Respecting the Sacred Within Us

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels . . . II Cor 4: 7a
We are earthen vessels, comprised of soil and God breathed life. We stumble, fall, and get dirty. We cause others to fall. Along with our depravity–our bent selves leaning toward sin–we embody imago Dei–the image of God.
If we are Christ’s, we carry the Holy Spirit. Yet the battle between His spirit and our bent tendencies continues. We feed our souls the way we feed our bodies–with nourishing foods or with junk. And though we may try to convince ourselves differently, what we consume matters.
In Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, Tish Harrison Warren writes: “The way we use our bodies teaches us what our bodies are for. There are plenty of messages in our culture about this. The proliferation of pornography and sexually driven advertising trains us to understand bodies (our and other people’s) primarily as a means of conquest or pleasure. We are told that our bodies are meant to be used and abused or, on the other hand, that our bodies are meant to be worshiped.”
What our minds consume teaches us lessons that become hardwired into our psyches. It’s not just the cases of abuse we read about or see on television. It’s the way we treat each other–the waitress, the cab driver, the person who slows us down in line at the store or on the road.
For if anyone exists for conquest, no one is worthy of regard. When we miss our own purpose–to serve rather than conquer–we twist the purpose of others to fulfill our own desires.
When we recognize the sanctity of others, we are the vessels of purity. We show Christ to the world. We then can call others to purity.
“Our earthen vessels carry a treasure so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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0 Replies to “Respecting the Sacred Within Us”

  1. Thank you, Nancy, for the good reminder of “what we consume.” I whole-heartedly agree! We must be diligent with our thought life, just as much as we are diligent with a healthy diet for our bodies. I fear mostly for the younger generation, as they seem constantly plugged into some kind of digital device, living in this online world of technology. The images they are exposed to 24/7/365 will change how they view the world.
    I regularly have to tell me 15 year old son to “unplug,” and simply read a book. He would not do that on his own, as he is into online gaming. It’s a battle, but one I am willing to engage in with him just for the sake of “respecting the sacred within us,” as your blog gently reminds us. Younger people forget this, and also forget that they are image bearers of God – the Imago Dei. We need to encourage young people that real life is not all about what is going on in the social media world we’ve designed, but the real world God designed.

  2. Dear Nancy
    Thank you for sharing your blog post “Respecting the Sacred Within Us” with us.
    It was a gentle reminder of what it means to be a Christian.
    It was good to get the reminder of how His spirit and our tendencies continue to fight for the control in our lives.
    I’m not familiar with Tish Harrison Warren’s book, but it looks like I’ll put it on my to-read list.
    Once again, thanks, I’ll look forward to your next blog post.
    I’ll share on Twitter right away 🙂
    Edna Davidsen

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