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What's Your Million Dollar Bong Hit?

By Ryan, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/30/2007
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1 Corinthians 6:20 were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

The news of 2008 hailed US Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, as one of the world's greatest athletes but, the big story in 2009 exposed a photo of Phelps as he inhaled marijuana from a water pipe. After this toke seen around the world, Phelps' heroic image and at least one of his lucrative endorsements has gone up in smoke.

Phelps is by no means a typical slacker of weed infamy. He has won a total of 14 career Olympic gold medals in swimming and dazzled the world by scoring 8 of those medals during the latest Olympic Games in Beijing. His list of world records and sporting accolades is unequaled in the sphere of athletics.

The party celebrating Phelps' triumphs lasted months, but the crash after the photo surfaced has cost Phelps dearly. He has received a three month suspension from swimming competition while also losing his financial funding from the sport's national governing body. There is no way to calculate the hurt caused to thousands of adoring fans and what long term effects this will have on his reputation. Kellogg, a leading US cereal and snack maker, has dropped Phelps from their advertising campaign. Although there has been no disclosure of the exact value of the contract he held with Kellogg, it can be estimated that the removal of Phelps' face from their cereal boxes represents the loss of millions of dollars to the swimmer.

The actual price paid by Phelps extends beyond the million dollar bong hit depicted in the infamous photo. Yet, we also know that a far greater price was paid by Jesus to make grace available to Phelps. Certainly, the resolution of Phelps' personal matter is best left between him and God.

So, more importantly, what's your million dollar bong hit?

If you're not a celebrity, who'd care what you do with your own life? Perhaps you don't swim like a fish or live in a media fish bowl. Safe bet - your mug has never appeared on a cereal box. Safer bet - your life is celebrated all the same.

God loves us - even when no one knows us. God sees all our ways; He watches us so closely that all of the hairs on our head have been numbered. We belong to God; He paid a price for us.

Your million dollar hit may be sucked from a bong just like Michael Phelps. But, many Christians would say nope, I don't do dope. Surely, pricey hits can come in many flavors, but all carry the same price tag - the blood of Jesus Christ.

Chances are we all have a personal equivalent to Phelps' million dollar bong hit. Because our face doesn't often make the tabloids we may not have to confront our problem openly. Plus, getting all hung up on the whacked out thing the next guy is doing, like smoking marijuana anywhere near a camera/cell phone, is likely to take the edge off our own million dollar transgression. For example, we may think of gluttony as a huge gorging at every meal; perhaps it's really only a couple forkfuls beyond the recommended portion size, when you have a hungry neighbor. Drunkenness can be the next chug of hooch past moderation; or for some, it's the very first sip. What may be the price of a reckless body piercing or a restless tattoo?

Gluttony has pushed shocking aside and taken up residency in the mainstream, so we now have more energy reserved in our cells to rile against the more colorful offenses often enjoyed by young adults, such as tattoos or wild hair. The Bible does not specifically mention marijuana but, somehow we just know it's wrong. Most likely the Bible also does not articulate a specific prohibition against any of the hot new fads slated to captivate our self-love culture in coming years. What should we do when the Word of God is seemingly silent on what ever new fad may threaten to make something like multiple body piercings become the new gluttony?

Paul wrote in Romans 12:1 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship." Bodies living holy lives are an act of worshiping God. But, sin is a shot blocker of worship.

Some Christians would point to Leviticus 19 to say piercings and tattoos are sin. While others would say these verses are part of the legalistic code whose pink slip was nailed to the cross. Many would contend that a Christian themed tattoo is an effective way of sharing the Gospel message within their culture. To counter that popular credo, there are people who would agree that although piercings and tattoos may be lawful, they doubt God would feel honored by the re-creating of a body He originally created in His image.

In Romans 6:13-14, Paul states "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

Where grace lives, there is a higher calling to glorifying God with more than mere mechanical obedience to commands. John 4:24 states, "God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." Therefore, we can discover spiritual truth - the very intentions of God in every matter.

In Romans 12, Paul encourages Christians to worship God with holy bodies. In verse 2 of that chapter he writes, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

So, if we can take a step back from the rhythm of the world and renew our mind by searching the wisdom of the scriptures and spending time in prayer, we will know God's holy will. God can grant us the wisdom to know what is holy and acceptable for our bodies and help us avoid our snare akin to the million dollar bong hit. More vital than taking a person's opinion on what is right, would be to have a relationship with God in which He advises you. The effort you spend seeking God's will on issues of body culture is a strong indicator of your desire to worship Him and the extent to which He is Lord of your life. Turn off the soundtrack of the world and sing your own song of praise to God; one which is unique between the two of you.

Being a slave to righteousness is far more fashionable than being enslaved to the craze of culture. The One who has numbered the hairs on your head - even if you have dyed them the colors of the rainbow - doesn't want to miss out on your worship. He'd be happy if you'd put down the fork, the hair glitter, or the bong, and lift your hands up to Him. Let Christ live in your body - he has already given His life in love for you! No one can imagine the style, the grandeur, the blessings that God has prepared for you. Worship God with your body mind and spirit - He is worthy of praise!

1 Thessalonians 5:23

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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yea it's sad but it's possible and he's human.I thinks it's a trip how everybody besides God hang on to what he done though.I believe that it's only cause of who he is though thats it's a big deal.I guess the people that let go of his endoursments and all that are perfect.
2/17/2009 8:32:40 AM - jodieblunt, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/2/2008

May we all pray for ourselves and each other. May we pray that we seek God truly and in spirit and in truth. Being completly truthfull and willing to submit to Gods will, giving up anything that would even possibly lead us away from God. May the grace of God cover our faults!
4/13/2009 11:54:22 AM - teachme2bholy, Member of Delve into Jesus since 4/13/2009

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