Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What the Good Book Says

As you all know, I've been really struggling with self-image lately. I'm constantly surrounded by these images of perfect, skinny, gorgeous models and actresses and it makes me feel awful about myself. Never mind that they're all airbrushed, have personal trainers, and didn't pop out 3 kids in as many years. It just makes me feel bad. And maybe I'm just starting to realize that I'm almost 30 and it's "all down hill from here" (which is also ridiculous), but I've been kinda obsessed lately with what I 'used to be.' What I used to be - thinner, prettier, more self absorbed, my priorities WAY out of whack, unhappy, insecure.... I think it's time to give my whole weight-loss journey a good ol' infusion of biblical principle. So - here are some of my favorite verses pertaining to the issue:

1 Timothy 2:9-10

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

1 Peter 3:1-4

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Proverbs 11:22

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Matthew 5:28

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So what is my real goal in becoming thinner again? Is it to make men stumble? To garner praise for myself? To overcompensate for a lack of inner beauty? The only man who matters already thinks I'm beautiful. I am not deserving of praise - that belongs to the Lord. And if I feel lacking in spiritual riches I need to spend as much time in my Bible as I do on the treadmill. The whole point of my (often faltering) fitness regime was to make this body that the Lord has given me a more productive tool for His work. It is not to gain glory for myself. Therefore I need to focus less on how I appear on the outside (without, of course, neglecting hygiene and fashion entirely) and focus more on being beautiful on the inside (kind, patient, gentle, generous...). That will bring me far greater joy than squeezing into a size 2 again and will bring much greater glory to the Lord. But sometimes, I just need a little reminder...

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