Occasionally a phrase grabs me so much that I have to capture it and write it down immediately because it would be a shame to lose it. That happened to me today on Facebook (of all places) when I read a status update from one of my heroes, John Piper. The phrase was today’s lesson learned – Your body is a useful servant and a bad master.
On January 8 the daily lesson was “Listen to your body” and spoke mostly to being mindful of the physical clues your body gives off. Today’s thought is still about the body but in a different sense.
As an incredible creation, the body, mind and spirit are capable of serving noble or ignoble purposes. When combined to pursue good, we only begin to scratch the surface of the potential before us. But when combined to be merely self-serving or – worse – intentionally harmful to others, we allow our bodies to degrade from that of useful servant to terrible master.
Our bodies aren’t meant to control us. We don’t exist to serve them. To control them, however, takes intentional effort via our mind and spirit. I am reminded of Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Don’t use the lesser urges as an excuse to serve an unworthy master. Remember leap year lesson #37 – Your body is a useful servant and a bad master.