Just last week I had the JOY of sitting on a beautiful beach. Calm and turquoise water, gentle breezes, and warmth just seeping through the bones.
“Mom, Poppa says you’re too old to wear a bikini!”, the young voice pierces through the calm. “Yes, I am…but I have decided not to care about all of the fat rolls on my body today!”, answers the fit and trim mother. (I had the privilege of listening to these people for a good length of time, as my bliss slowly blistered into indignation.)
So, what is the message here? Sounds a bit mixed up to me. Too old? Too fat? Who cares?
Where is it coming from? And what message is the young girl getting from her family?
This beautiful mother calls herself fat, while her grandfather sits in his chair…a big belly hanging over his shorts…hmmmm, and I started stewing. Almost went over there to have a little conversation…but decided it wasn’t a good idea. 🙂
What is a beautiful body? Is it what we see on the covers of magazines? In celebrity selfies? At the local gym? Is it a body rippling with muscles? Is it curvy, or thin?
It says in the Bible that we are created in the image of God. Genesis 1:28 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
It would make sense to think that God has almost 7 billion facets to His image…as there are so many of us created in His image.
We are bombarded with thousands of images in society today. A current obsession I see is with health. This “health” we need to aspire to is by having a buff body, rippling muscles and abs of steel. Or then certain body parts need to be accentuated, and the fashion worn has to show them off. Of course, the selfie needs to show that part as well, let’s take multiple pics and pick the best one.
So, does today’s society reflect the image of God? Does what I do daily reflect the image of God? What about those lies I tell myself on a constant basis…”you don’t look so good today, have to cover up the wrinkles and rolls”…doesn’t sound like I am taking care of the temple of the Holy Spirit…just sounds like I am comparing myself to someone else.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we spent as much time thinking about Jesus? If we could truly see the beauty in us, and His reflection through us? The health that would flow out of our spirits could spread, and would be contagious and inspiring, instead of something that makes others feel insecure about their own beauty.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe it is vital to take care of our health. Our bodies are what we need to live in while on this earth. It makes sense to stay as healthy as possible. But this earthly health should never take a more important role than our heavenly health. Our time on earth is temporary, and it should be treated that way.
1 Timothy 4:7b-8 “Instead, train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
2 Peter 1:5-8 “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What if we start spending as much time training for eternity as we do for our few years on earth?
What if we spent as much time reading the Word and praying as we do googling celebrities, recipes, and health/fitness sites?
What if we spent as much time praising Jesus as we did bringing ourselves and others down?
What image of God are we showing the world? Are we showing His beauty, instead of trying to imitate the world?
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
Time for a paradigm shift…