I’ve always struggled with my body image. Early in my teen years it became clear that looks mattered to people. Magazines had thin, fit models on their covers. Exercising and eating salads were the solution if your belly was rounder than most. I don’t remember exactly when it started to matter to me. I suppose I became aware of it when in addition to picking a swimsuit, I picked something to cover it up, too.
Since then, I’ve constantly felt like I am trying to reach a level of perfection in my body. Guess what? I was never satisfied. No weight has ever been good enough for me to be content. There is always something to improve and it leaves me feeling like I have failed.
This week’s reading reminded me of something amazing! I’m reminded of something that has been stored away in my heart, but God lovingly affirmed for me.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20
These verses in The Message read: “Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”
My body belongs to the LORD! He is the one who has given it to me, to fulfill His purposes in my life. Isn’t it a wonder how any body works with all the intricacies involved. God’s work is amazing as He creates bodies so perfectly from inside of the mother’s womb! Our bodies are His!
Because they belong to the LORD, we should take utmost care of them. Our bodies should be healthy, clean, and holy. They are the temple of God! These verses in 1 Corinthians tell us we were purchased by God, and each of us should do all we can to glorify him with our bodies. Paul wanted his friends in Corinth to use their bodies for glorifying God and not to engage in the sexual sins of their surrounding culture.
No matter what size or shape we are, we are called to use our body to bring God glory. We must care for our bodies physically (eat well, drink water, take walks, get enough sleep, maintaining sexual purity). We must also care for our souls on a spiritual level.
Our physical body is connected to our spiritual body and God longs for us to glorify Him with all of who He created us to be — body, soul, spirit, and mind.
“Therefore, brothers and sister, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.” ~Romans 12:1
LORD, You have graciously given us bodies to live in here on earth. May we remember that the physical body is connected to the spiritual. I offer myself as a living sacrifice to You today. Please transform my heart, my soul, and my body away from sin and toward holiness. Help me in the areas of my weaknesses – whether it is my body image, my sexuality or sexual sin, or my sinful nature. I know that where I am weak, You are strong. I believe that Christ has redeemed my sins and covers my inadequacies. Christ has made me a new creation and the old is gone (2 Corinthians 5:17). May I live as a new creation today so others can see You, dear Lord, in me. Amen.