Since I can remember I’ve always been a competitive person. I remember in elementary school, there was always a competition between my peers to see who was the tallest, or had the longest hair, or who had the best sneakers. In later years like high school, the girls would compare who had the biggest chest, or the skinniest legs. It seems like our minds have been programmed to have this competitive edge on us as humans and most times, it’s about characteristics that we are born with. All over social media there are ads and internet famous individuals who are trying to endorse their diet plans, work outs, and supplements. They tell us if we make their food, do their work outs, and take supplements that we will be skinny, happy, and beautiful. These dramatic lifestyle changes may work for some people, but I don’t see my thick thighs going anywhere anytime soon.
I have had personal struggles for most of my life with body image. Throughout my high school years, I went through multiple seasons of losing and gaining weight. I truly believed that the definition of beauty was based on the size of my thighs and the number on the scale. I remember spending hours at the gym running on the treadmill while I calculated exactly how many calories I consumed that day. It’s a scary life when your reflection in the mirror is distorted by temptation from the enemy. This on again off again relationship with food and weight loss is what consumed most of my high school years.
At the very beginning of the bible, God tells us the story of Adam and Eve. Two people who were created completely naked and free. Can you imagine that for a second? If sin had not entered this world, we would all be running around with no clothes on. Crazy. Anyways, this story is very interesting because it reveals the first time that human kind felt body image issues and food happened to be the first temptation and sin ever. That delicious looking piece of fruit that looked desirable to Eve, was the beginning of our sin in this world (Genesis 3: 6-7). She shared it with her husband and they both became ashamed of their bodies, just as the enemy wanted.
The enemy loves hearing those awful things we think and say about ourselves. After all, it was the first thing human kind was sinful of.
We admire the beauty of the sunset in such adoration. We take pictures of it, and sit in awe at this Godly creation. If we can sit and admire the colors of the sky that God has hand painted, why can’t we appreciate the beauty of our bodies that God breathed life into? Don’t think for one second that you are worthless, unloved, ugly, or not good enough. You are created on purpose by a perfect heavenly father. The same father who paints the color of the sky, handcrafted every hair on our heads and every curve on our bodies and it’s the same God that is alive in our hearts today. No number on the scale, or hours on the treadmill will take this perfect love away.
In first Samuel it explains that God doesn’t look at the things people look at. Rather He looks at our heart. People of this world will judge your body, including ourselves. But it’s God that will judge your heart, and at the end of this life that is all that is going to matter. After all, beauty is fleeting.
I can only imagine what Jesus would be saying to us if He were still walking on the earth. I can picture Him embracing His daughters with such love and adoration, the words beautiful and worthy would not even begin to describe the love God has for us.
Every single day we struggle with temptations from the enemy. God never said our lives here on earth would be perfect. His ultimate desire is to see us free from bondage. As we lay down our cross every morning, I encourage you to strip away the desires of this world, don’t be envious of the bodies of others, rather learn to appreciate the beautiful structure that God has given you. From the beginning of time, the struggle of body image has been alive in this world. Take a minute out of your morning before you eat your breakfast, before you step on the scale, before you begin your run, and before you scroll through social media, and pray to God. Become in touch with your heavenly father and ask Him to protect your mind and heart from these worldly cravings.
I would be lying if I said I never go a day without thinking about my appearance. There are seasons in my life where I struggle immensely. But it’s that amazing power of Christ that truly pulls me through these time. He is a good father; he guides me through those dark seasons so that I can walk confidently back to the women He created me to be. Your perfect size will be the one you have when living out your life with Christ.