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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Perfect People...

Check out this new song by Natalie Grant.
What a wonderful reminder that we don't need to be perfect... but that we serve a God who is!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chapter 6: Transforming Your Mind, Transforming Your Body Image

"Making peace with your body starts with what you believe..."
"What you think about your body is your body image. If you think negatively about your body, then you have a negative body image. If you think positively about your body, then you have a positive body image. A healthy body image has no correlation to what you weigh or how you look."
Change your mind...

What thoughts are guiding your life?
Is your mind influenced by God or by the world?

"Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

In this Scripture we are asked to give our bodies to God as a sacrifice. We are to live in our bodies for God's glory, not our own. Living your life as a sacrifice means renewing your mind through the Holy Spirit. You need to believe in God's truth and turn away from the lies of the world.

7 Lies that the world tells us about our bodies...

Lie #1: If I change something about my body, I will finally like myself
The Truth: Healthy self esteem comes from believing in the value God holds of you, not in the value man places in you

Lie #2: My outward appearance is the most important thing about me
The Truth: Your outward appearance is what people will first judge you by, but your personality, self confidence, talents, abilities, and spiritual sensitivity are each vital to who you are as well

Lie #3: Everyone can look like movie stars if they diet enough and work at it enough
The Truth: We tend to look more like our blood relatives than movie stars

Lie #4: Attractive people don't have any problems
The Truth: We all have problems in this lie, and being attractive doesn't make you immune to problems

Lie #5: Being overweight is a sin
The Truth: It is not a sin to be overweight. The real sin for many is turning to food or substance to meet needs only God can meet.

Lie #6: I must compete with other women and look as good as they do
The Truth: You will always be the loser when you compete for beauty with other women

Lie #7: My body is who I am
The Truth: Your body is part of who you are, but not completely who you are

The world says that we have to look a certain way to be beautiful and valuable. God says that we are each unique and special. God says that true peace comes from a relationship with Him, not looking a certain way. The peace that the world offers from looking a certain way most often never comes.

Transform your body image:

Take time to write down 3 negative
statements about your body.
Go back and rewrite them in a positive way.

Thank God for making you...
we are all tagged with the label,

"Individually Crafted With the Compliments of Your Creator."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chapter 5: Biblical Characters Reveal God's View of Beauty...

In this chapter we looked at some characters from the Bible and how God viewed beauty in their lives. Newman gives special attention to the nature of Jesus.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1, 14
We learned that this particular Scripture highlights how God feels about our bodies and the beauty of them. God created us and the bodies that we live in. By taking on the form of human flesh, God placed his blessing on our bodies. By such an action, God is demonstrating that he cares about the bodies he has gifted us with. Jesus Christ experienced life in an imperfect body, just as we are. Even with an imperfect body, Jesus showed evidence of a healthy body image.

Jesus displayed a healthy body image in the 3 important aspects already discussed:

1. Respect
Creating something gives you a great respect for it. God created our human bodies so he has respect for his creation. Jesus finds so much value in our human bodies that he came to earth and died so that our bodies could experience eternal life.

2. Care
Jesus took incredibly good care of his body. As a carpenter and lumberjack he would have developed great muscular strength. He was also aerobically fit enough to walk many miles between cities. Jesus ate a healthy, Mediterranean diet. He always ate and fed others nutritious food. His physical fitness was shown most when he survived brutal treatment and made it to the cross.

3. Perspective
Jesus wasn't the most attractive man in his time. But Jesus had the perspective of showing God's love through himself, not a perfect earthly body. People were not drawn to Jesus because of his appearance, but because of the love he showed others. Physical beauty isn't very important to God.

Think about it...
Is your beauty or someone else's beauty a problem for you?
How is your beauty affecting your relationship with God?
Why didn't God create Jesus with perfect physical characteristics?

"I think of Jesus as a short, balding, skinny, dark-eyed, dark-haired, olive-skinned man with crooked teeth and a big nose. And I totally love Him. I've never seen Jesus, but I love Him because of WHO HE IS."
(Newman 80)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chapter 4: The Body Manufacturer's Instructions...

In this chapter Deborah Newman touches upon some specific instructions from Scripture about how we are to care for our bodies. I will highlight just a few of those here...

"Hating your body is a sign that something
is out of balance in your life"

1) Don't worry about your bodily needs; God will provide for you
This truth comes from Matthew 6:25-33. In this passage of Scripture we are told that life is more important than food and our temporal bodies. Worrying about such things is done by those who aren't fully trusting God. But if we seek God first in everything we do, which includes trusting him for food, clothes and our body, then He will provide for us. When we put our ultimate trust in God we have no need to worry about these things because He will always provide for our needs. How often do we disregard the daily things that God does for us?

Take time to thank God today for...
Food in your home...
you are not starving to death
Clothes in your closet...
you are not naked
The ability to walk and run...
you are not paralyzed

God certainly does provide for our every need!

2) Don't worry about your body as much as your soul
This one really hits home. How many times have I been more concerned about exercising, making my next meal or losing weight than about spending time in God's Word? I am ashamed of the number of times I have chosen to worry about my body and not the condition of my soul. In Matthew 10:28-31 God instructs us to be just as cautious of things that control our soul as things that control our bodies. There will always be people in this world that can hurt and destroy our bodies, but we are in control of protecting our soul.

Are you more concerned about the condition of your body than your soul?
How often do you put exercise and food before being in the presence of God?

3) Don't offer your body to sin, but offer it to God
Sometimes sin can be a scary word. It seems so intimidating. In essence, sin is anything that pulls us away from the presence of God. When our thoughts and actions are being controlled by something apart from glorifying God, we are being sinful. Romans 6:11-14 states that our body should be offered to God, not sinful purposes. Our bodies are meant to be used for righteousness. Every day we are faced with choices regarding our body. Our bodies are gifts from God and He desires for us to give ourselves to Him so that his purposes can be carried out in this world.

What consumes your mind most of the day?
How does that affect the actions you take with your body?

4) Our bodies are temporary
What good news to know that we won't always live in these bodies that get sick, broken-down, and age. It's important to keep the focus that these bodies are temporary places for us to glorify the kingdom of God. In the end it will not matter if our bodies are skinny or fat, short or tall. Some day these earthly bodies will be traded for an eternity with our Heavenly Father. But when we become consumed with the condition of our body and food that we eat, we are in danger of straying from God's presence. 2 Corinthians: 6-10 states that "We live by faith, not by sight. It is better to be away from the body and at home with the Lord."

Are you living as if your body is a temporary dwelling?