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Posts Tagged ‘body image’

I admit it. I have always hated Romans 12:1 – Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  (NASB)

courtesy answerfitness.com

Why do I hate this verse? Because most of my life I have hated my body. I have the metabolism of a sloth. I’m short and stocky, and have struggled with my weight since childhood. When I look in the mirror standing in the buff, all I see is buff –  Big, Ugly, Fat, Frumpy. I wobble between hating myself and being angry with God because He made me with this propensity to be overweight. Health issues prevent me from exercising, but even when I could, it didn’t seem to make any difference. The inches kept piling on, no matter what I ate or didn’t eat. Nor how many hours I sweated working out or not. I’ve had test after test and no doctor can figure out why.

I’ve blubbered to God so many times. Why is it so easy for me to put on pounds and so hard to take them off?  Why does it seem that no diet works? I’ve tried them all. Pounds melt off others while mine stay on. (and no – I don’t want to hear about your miracle diet and how well it works.)

How can I present Him my body when it is un-presentable to me? How can it be holy and pleasing when it is so unpleasing to look at in the mirror? Presents are supposed to be pretty so people ooh and aah over them, right? How can I be acceptable to God in my “present” state?

The other verse I hate? The one they want all women with poor body images to memorize – Psalm 139:14:  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Yes, the human body is wonderfully made in its mechanics, ability to heal itself, etc. But my body isn’t marvelous to behold. Sorry. Can’t go there. I have pictures to prove it.

The funny thing is I don’t mind presenting other ugliness in my life to my Lord. I have no qualms about confessing a nasty attitude about someone else. I often offer a problematic thought to Him to rebuke or reform and let Him expose my misconceptions that are blocking His blessings. So why is so hard for me to present my body? It’s not as if God doesn’t know what I look like.

Today, in a Bible study by Priscilla Shiver, I saw the verse with new eyes. Present means surrendering control — like kneeling before the king with arms stretched out and handing it to him. Here. Take it for your use.

This struggle is beyond my capabilities. Obviously- since I have battled and never won in sixty-plus years. However, I can choose to acknowledge this conflict cannot be totally mine anymore. It’s not up to me to win it, but to surrender it.

If I daily present my body to God, He will transform it–if He so desires. I’m not saying I will wake up a size 8 in a few weeks or even in a year. Whether that happens or not, I must trust that He will transform my attitude about it.  His Spirit will provide the power and tools I need. All I am required to do is present it, each and every day.

Whatever you are battling in your life–whether it is your weight, an addiction, an attitude like anger or unforgiveness, a grudge–daily present it to the Lord. First thing before your feet hit the floor.

I’d say we can do this together, but I know we can’t. Only God can, with His Spirit renewing our minds, souls…and perhaps bodies.

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courtesy answerfitness.com

Do you love your body? A recent study  published by Glamour Magazine showed the average woman has 13 negative or destructive inner thoughts about her body every day.  I admit, most of my life I have been disgusted with my short, frumpy body that seems to want to hang onto weight as if it was the rarest gold. Even as a child I was “well-rounded”.

Paul told the church in Corinth –“Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory.” (1 Corinthians 15: 42-43, NLT)

I don’t think he meant “disappoint” the way I do, and the way most modern women do. He meant the aches and pains, age setting in and chronic ailments. After all, he admitted he had a thorn in his flesh.

Paul stated the thorn in his flesh was one way God was keeping him humble. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.                        (2 Corinthians 12:7NIV)

My thorn is my own, lifelong negative image. God is calling me, and perhaps you, to turn to Him for the renewal of our thoughts about our bodies. I know I do not have the gumption on my own to lose a bunch of weight. I also know I must call upon the name of Jesus each time a negative inner thought about my appearance surfaces to the forefront of my brain. Otherwise I will turn to the fridge for comfort instead of to Him.

Now that mid-age sag has become a reality and my bones and muscles ache a bit more each day, it seems as if my body is holding me back from doing what I want to do. Of course, sitting at computers all day writing doesn’t help – I know that. So,  another negative thought would loom to the surface as if in a Magic Eight ball- “you need to exercise but you are too weak  and achy to do it.”  This blame the body game is a bad habit.

A dear friend from Canada, who is also a Christian writer, blogged this today: “…we know that these human bodies will be one day glorified and be with God forever.  I have gained a new appreciation for the unique way our bodies are made. We need to respect and take care of them, knowing that we will still have issues and our bodies will one day say ‘enough’.   Because of our faith, we are guaranteed a glorified body in a glorified forever  home.

As my friend likes to remind me, “God is good–all the time.”  He is. He will help us walk through our aches and pains with a promise of new health, new bodies, and a forever future. When we get discouraged with our physical bodies we can be encouraged because we have a promise to cling to.  (To read the whole devo, go to http://powertochange.com/blogposts/2012/11/29/the-skin-i-am-in/)

 

Today, I found God in a devo from a friend, and subsequently when I looked in the mirror and began to see my body in a new way – through the helping strength of its Maker.

Dear Lord, may I concentrate more on not disappointing you as being your hands and feet in this world. Let me dwell less on my disappointing body which only spirals me into a negative image and blocks You from working through me. Help me to take my eyes off myself and focus on You. You will provide the strength I need to get this temple in better shape, but to also accept it is what it is – flawed and aging but still something You can use. Let me thank you for the parts that do still work well and are my assets. Above all, let me truly absorb that I am precious in Your sight, as we all are. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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