of Life. The purpose of the rule of life is to root our lives in Jesus Christ. Obedience to this rule of life leads us to form certain Christ-like habits, transforming us into witnesses of the Gospel. One of the sections of the rule is Glorify God in Your Bodies. It seemed pretty simple. We commit to not eating too much, to exercising, to getting a healthy amount of sleep, etc.
Until Wednesday, November 9th I thought I was doing a good job in glorifying God in my body. After all, I don’t over eat, I exercise, I sleep in on Mondays, I take showers and take care of my body. But when I read the the Mass readings of that day, I realized I was not really glorifying God in my body.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the holy Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God`s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy”. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
I am a temple of God; the Holy Spirit lives in me. I have to respect myself, not because I am a good person and I do good things, but because God lives in me. I believe in God. I love God. I respect God. Because God lives in me, I also have to love myself and respect myself.
Sometimes this is a hard thing to do, especially in this world. When you watch TV or read magazines you see beautiful women who are so thin and have beautiful hair and clothes. The world tells us we have to be like these people. It’s hard to respect yourself when the world is telling to you to change. That is even hard for me. The reading from that day reminded me that we are good (actually very good) the way we are because God made us in his own image.
“God created man in his image, in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
God is working in my life by teaching me how He loves me and how He invites me to respect myself for love of Him. I still have a long way to go, but I started to learn more about why God loves me. Sometimes it is hard to accept that God loves us when we do things that are not so good. But when I look at the cross, I have to face it. God loves us so much that He gave His only son to die for each one of us. He gave His life to wash all our bad things away. So the least that we can do is to accept that love, trust in His mercy and not bring ourselves down all the time.
It is good to remember that God lives in us and we can love and respect Him by loving and respecting ourselves.