May 08

TEMPLE: It’s (not) All About Me



When I settled on temple as my focus word for 2017, I thought the word would instill a motivation to improve my health and perhaps show me ways God wanted to use my physical body to do His work.

But as always happens when God is involved, He is using that word to expand my thinking.

2017 brought several health issues to the lives of people I love. First my brother-in-law, for whom my husband has custodial care, went to emergency and ended up with surgery. The very next day after he returned home, we took my 95-year old mother to emergency for flu complications and multiple heart attacks. The next two months my husband was diagnosed with three very serious health issues, that have resulted in surgery, upcoming chemo treatments, more surgery later in the year and a life-long prospect of painful monitoring.

The first four months of 2017 have taught me to think about temple with new understandings:

  1. Just as we are required to take care of the physical (and emotional and spiritual) welfare of children God has entrusted us with, He also expects us to help care for the physical (and emotional and spiritual) needs of family members and other adults we know.

It’s not always a matter of making legal decisions, visiting and providing encouragement. Sometimes stewardship involves making decisions for the physical temples of others. When life hangs in the balance, we face the need to make decisions we thought we were ready to make. Those decisions become a whole lot harder when they move beyond hypothetical.

  1. We need to consider our own health when caring also for others.

When my husband’s health turned bad, my blood pressure started to rise. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with a degree of panic, mentally taking inventory of whether I was still alive and functioning. Then I’d think, who will take care of Jim if I have a stroke? Then I’d think, who will take care of me if I have a stroke.

When we have stewardship over the physical needs of others, those needs affect and are affected by our own circumstances.

In the past I have been selfish when it came to health, working to focus on keeping myself healthy for my own reasons.

God is opening my eyes and expanding my reach. He is showing me that not only can I help others better if my own health is good; He is appealing to my selfish instinct in doing so. He is reminding me that if I help improve other people’s health now, it will save me the extra effort of not having to deal with their worsened health later.

[sigh] It’s not all about me. Really, Lord.

God sure does understand my selfish nature; so much so that sometimes He helps me focus on others by showing me the benefit to myself, even as I recognize that He is also at work changing my heart to want to think of others first. Although I am grateful He hasn’t given up on me, I sometimes wonder why that change has taken so long.

Thank you, Jesus for clarity of thought and heart change as you grow us into the people you desire us to be.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Whose temple (other than your own) do you have stewardship over? What issues are you facing in your care of or for them?


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  1. Bonnie

    Beautifully convicting. Love you. ❤️

    1. carolwritesbooks@gmail.com

      Convicting is good, especially when the Lord does it gently, while acknowledging your particular foibles, and loving you in spite of them.

  2. Pam

    All the struggles I see make me long for heaven. I am thankful that God uses everything for good for those that love Him. I see it; I believe it. He is trustworthy.

    1. carolwritesbooks@gmail.com

      You are the second person today who has mentioned a longing for heaven. I cannot even imagine heaven, but I am going to try. It will surely be glorious!

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