By Laurel Robinson
There is an article called “Seven Easy Steps to Weight Loss” by a woman who lost 75 pounds. The first four steps were a tongue-in-cheek how-to about how the author gained weight over time, then the 5th and 6th steps were “have grace for yourself” and “like yourself.” The final step was what she called the “simple” part: “count your calories and work out a lot.”
The point: Loving ourselves can be the hardest part of living well.
Let’s start with the body. Do you thank God for your body?
Psalm 139:16-- “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Can you embrace your body, even the flaws? Can you see God’s sovereignty, even over any diseases that are present? Take a moment to think of all the things your body has done for you in the past week. Be honest. Be positive. Write a list if you like.
After my body had been through pregnancy and labor, I found that my view of it changed. Previously, I would have been comparing my outsides to others’ and lamenting lumps where I didn’t want them; now, I was in awe of the way the Lord made the body. It was not an extension of my vanity; it was a life-giving, organic, amazing creation! I did not mean to change my thinking. It was like an out-of-body experience.
So many important, delicately balanced processes happen in your body every day. When you get a cut, your skin heals it from the inside out. When you get too warm, your body makes subtle changes to keep your temperature in the just-right range so that all your cells can continue to function.
Your fingernails. Your ankles. Your jaw. Your ears. Think of what they do for you daily. Even diseases can teach us that the design of our bodies is intelligent, and complex: if one member fails, so much is affected.
Proverbs 4: 20-23
My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Living well in your body starts with living well in your heart. Conversely, living in the light of God’s wisdom will bring health to your body! This November, seek to love the body that God gave you. Meditate on God’s great love for you. Seek wisdom and be open to adopting practices to nurture and care for your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.