I wish I could be someone else. Why do I hate myself so much?
Though never verbalized, those thoughts tromped through my head often, especially at the beginning of 2014.
I had no idea that God looked at me as a priceless treasure. Despite reading Bible verses to the contrary for most of my life, I always thought they applied to someone else and not me.
That went double for my ability to care for my own health. I’d start yet another program, only to sabotage myself. Whether in extreme diet and exercise mode or binge and slug mode, I punished myself. When it came to physical fitness, I spent most of my energy internally chewing myself out for not sticking with it.
Something in the last year (after decades of yo-yoing) changed. I no longer chastise myself for dropping off a diet, nor do I go days and weeks without exercising. My motivation comes from a deeper sense of God’s love and a higher sense of His purpose for my life. It’s one of the many changes resulting from God’s response to my desperate prayers for healing in the last year.
I used to read I Corinthians 6:19 as an excoriating lecture. Lyneta’s paraphrased version: “If you would just take care of your body better, God would love you more. You’d be more worthy of His indwelling.”
Boy, was I ever off on that one! Here’s what the apostle Paul actually said:
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (I Cor. 6:19-20).
I think I’ve come to a much better understanding of the verse. Out of all creation, God chose us for a temple to indwell. We don’t have to be masons and do stone repair, mop marble floors, or shine gold sacramental tools (e.g., maintain a magazine-cover body, eat a strict diet, or exercise obsessively) to be worthy of His indwelling. He chose to indwell us because we’re the first fruits of creation.
What an honor!
Now I do what I can to take care of my body—not because I hate it or wish I had another body—but because I’m so grateful for the depth of His love and the grace He’s given me. I naturally want to heal physically as a result of healing emotionally. It takes a real understanding of the value God places on me, including my physical body, to fully glorify Him with it.
Not that I’m perfect at doing everything right. But abundance never equated to perfection. I’m starting to see that an abundant life means a joyful sacrifice in our temples, including shining our golden…er, moving and eating. Or resting. Or whatever else our bodies need at any given moment.
Eating whole, nutritious foods and walking each day used to seem impossible. I always used to say, “I can’t fix what I’m eating unless I find out what’s eating me.” I’m so grateful for God’s healing emotionally so I can heal physically too.
I may never grace a magazine cover. I’m probably not going to win a Mrs. America pageant. But I can be the fittest, sparkliest temple I can be and honor the Lord whatever way I can.
What about you? Have you ever given thought to the reasons you eat the way you do, or your exercise habits? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!