Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is all over the news. I have never seen Toronto mentioned so much all over North America. Its mayor—and therefore the city—has become the laughing stock of the world, and especially in the U.S. His sin has defiled not only himself and his family, but also his considerable sphere of influence, Toronto being the fourth largest North American city. If he was a Christian, his defilement of his own body would have hurt the cause of Christ in some major ways.
Chambers in the November 8 entry of My Utmost for His Highest (http://utmost.org/The-Unrivaled-Power-of-Prayer) makes a strong call for us to guard the conscious part of our life, even though our conscious life is only a small part of our total system, and keep it undefiled for Christ in us. I agree. There are two ways that I can look at this. I can keep my life undefiled for God or for others.
Sin offends God and hurts others and the sinner. But God through Christ has proven that God is greater than all our sins. Although sin hurts God in terms of violating and forsaking his love, I don’t think our sin is capable of hurting him as in diminishing him in anyway. As I describe in Seeing God Differently, we make God experience death in the most dreadful way because God loves perfectly and the pain he feels when we forsake him is as infinitely strong as his love. The finite cannot diminish the Infinite. Therefore, for the love of God, Christians should avoid defiling our bodies, the temple of Christ’s Spirit. But God is not trying to defend himself when he calls us to remain pure.
When we sin, we hurt God, others, and ourselves. Sinning defiles not only morally, but also in terms of resource (time, energy, and money) and influence. Like cancer, sin consumes resources: time, energy, and money, and sin does not produce good. Sin hurts. When I sin, I hurt and diminish my sphere of influence in many dimensions.
Our sin has the same impact on ourselves and others. Our respective spheres of influence may be less significant than that of Rob Ford, but the impact is that when we sin we hurt God (without diminishing him), others, and ourselves. If nothing else, if we truly want to be Christ’s witnesses, disciples, and ambassadors, we have to keep ourselves undefiled.
We are given resources: time, energy, and material (money, properties, possessions, etc.). We can spend these resources on ourselves and sin, as the prodigal son does in Luke 15:11-16, or we can invest the resources in love and compassion, as Jesus teaches in Matthew 25:14-46.
Defilement or purity of our body is not just a matter of religious or moral purity. It has significant and pragmatic impact on our spheres of influence.