God Would Never Look at You and Say You Need to Look Like This
God would never look at you and say, “You are here on this earth to look like this”. Yet, our mind and our culture tries to convince us that our sole purpose on this earth is to look a certain way, to be “fit”, to be “healthy”. Really, what it seems is our culture is training us to be uber-obsessed and hyper-aware of our bodies to the point of it being UNhealthy and damaging to not only us but all of our other relationships and passions.
I’m speaking from experience. I struggle with the thoughts in my head telling me that I need to look a certain way or look “fit”. Here’s a scenario and maybe you relate:
I am in the grocery store looking for an item that somehow I forgot about on the opposite end of the store so I am walking “upstream” if you will, making the solemn “I promise I know how grocery stores work I just forgot something” trek back to the produce aisle with all of my groceries in tow. While I walk, I notice this woman. She is slender, skinny, and toned (in my eyes). Within only a split second, I hear the thought: “Her body is what you need to look like. She’s perfect. You need to workout and eat less.” That’s it. Then, I feel a little down on the inside because I don’t look like that and I don’t want to put myself through the mental and physical torture of hated exercises and hungry stomachs.
BUT, let’s dissect that thought. FIrst of all, it’s so matter of fact and only gives one solution: workout more and eat less. no matter what. even if you don’t want to. even if you don’t feel up to it. even if you hate the workout and are counting the seconds until it’s over. even if you don’t have the energy to do things because you are hungry. THAT is NOT God’s voice.
God’s voice is one of grace and love. He is tender, loving, caring, and compassionate. I mean, He sent His only Son to die for us! Do you think He would talk like the thoughts above to us, too? That does not fit into His character. It just doesn’t.
God didn’t put you on this earth so that you could cut out sugar and claim it saved your soul. God did not put you on this earth so that you would have that body you envy in the grocery store aisle. No, He put you on this earth so that you would feel and believe His love for you SO DEEPLY that it would overflow into your life and those around you. That you would believe that His crazy, undying love sent His Son to die for you on a cross so that you might be able to live in the abundant freedom you now pursue.
So, I ask you, is pursuing that body really in line with the life God died for? Is that where abundant freedom lies? No.
Furthermore, when we look at this thought that “in order to live a good life I need to look like this and therefore workout more and eat less”, we don’t see grace. God doesn’t talk like that. He gives us options and examples and encourages. He never condemns. That voice is condemning and envious. Therefore, it is not of God.
Next time you feel judgement toward your body and hear thoughts telling you to change it, challenge those thoughts. Do those thoughts sound like they come from a loving Father? Or do those thoughts sound more like..envy? insecurity? jealously? hurt? pain? hatred?
I write these words with love and emotion because I am there with you, friend. I am here fighting down these pain walls and thoughts in order to dismantle them so that I can live a more abundantly loving and free life. The one that Christ died for us to have.