Letting Go of Body-Hate: A Fresh Perspective 

 

http://ministry-to-children.com/psalm-13914-coloring-page/
 
Happy Monday all! 

Are you ready to start the serious part of the week? Actually I beat you to it. Japan really is the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’and my Monday is over! (Breathes sigh of relief.) 

Anyhow, I’m popping in to share part two of last week’s post. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Catch up here. 

I tried it. 

Every time I looked in the bathroom mirror I recited Psalm 139:14 and praised God for my body as His creation. 

As I forced the words out of my lips I felt akward and totally phony. This exercise  was so completely unnatural for a girl who was habitually faultfinding and critical of herself. 

I had no idea where this strange experiment would lead but I really sought to see myself from a different perspective–from the perspective of the Scriptures.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -Ephesians 2:10 NIV

I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. -Psalm 138:14 NKJV

And slowly but surely, my perspective began to change. It didn’t happen  overnight. It wasn’t instantaneous. My processs letting go of body hate was just that, a process of Jesus’ healing and transforming power. 

I realized that my physical appearance was of little weight in the grand scheme of life. What really mattered was that God loved me and created me for a purpose. 

He had already prepared good works for me, and had lofty, exciting plans in which living in perpetual resentment of my body was not a part. 

I realized that hating my body sapped positive energy that I could be using to bless others, to share the love of Jesus, and to enjoy life. 

Today, I’m still a far cry from absolutely loving my body. Yet that is not my focus. Whether or not my body is perfect is no longer my focus. In fact, I try not to consider my body too much at all these days.

Instead I have a new focus. A focus that began with those pointed words from my mom and God speaking to my heart through His Word. 

I am happy to say that I no longer hate my body. I no longer hold resentment or anger for my appearance. God deserves all the glory for this transformation. He is the one who is gently bringing me along this journey called recovery…

But, back to the Scriptures. 😉

Praising God for being fearfully and wonderfully made isn’t just a clever way of saying “I’m so pretty” or “I’m so awesome.” 

That’s not the point. 

Neither am I saying that we should be in love with every aspect of our bodies. We are human and physical imperfections are a normal part of our existence.  

What I am saying is this: the fool-proof remedy for negative body image and self-hate is to remove the focus from ourselves and to focus on Jesus. 

Consider Psalm 138:14 again.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. -Psalm 138:14 NKJV

Notice that this verse does not say “I will celebrate myself for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Or  “I am so marvelous…”

We are not to generate pride or cultivate self-glorification in any way for that would be to simply flip from one extreme to another. 

Instead, we are to praise Jesus. In order to emerge from the dark place of body-hate, we must focus solely on Him and His awesomeness. 

Like the Psalmist, we should place the focus on Jesus, saying “I will praise you” and “Marvelous are your works.” David gave all the praise and glory to God while freely rejoicing in His handiwork. 

Friends, you and I are God’s handiwork.  We were created for a purpose. We were fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Since God’s works are marvelous and we are His handiwork, we are marvelous–you are marvelous. 
This ‘marvelousness’ (forgive me for making up words) comes with a purpose. God created us for good works. 

It pains Him to see us wasting time and energy living in underlying hatred for the bodies He has given to us. 

At some point, it’s time to quit. Even if it feels strange and weird at first, try to believe God’s Words. Thus slowly but surely, your perspective will be positively transformed.

When your feelings tell you otherwise–when they scream that you are ugly, fat, awful, or unlovely–ignore them and focus on Jesus. 

Imagine Jesus lovingly creating you. 

Imagine Him intricately and skillfully forming you in your mother’s womb. 

Imagine Him excitedly planning for you the wonderful things that He has in mind for you to do for His kingdom. 

Imagine Him smiling wide in anticipation for the day of your birth, just waiting to have a friendship with you and to give you a happy healthy life. 

Don’t waste your energy on body-hate. I know it’s crazy hard not to once the habit has been formed. It’s difficult at first not to focus on perceived physical flaws and imperfections. 

In spite of this, resist the temptation to nurture any thoughts of body-hate.

Put in the hard work. Repeat and seek to believe what God says about you regardless of your feelings. Ask Jesus to show you the specific mission for which you were created. Never forget His outstanding love and that He desires to see you recover from poor body image and live life to its fullest. 

Oh yes and I’m talking to me too. Although I praise God that I no longer hate my body, I am still in the thick of recovery. I’m daily discovering new attitudes and thought processes that need to be surrendered to Jesus. 

And that’s what I love about recovery. It’s a time of discovery, of identifying what I really believe and aligning myself with truth. 

At the same time, recovery is tough. It takes work and effort. Yet in the end it is worth it. Jesus is right there to help us and He will support us through it all. He gives grace for our slip ups and strength for the fight. 

Just know that Jesus loves you deeply and that indeed, you are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him!

-J

What is your favorite part of eating disorder recovery? What do you think is the biggest factor in recovering from body-hate? How’s your Monday going so far? 

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