“From now on, therefore, we regard (οἴδαμεν) no one according to the flesh (κατὰ σάρκα); even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” (2 Cor 5: 16-18)
Why has “the old” passed away? What, exactly, has changed? The coming of the Holy Spirit has changed everything, including the way we “regard” or “know” (οἴδαμεν) Christ, and the way we regard our own selves. When I embrace a life in the Holy Spirit, opening up to His abundant gifts, I am liberated from the burdens of excessive “body awareness” and its obsessions. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” (Rom 8: 5)
Does this mean I shouldn’t care for my body, or disparage the material world altogether? No. It means that I embrace a new perspective on these things; a perspective of true life and true peace, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. For example, rather than looking someone “up and down,” and “according to the flesh,” I am given to see beyond that, to see more than that, and not miss out on God’s hidden gifts and messages in all things. He “reconciles us to Himself” through His way of seeing and knowing, because “all this is from God.” So let me re-connect with Him today, opening up to His grace, as I prepare for Pentecost, caring for my health, both in body and soul. “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8: 6) Glory be to Him.