“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20, ESV).
Do you know someone who regularly puts themself down and thinks of this as humility? I would like to lovingly suggest that this kind of habit is saddening to our Abba Father. He spent eternity past dreaming up the masterpieces that He would create in you and me, in His very own image. To have someone constantly tearing them down grieves Him. This is false humility. It is the opposite of gratitude for His goodness to us in knitting us together fearfully and wonderfully, as a reflection of His own glory and magnificent creativity.
I recently had a conversation with a young man who struggles with feeling good about his body. He acknowledged to me that he knows this goes back to elementary school, where he was often teased about his weight. Now, as a teenager, he has a hard time seeing his physical frame in the mirror through positive eyes.
I was able to share with him about my own journey in this area, which has taken place over many years. I could very much relate to the experience of looking in the mirror with faultfinding eyes. I was there for a long time. Can you relate? If so, read on, my friend, because this is for you.
I remember when Holy Spirit began to lovingly convict me about this. He whispered to my heart a phrase from His Word, where He addresses correction to the “…harsh treatment of the body” (Col. 2:23, NIV). In doing so, He was asking me not to be harsh towards my body, even in my thoughts and inner attitudes.
As this young man and I discussed the topic, it got me thinking… and not just thinking, but also listening to Holy Spirit speak to me more on the matter. Here is what I believe He is putting on my heart for you and me.
Dear one, He wants us to not only accept, but even have affection for our bodies. To move in this direction, first of all, we need to take habitual thoughts captive – those thought darts from the enemy aimed at getting us to reject our bodies. God is calling us to replace the harsh critical attitude we have grown accustomed to having towards ourselves… with kindness and affirmation towards these fearfully and wonderfully made homes of Holy Spirit Himself: our bodies!
In order to be obedient to Him in this area, we need to partner with Him, engaging with His Word. We need to choose His Word for the way we speak to ourselves within our own thoughts, about our bodies. We can choose self-talk along these lines: “My body is strong. It is the holy temple of the Spirit of God. It carries the marks of His majesty. Made in His own image, it is awe-inspiring. It has served me with such faithful service, taking me everywhere I want to go. I am grateful for this amazing and precious gift, thank You Father!”
As any other area, this will be a process. You now, I am right there with you; I have come a long way, and I am still needing to grow here. My marvelously created friend, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up in this area of obedience to Him!
How is your growth journey going, in the area of agreeing with God about how He created you?