I need to value things as God values them. I need to view my self, my identity, body, family and life in light of the Gospel. But as a woman living in a body obsessed culture it is hard not to make the body a focus. As we shower, dress, polish, pluck, brush and feed out bodies we are thinking all the time about how we present. And I would argue a whole lot more to boot. Have you ever stopped to think what you really believe about your body and how you care for it? What lies might be lurking behind some of your motives ?
Here are some ideas from Jen Wilkin about the lies we may believe about out bodies:
- Lie #1: Your body is decorative. It should be used to attract the attention of men and the envy of women. What matters most is how it looks.
- Truth: Your body is useful. It should be used to accomplish the good works that God ordained for you to do. What matters most is what it does.
- Lie #2: Your body’s appearance is flawed but fixable. You are not the right size, shape or color. But you can (and should) go to enormous effort and expense to change that.
- Truth: Your body’s appearance is designed by God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, according to a plan. Because God is a God of infinite creativity, people come in many different sizes, shapes and colors.
- Lie #3: Your body is a source of power. It can and should be trained, toned and preserved from all signs of age. Its level of attractiveness or strength can and should be leveraged to give you dominance over and independence from others.
- Truth: Your body has a set of limits. It succumbs to hunger, fatigue, exposure, injury, illness and age. Its fragility and fleeting vigor should point you toward submission to and dependence on a strong and eternal God.
- Lie #4: Your body is yours. You are its owner. You may neglect it, obsess over it, indulge it, punish it, pamper it or alter it as you wish.
- Truth: Your body is not yours. You are its steward. Because you were bought with a price, all decisions about and behaviors toward your body must be run through the filter of, “Does this glorify God in my body?”
- Lie #5: Transforming the outside will fix the inside. By making changes to your body, you can change the condition of your heart. You can have more self-confidence, better self-esteem and greater happiness.
- Truth: Transforming the inside will make peace with the outside. A mind being progressively transformed by the gospel rejects the worship of self and the futile pursuit of happiness. By pursuing holiness, your attitude toward your body will change, as you learn to love it as a good gift from God.
Out attitude towards all that our body does – work, play, care for friends and family will change when we adopt a GOD perspective of life and the body. Clean eating, hair colouring, gym workouts or a new pair of jeans won’t transform your heart. But the lies may consume you.