There are two body-knowledges that will help us as we pursue humble accountability. First, there's the knowledge of the broad biblical teaching on our physical bodies. Secondly, there's the oft-used, seldom-thought-about image of the body of Christ. Let's start with the physical.
In Genesis, God gives the man and woman bodies. They can glorify him with these bodies, serving him with hands and minds and stomachs. When the man and woman fall to sin, their bodies continue to be of use, revealing their limitednesss, revealing God. When Abram and Sarai long for a child, they long to see the promises fulfilled through their bodies. When Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert, they hungered and thirsted and sacrificed and worshipped with their bodies.
The biblical religion is an earthy religion, full of dirt and flesh-tones. And this religion hits its climactic stride with what Tom Oden calls "the body language of God." Jesus comes in a body, dies in a body and rises in a new, glorious body: the firstborn from the dead. And he will return, return soon (maranatha) in that same body. And "we will meet him in the air," in bodies.
The Bible claims over and over again that bodies are good: corruptable, dangerous, but good. And if bodies are good, they also matter to God. So, what we do in and with our bodies is significant, connected to God's work in and through us and in and through the world.
We need to be convinced of the goodness and significance of our bodies if we are to engage in humble accountability. If what we do with our bodies is dirty or shameful, then why talk? If what we do with our bodies is unimportant or meaningless, then why talk? Goodness and significance make us care and hope and form a framework for the accountability that will help us be more like Christ in our bodies.
Tomorrow, I'll flesh out the body-of-Christ aspect of humble accountability.