(Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
I was reading the Word the other day and came to this verse. It struck me how often I see abuse and hatred from Christians directed toward the temple of God, your physical body – the place where He lives (1Corinthians 6:19). I have personally fallen into that same snare more often than I’d like to admit.
It can be easy to fall into negative self talk… “Not pretty enough, too fat, too skinny, too dark, too light, too freckled, too wrinkled, chunky thighs, hate my belly”. Whatever thought is coming to your mind right now is one of your personal traps. Sadly, these standards we feel we are not measuring up to are not even authentic beauty. They are subjective, shifting, molded, defined and redefined by imperfect people of the world.
Self rejection affects how you view yourself, how you reflect that onto others, and how you relate to God and people. It affects you physically and mentally in ways that you may not even realize. I see it manifest itself in poor body image and gluttony in those I coach and love. If not dealt with properly, through Christ alone, it leads to defeat or bondage through legalism in the area of wellness.
My utter weakness in this area is probably why I am called to do what I do. It is only by His power and Truth resting on and in me that I live in victory. Part of my mission is to remind the Beloved, the Bride of Christ – myself included, that because of the work of Jesus God doesn’t see your flaws and mistakes. In Christ, He sees you as beautiful, perfect, without blemish.
His desire is for you to love your body, His temple, as He does, which will result in loving actions toward it and others.
“The second is exactly like it: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Matthew 22:39 ISV
The path to actually living in obedience to that begins with awareness of these thoughts of disgust, anger, and rejection that agree with the voice of the accuser so you can begin to reject them as the lies they are, followed by an overwhelming understanding of God’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness of you even in the midst of your failures (including this one). This produces an active change.
I pray as you read this and recognize your bondage, that you reject condemnation for there is none for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). Know you are not alone and you areforgiven. I hope your heart is filled with the sweet brokenness of revelation that the Spirit of God brings and the hope of His sure deliverance through Jesus. Recognition is a beautiful place to be.
When an area of sin or need to you is pointed out, it is never God shaking a finger in anger. He is motioning you to come closer to Him so He can remove that piece of you that is broken and restore it to health and wholeness by His loving hands of grace. Recognize it as an opportunity to stand in faith of His righteousness given freely through acceptance of the finished work of Jesus. He is convicting you of this gift of righteousness so you can stand on His perfection, not your own.
There’s no need for condemnation or lingering guilt. Receive Jesus, your only and everlasting Savior, who paid for that and says, “Come to Me. Receive My forgiveness in this area and let Me wash that away.” He is producing His righteousness in you and asking you to step into it, instead of striving to create it yourself.
Prayer: “Lord, Thank You that because I have accepted Jesus, I have been made wholly new. My sin and imperfection was exchanged for Your perfection, beauty, and righteousness. Help me to see myself the way that You see me now in Christ. Help me to esteem Your definition of beauty as precious and desirable and reject the world’s shifting and ever unattainable perception of what is attractive. Thank You that You dwell in me. May I truly love the place where you live. Not by my might or power, but by Your Spirit! In Jesus name. Amen!”
Verses for Meditation: