Our Bodies Are the Lord's

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Before I was converted to God, I was very fond of gaudy dress. All my spare earnings went to pay my dressmaker and milliner's bills, and I was seldom, if ever, free of debt. At the time of my conversion, I had no thought of any change being wrought on outward things. I was under the impression that an inward change—a change of heart—was all that was affected by the Gospel. And I still believe that there the work of grace begins. The heart is won for Christ; a new life is begotten, and new desires spring up instead of the old lusts and desires for earthly things.
But conversion is more: it includes a change in the body as well as the soul. Our bodies become the Lord's. He bids us present them "a living sacrifice, holy" (Rom. 12:11I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)). They are the "temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Cor. 6:1919What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)). Surely then we ought to see to it, that there is nothing allowed about them, out of keeping with that holy and honorable calling.
Nobody said a word to me about my dress, although I am sure it must have grieved the hearts of not a few of my fellow-believers, it was so worldly.
When I learned that my body was the Lord's, I became exercised about some of the things I wore. They seemed rather to exhibit the pride of the flesh, than the meekness and lowliness of Christ. I instinctively laid these aside, before I had read the Scriptures that gave the Lord's commandment as to the Christian female's dress (see 1 Tim. 2:99In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (1 Timothy 2:9); 1 Peter 3:3-43Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Peter 3:3‑4)), and I was much happier in soul, and less occupied, thinking about my personal appearance. I afterward saw in the Word, that "the life of Jesus" was to be manifest in our "mortal flesh" (2 Cor. 4:1111For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:11)), and that our members were to be "instruments of righteousness" (Rom. 6:1313Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:13)).
These great truths received, and allowed to act upon the heart and conscience, will regulate the dress and habits of the believer, as well as his inward thoughts. The result was, I was soon free from debt—which every Christian ought to be—and I soon had a little money wherewith to purchase a good Bible, and Gospel tracts to give among my fellow-workers.
I would earnestly ask my young sisters in Christ to think on these things, and especially to remember that our bodies are the Lord's, and that all that we wear upon them, should be of such a character that He will be glorified.