To be a mature adult in our society there are a few things we need to learn and to practice. You may turn 18 years of age but age alone does not make you mature. Understanding your responsibility in society and living that responsible life indicates that you have matured. Such responsibilities include a respect for authority, following the laws of society, being courteous with neighbours, paying bills, paying taxes and helping when help is needed. It is possible to turn 18 and not care for anyone or anything. Sure, you are an adult but you still have a lot of learning to do.
This is also how we should see and understand spirituality and our relationship with Jesus. Many things change when we accept Jesus' forgiveness and experience the second birth. We become a new creation but we have to grow into a mature new creation. We have a lot to learn and often a lot of breaking to go through as the Spirit of God moves us through each lesson. One of the basics to learn is that we no longer belong to ourselves. That's a hard thing for a young Christian to grasp. Read and learn:
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
You are that temple. A mature Christian understands that we house the precious Spirit of God which makes us different than the greater portion of people in this world. We are unique. Even more precious than Israel because the Israelites only had the presence of God with them; we have the presence of God in us. It is an incredible thing God has done. Let me emphasize again that we no longer belong to ourselves:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
This is why any sin you commit with your body is so devastating in nature. Today it is expected that teens are going to have sex at an early age because the world is beginning to see it as natural. How can we stop what is natural, right? This is the same excuse for homosexuality. To be honest, the experts are right. These are natural acts of a fallen world, coming from our sin nature, but these are not natural to the Kingdom of God. These are rebellious acts that separate us from God. As a Christian these sins are a conscious decision because they go against the Spirit in us. We have the power and authority to say no because sin no longer has a hold on us.
As a new creation with Christ and being the temple of the Spirit of God, no longer belonging to ourselves because we were bought at a tremendous price, what makes us think we have the right to do with our body what we wish? It is no longer ours to pollute with poisonous substances. It is no longer ours to use for sin. It is no longer ours to mark up and deface. Of all the people in the world we should be the ones who understand the importance of respecting our bodies, feeding it well, exercising it, keeping it clean and presentable. We don't worship it because it is only a temple that contains the object of our worship but it is holy because of who has taken up residence. We honour God with our body.
The thing to grasp here is that it is not an option but a must. We are the temple of the Spirit of God, we no longer belong to ourselves, we were bought at a price and we have been told that we must honour God with our body. Do not allow that temple to be joined with sin; do not defile that which is used to honour God. Look after the temple and use it to bring honour and glory to God. This is the mature understanding of this clay vessel which is far from perfect and yet the temple of the Spirit. Realize who you are and who you belong to.