Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 NIV
We live in a world of social media, TV, movies, Facebook, Instagram etc. All day we are bombarded from every side with images of perfect people with perfect bodies shown to perfect advantage. When I was in college, there were fewer images, as we did not have the internet, but there were enough messages about the perfect body that I did compare myself with others, and often found my body or my appearance lacking. This of course played into my feeling of self worth. Today, with social media being all-pervasive, maintaining a healthy body image is even more challenging.
Comparing ourselves with others often results in viewing ourselves as lacking in physical appearance, body shape, progress in a career, or even spiritual maturity. While I was in college, a godly professor taught on Galatians 6:4 which helped me to change my thinking. “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.” He stressed that we should look at our own progress, see strides we have made forward in our own lives, and not compare ourselves to others.
Each of us has a unique body, a unique appearance, unique talents, jobs, and gifts. Paul, in I Corinthians 15:35-58 talks about God making our physical bodies and our resurrection bodies, and how he has made each kind of plant, animal, and celestial being unique. In verse 38 he says, “But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.” He is using plants, animals and stars as examples to us, to demonstrate to us that God took the time to make each of us, with our own bodies, just exactly as he in his sovereignty determined we should be made.
Instead of comparing ourselves with others, we should, “…offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God,” Romans 12:1. Then we need to focus on the progress we have made in our own lives to, “…grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” This week strive to embrace the enormity of God’s love for you, exactly as he made you.
By Grace Hunter