If you think about what this truly means, treating your body with reverence and care, as though it is sacred or houses something sacred, it is easy to see that even the most devoted Christian falls far short of living up to this command.
In fact, many, if not most, Americans - Christian or not - treat their bodies more like a garbage can than a temple.
Stop and think about all the products you put on or in your body every day - do you really know what's in them? What are they made of? Where do these substances come from, and what might they do to your body over time? Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol? And what about the food you eat? Do you know where it comes from? How it was raised? What ingredients are in it? And what of the way you treat your body? Do you use it to its full purpose and capacity every day? Do you devote it sexually to one chosen partner - who also treats it well?
Maybe it's hard to envision what it truly means to treat your body as a temple, so how about some context.
That means no artificial anything, no man-made ingredients, just natural, minimally-processed fresh whole foods that God created. Cleanly raised, naturally fed fresh meats, fresh organic vegetables and fruits, fresh-squeezed raw juices and oils, purely rendered fats, raw nuts and seeds.
You would anoint your body also only with God-made things - pure oils, and powders from the earth - and expose it daily to sunshine and fresh air. You would take it daily and mindfully through its full range of motion, use its muscles continually in daily activities, rest it well and thoroughly from sundown to sunup.
You would listen to its signs and signals when it tells you what it needs (which it does), and give it what it requires for true health. You would treat it as something special - something in which a part of God lives during your earthly life - and which you'll never have another of. (I find it somewhat disconcerting that people spend so much time, energy, and money on conserving our natural resources - which are indeed important - and yet the one resource we can never get back and never have more of - our own bodies we live in - go so often so ignored.)
I'm reminded of Jesus' anger at the money changers and merchants in the temple. Maybe it's time to take out the trash - to clear out the riff-raff. Perhaps it's time for some righteous temple cleansing. Is your body a temple, or is it a garbage can?
Obviously the example above is not the easiest of missions to take on. And it's likely that no one except the most devoted yogis or health gurus would ever accomplish ALL of this - God knows I certainly haven't. BUT it's certainly a worthwhile ideal to keep in mind throughout our lives, so that we can make the daily choices that lead to true health.
Why not start today with a small step? If you smoke, quit today - get help if you need it. Be mindful of the food you eat. Before you put something in your mouth - stop and think - was this made by God, or are there things in it you can't even pronounce, let alone spell? And above all, start making a habit of listening to your body. When something feels wrong, stop and ask your body what it needs. As you get used to listening, you will find that it will tell you.
See how the house of God treats you when you treat it as it calls to be treated - with respect and honor.