Fighting Body Image Perfection

PLEASE READ GENESIS 2:8-3:13 & ROMANS 5:12-21

How often do you begin a casual conversation with someone only for it to end in the dreaded area of weight or body image?  Think about your most recent conversations with your girlfriends.  Maybe you said something like: I can’t wear that because it makes me look fat, that style doesn’t look good on my round little body, or my arms are too big for tank tops.

Or if you’re a guy, the conversations about your body are more internal ones you have with yourself, but they manifest in trying to out lift the other guys at the gym or attempts to look muscular.  Just because men’s body image struggles are less talked about than women’s doesn’t mean they don’t exist. 

We so often end up in conversations or thought patterns where we are bashing our own bodies.  Our culture has led us into a body obsession in all the wrong ways for all the wrong reasons.

Not only are we obsessed with our body but also we are obsessed with our food.  I’m not talking about a desire for eating healthy, sustainable, whole foods, I’m talking about obsessions over counting calories, restrictive diets & losing 10 pounds so you can be ready for your next big life event.

God gave Adam & Eve a garden full of good food.  This food represented their freedom, but along came the serpent & twisted the truth to make them believe the food represented bondage. 

Our body image problem began long before we were born.  It started in the garden when Adam & Eve decided to believe the lie that they didn’t already portray the image of God.  Once they realized their nakedness {which they previously had no problem with} they became ashamed.

Never once did God condemn them.  God gave a suitable & necessary consequence for the sin, but He didn’t condemn Adam & Eve.  The enemy’s lie & their own self-condemnation led them to want to cover their bodies.  In fact, in Genesis 3:21, God makes them clothing from animal skins as a representation that He would cover their shame & as a prophetic picture that Jesus would someday cover ours.

Satan wants to keep us in a cycle of performance.  If he can keep us there, then we are stuck in bondage.  Your whole life becomes about achieving, but God wants to meet us where we are right now & show us that our life is actually about receiving His goodness.

This lie of performance shows up in the world of, I want to look a certain way, weigh a certain amount & be perceived as having a certain body image.  There is NOTHING wrong with pursuing health, even physical health, but if that goal occupies more of our heart & mind space than the work of God does, then we are out of balance & unhealthy. 

Where do you struggle the most with your health?  {body image, making good choices, calorie restriction/indulgence}

Today, ask God what lies about your health, about food or about Him you believe.