The “Acceptable Sins” – Part II

“No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.” –Ephesians 5:29-30, NLT

As promised, I’m going to address over-eating’s opposite, yet equally dishonoring and destructive counterpart, under-eating. This topic is particularly close to my heart because it is one that I have struggled with since my teens.

A few moments of channel surfing will remind you of just how image-driven our society has become. Hollywood’s leading ladies and larger-than-life runway models flaunt flawless faces and svelte physiques. TV stars and pop singers flash dazzling smiles and perfect hair. Interspersed between the movies and shows are commercials touting diet products and weight-loss programs guaranteed to give you the body you’ve always wanted. It’s almost as if this subliminal message is being transmitted through the airwaves: You can have success, stardom, beauty, and bliss…But first, you have to buy this product to get the toned legs of your favorite actress or the chiseled abs of your favorite singer!

“Physical perfection = happiness.”

That equation is the lie I began believing at age seventeen. It’s one that many people, mostly women, buy into with their money, their time, their habits, and sometimes, tragically, their very lives.

By believing that we can feel prettier, find success, meet the right mate, or manage our emotions by depriving ourselves of the nutrients we need to survive and thrive, we choose to worship our own bodies. Our temple of the Holy Spirit becomes an idol of Self as obsessive thoughts focused on calorie control, rigorous exercise, what the scale says and what others think build a barrier between body and spirit.

Eventually, we become slaves to this idol; we worship it not because we love and adore it, but because it controls us. It has become our master.

The Bible says that we cannot serve two masters.[1] Either we are serving God through how we nourish our body, or we’re serving ourselves. Either we are loving our body because we view it as a member of Christ’s body, or we’re hating it because we see it as a dispensable sacrifice to the idol of Self.

 

Your Body is a Temple

Don’t let pop culture tell you what’s attractive or desirable.

Let God’s Word tell you.

Believe that you truly are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and created for “good things” which Jesus “planned for us long ago.”[2]

When you shift your focus from Self to Savior, you will see just how beautiful, valuable, and beloved you are as a member of the body of Christ. When you pour out your frustrations and feelings of inferiority before the Lord, He will fill you to the brim with warm assurance of your acceptance, worth, and victory through Him!

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” –Romans 8:37, NASB

 

Remember This: Nourish your body well so you can vibrantly live and give as a member of His.

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[1] Matthew 6:24

[2] Psalm 139:14; Ephesians 2:10, NLT

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Comments

  1. Your compassion and concern for those struggling with these issues is abundantly evident in these words. So many of us in the West obviously do have these challenges, and the problems are reinforced by our food industries and marketing efforts among other things. I would not advocate a return to the agrarian or hunter-gatherer model of subsistence, ‘living off the land”, but in many ways our lifestyles are shaped by the modern world we live in, and so we are challenged to keep our focus not on “feeding the beast within” whatever form it takes, but on God above. A beautiful, rewarding vocation!
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience!

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