“Keep your laws off my body.” For years, women have been proudly repeating this phrase. It can still be seen all around us – on the bumper sticker of the car in front of you, on the t-shirt of a woman you see in the grocery store, on the sign you pass walking across the college campus. The phrase is repeated endlessly to condone abortion, the murder of human beings that hardly causes the world to bat an eye anymore.
This phrase is one that reflects the world’s proud and selfish attitude. The key word in the phrase is “my,” and it’s a word that rolls from the tongue so easily. The world loves to say “mine.” My body. My rights. My choices. My life. Mine.
But this post isn’t meant to be an argument against abortion, or even a criticism of the pride and self-centeredness of our society. It’s so easy for us to point out at the world and criticize what we see. Abortion. Fornication. Lying. Cheating. Stealing. The finger-pointing could go on and on, but that’s not the purpose of this post.
Instead, let’s turn that pointing finger around and look back at ourselves. How often do we see ourselves falling into the sin of pride? It doesn’t take long to realize that the self-centered attitude that is so easy for us to criticize in the world around us can often be found in our very own hearts!
Sure, we don’t have bumper stickers or t-shirts proclaiming, “Keep your laws off my body,” but do we obey God’s words to bind His commandments upon our fingers and write them upon the tables of our hearts (Proverbs 7:3)? He tells us in Deuteronomy 11 to “bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes” and in Proverbs 3:3 to “bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.” Do we obey these commands? Do we make God’s law an important part of our lives, keeping His Word always in front of our eyes, around our necks, on our hands, wrapped around our fingers, and written on our hearts? Or do we find that old man of sin inside of us proudly telling God to keep His laws off of our lives and our bodies?
Jesus gave His own body, even His own life, for us, in obedience to His Father’s will. He had a crown of thorns pressed into His head, stripes beaten onto His back, nails put through His wrists, and His side pierced with a spear. Jesus willingly gave up His own body, and we are called to do the same. Are we willing to do this? Surrender everything that we have to God’s will? Or do we obey God’s commandments only when it doesn’t require too much of us? Do we give every part of ourselves to God every second of our lives, or do we sometimes claim our lives as our own? Do we call Sunday the Lord’s Day but then call every other day of the week “my day?” Maybe we start and end our day in devotion to God, but somehow in between we end up living for self. We don’t like when God interferes with our time. Our plans. Our bodies.
We ought not to be this way! We must confess with Q&A 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism that “I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” Our time, our bodies, our talents, our lives, are not our own! They belong to Him, and we are to use them not self-servingly, but for Him.
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:20