A couple of Sundays ago while getting ready for church, I excitedly put on a new outfit I had just received for my birthday. I had gone shopping with my mom about a month prior, tried on the pants, my mom bought them and saved them for my birthday. Now the time had come to wear my new outfit. But, to my dismay, the pants didn’t fit. “WHAT!?! They fit just fine a month ago! What happened?” They didn’t just feel tight, they looked too tight–inappropriate to wear out of the house too tight. “Have I gained that much weight in one month?,” I thought. “I look awful! I feel so fat! I just keep getting bigger and bigger!” I felt quite discouraged and down on myself.
I believe this is a very common feeling. It usually leads to trying one diet plan after another. Sometimes we find success, but often not. Often we try to change our behavior or change the way we appear on the outside without fixing the real problem on the inside–our thoughts & beliefs. That may work for a little while, but if we don’t address the root cause, the problem’s going to reappear in one form or another. It’s like smoke coming from a fire. You could spray some air freshener or open a window to try and get rid of the smoke smell, or you could go find the fire and put it out. As a friend of mine says, “Follow the smoke trail.”
Well, that’s just what I did on that Sunday afternoon. As I weeded through my thoughts and emotions, I discoved a few beliefs that were incorrect. I found the fire: (1) My outward appearance makes me acceptable and valuable, (2) I can get a good measure of my personal worth/value by comparing myself to others, and (3) I can increase my personal worth/value by losing weight. These are the false beliefs that led me to get down on myself, cry, compare myself to more people to try to make me feel better, and try even harder to lose weight.
In taking this time with God to identify my feeling, thoughts, and false beliefs, He revealed His Truth to me, and that made all the difference in the world. My value is not based on my appearance–it is based on being God’s creation and His child! Psalm 139 says, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God values me so much that He planned for His only Son to die so that He could have me back. Because of Christ, I am “accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph 1:6) When I compare myself to others to see how I measure up, it’s like giving them permission to determine my personal worth. The truth it that only God can assign value to His creation. He says I’m already acceptable and valuable, so there’s no need for me to prove myself WOW! That’s freeing! Knowing the truth frees me up to take care of my body because I know I’m valuable.