“Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Keeping on the topic of physical beauty, the phrase “my body is a temple” comes to mind. I think this is a slippery slope, at least for me, and a phrase that is often misconstrued. Physical appearance is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. Finding the balance between trying to be perfect and being a total train wreck. Either my diet is planned to the T, or I treat my body like a garbage disposal.
As Christians, we believe that God will grant us new bodies in Heaven. Which for some, is justification for treating their bodies like the above mentioned “garbage disposal”. Others view earthly flesh as a blessing, and work hard to care for it. But for these people, myself included, I think it can become very easy to begin worshipping the body itself. Sarah Young tells us that, “Whatever occupies your mind the most becomes your God.” and, “Worries, if indulged, develop into idols. Anxiety gains a life of its own, parasitically infesting your mind.”
I often worry about reaching my goals and experience anxiety at the thought of not reaching those goals. So I have to ask myself, why am I putting in two hours at the gym everyday? Is it because I’m grateful for what’s been given to me, or, is it because I’m trying to conform to societies image of beauty? Unfortunately, I think much of my motivation stems from the latter. So the real question I need to ask myself is what’s more important? Glorifying my body or glorifying God with my body?
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I pray that God will break these chains and redirect my thoughts. That he will tap on my shoulder and remind me of the real reason I should take care of my body. That I will continue to push and challenge myself, not because I don’t feel like I’m good enough, but because God gave me the strength to do so.