Sunday, August 10, 2008

True-ism: Acceptance - Ephesians 3:20

Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)

God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Body Acceptance is a commitment to treat my body with respect, even when there are things I don't like about it. God, please help me to work with my body instead of against it, for your glory.


I will admit that the True-ism of Acceptance is a little difficult for me. 

I have contemplated what Body Acceptance would look like to me, should I implement it on a day to day basis. Especially on those days when I wake up and know my head isn't on right; those days when I don't like how I look in any of my clothes, or regret what I ate the day before, or when I am feeling particularly insecure, or let "numbers" dictate how I feel.

For me, acceptance boils down to two things: gratitude and trust.

The Lord has been speaking to me through Ephesians in a big way this week. I love the New Living Translation: 

Now all glory to God, who is able, 
through his mighty power at work within us, 
to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Somehow I have confused "all glory to God," with "all glory for me".  I have a beautiful life: an amazing husband, beautiful kids, a body that is strong and healthy, family and friends that support and love me. Yet I haven't done a thing to "earn" all these good things . I did not "make" them. 

God has shown His amazing craftsmanship in my life, and continues to do so. He has given me things that I never even thought to ask for! And yet...

Often my ingratitude is palpable, and shamefully apparent. Ingratitude changes the way I view the world. It changes the way I view myself. It leads me to view myself in light of my culture, instead of in the mighty power that is at work in me.

When I can look at my life and see God's amazing blessings, you'd think I'd have no problem with trust. But the truth is that there is often a great pit of distrust that I live in, and convince myself that I feel at home. I fight the Lord on issues of trust more often than I care to admit. 

I love The Message translation of Eph 3:20

He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, 
his spirit deeply and gently.
(emphasis mine)

When I have distrust in the Lord I can usually identify it by my lack of gentleness, with myself and others; by my need to control; my propensity to push things around to make sure I get my way.  

I thought it was interesting to ponder the True-ism definition of Body Acceptance this week:

Body Acceptance is a commitment to treat my body with respect,
even when there are things I don't like about it.

This statement made me see the harsh reality of what I have been willing to do to fit the worlds mold of acceptance. There was a time when under-eating, over exercising, and using weight loss products that are harmful to the body were just a few of the ways I tried to work against my body, instead of with it. I tried to force my body to conform to standards that don't exist without sacrificing very important things in life, and certainly aren't glorifying to God!

Those days of harsh treatment of the body are behind me, but there are still days when harsh thoughts about the body are still alive and active.

Body acceptance is a commitment. It's a willingness to be grateful, and respectful, of what God has given me. It's a willingness to take care of my body in a way that is glorifying to my Creator. It's about trusting God, and following His way, which isn't pushy, or self-seeking. 

It's about remembering that life is so much more than what I look like on the outside, but is "far more than I could ever imagine or guess or request in my wildest dreams!"

Oh Lord! That I might bring you glory. That I would work with you instead of against you!


Carrie and Jim said...

This one is a tough one. I have tried to embrace who I am in Christ but still have trouble fully appreciating his creation. He never makes mistakes but I often doubt the final work (which is who I am.) I often think of how I am evolving spiritually and physically and see if they match up. Too often they are uneven, unbalanced. This is tough and I need much more prayer in this area. Thanks for the motivation.
Great Blog today!

Rachel said...

It is hard to accept who you are, what you look like, what your life is like (even if it's a great life); there is always that desire for more or different things, looks, etc. I STRUGGLE with being happy with how God made me -- I always have. Thank you for your post -- I need to change my head/heart -- I don't want my daughter growing up with the same body-image issues that I have. I want her to herself as a beautiful daughter of God.

Genny said...

I'm so glad you stopped by so I could find your blog. I love your definition of body acceptance, and I completely understand what you mean by harsh treatment of your own body...I've been there. I love the verses you shared, and I love your perpsective about treating our bodies with love and respect! Because life is SO much more than what we look like, isn't it? Thank you for the great reminder.