I recently realized that I was believing these kinds of lies: “God will accept me only when I am at my natural, healthy size. And if I’m not at my natural, healthy size, then God is disappointed in me. I am not acceptable until I meet that size.” As I type those lies out, I’m almost gasping that I would even believe such revolting things–but I did. And I also realized that I was thinking my “ideal” size was what I was hoping my natural, healthy size would be. My “ideal” was the image that our culture has made the standard. I was getting so tired of hearing the lies being played over and over again in my head. I needed to find out what God truly thinks about me when it comes to my body and size. Like, I knew that I am ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, but does God really accept me when I don’t feel like I’m acceptable, like I’m fitting the “ideal”? Does He love me when I don’t feel very lovable? So I dove into scripture and searched because His truth is the only thing that matters. Here are some scriptures that I uncovered:
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
That was a scripture that I have known for awhile in this journey. And I knew that God is more concerned about the condition of my heart, but it was really hard to let the appearance thing go. And I found myself trying to justify my body obsession with saying that “of course God wants me to take care of my body!” But taking care of my body, the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) doesn’t mean obsessing over being a particular size or having some beach body. We all have such different bodies, created by our Heavenly Father, where no two bodies are the same. And he certainly doesn’t want us obsessing over a number on a scale, over our food, or our body image.
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30
For some of us, it may be hard to read that and know that we will grow old, get wrinkles, and we won’t look like we did when we were 20. Aging happens. There’s no way around it. So putting our security in our body and appearance will probably, at some point, let us down. But if we put our fear and security in the Lord (for He never changes), we will be standing upon a Rock and we won’t be wavering every time our “beauty” passes. I want to focus more on the Lord and my heart beating for Him; I don’t want my life focus to be my body, body, body. Can I get an amen?
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
This scripture challenges me to think about the motive of my heart in wanting to release weight. Is it to please the world and fit it’s standard? Or am I seeking to please the Lord and honor the temple of the Holy Spirit? He wants my heart to please Him first and foremost.
And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15
Again, another motive check. Who am I trying to please? The world cheers on those who fit the image, but even for those who are desperately trying to fit the image, the enemy is always there saying you are too much or not enough. For me, even when I released the baby weight after having my middle child, the enemy was there saying, “It’s not enough! More! More!” The world says a certain look is what we should strive for, and basically, it takes a lot of obsession and sometimes desperate measures to meet that standard. God doesn’t want us trying to live up to the standard of the world. He wants us to live for Him and live up to what His Word says for our lives. We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). And I think it really breaks His heart when we are constantly striving to have a certain body instead of thanking Him for the one we have.
And that makes me think of another lie I was believing. I had such a hard time believing that God accepted me at my current size/weight. I kept on thinking, “Lord, you knit me together, but this current body cannot possibly be what you designed for me to be. How can you accept me as I am? Lord, my habits of overeating have brought me to this place, so how can you accept me when I’ve done this to myself?” And that’s why I absolutely have to go back to the Word of God and find out what He says about me because that lie can lead one down a treacherous, shameful, self-condemned path.
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. I Peter 3:3-4
I think it’s nice to look nice. I think we should take care of our body, honor, and respect it. It means wearing clothes that fit your current body (stop trying to squeeze into something that makes you feel bad because it’s not currently fitting). I think it’s fun to have a hair style that we really like, and to wear jewelry, and to wear clothes that make us feel beautiful, but those things don’t make us beautiful. True beauty comes from within. The Lord will ask me, “What’s in your heart?” He’s more concerned about the ‘look’ of my heart. Am I kind? Do I speak kindly to my family? Am I peaceful and secure in the Lord? Am I compassionate and gentle? Do I walk in love?
“BUT NOW [in spite of past judgments for Israel’s sins], thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you, I will give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you;” Isaiah 43:1-5 AMP
I love, love, love, these verses! He created me! He formed me! He’s redeemed me! He calls me by my name! I am His! He is with me! I am precious in His sight! He loves me! Something the Lord has been asking me (once again in my life) is, “Am I (God) enough for you? If you never released weight, or even gained weight, am I enough for you?” GULP! I sort of don’t like that question because He asks it when it’s something I really, really, really don’t want or something I really do want. Sometimes, to be honest, the answer has been “no”. *sad face* And I know that I don’t have the freedom to move forward until I can say “YES!” And I’ve known for awhile in this journey that I needed to come to that place of being content with my weight/size no matter what. I knew I would have to come to a place of genuine acceptance. I fought it, hard. No way did I want to be content with staying at my current size when I knew there was weight to be released. Nor did I want to say I would be content if I gained weight. Are you kidding me? (He’s not kidding me!) But now I am seeing that I’ve strived after some “ideal” and I have to let that go and do what I know He’s shown me to do (eating between hunger and satisfaction). And I’ve had to accept that my natural, healthy weight is where I land when I’m consistently doing just that. God is enough to satisfy me if I never release weight. He is my all in all! And I am all of those things to Him, as that verse says, no matter what my current body looks like!
[And the Lord answered] Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me. Isaiah 49:15-16 AMP
First of all, I think it’s almost impossible for a mother to forget her hungry child. And I think He’s making that point. When babies are hungry, they cry. And if you don’t feed them right away, they CRY even more. It’s pretty hard to ignore. This verse reminds me of how if a good father gives good gifts to his child, how much more will God give to us? (Matthew 7:7-12). If it’s hard for a mother to forget her hungry child, how much more impossible is it for God to forget us? Totally impossible! God will NOT forget you! Or me! And I love the Amplified version of this verse because it says we are TATTOOED on the palm of not just one, but BOTH of His hands. We are pretty special!!! I love my kids so much and I don’t have a tattoo on the palm of my hands of them. Ha! So just think about how MUCH He loves you! Wow!!! You, my dear brother or sister in Christ, are loved and accepted by Him!
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV
I love this verse because it’s saying that He had a plan about us before we were even formed in the womb. He specifically designed us to be the individual person that we are. He gave us a personality, likes, dislikes, our looks, etc. We are His masterpiece!
[He exclaimed] O my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you! Song of Solomon 4:7 AMP
He says we are beautiful! You are beautiful! He didn’t create you with a flaw! Not a one! We were made in His image. He gave you life! I love how this verse in the Amplified just puts it right out there; there’s no question or doubt that He says I am beautiful! No matter what the mirror may tell us or what the world says about our image, HE says we are beautiful! You are beautiful! He didn’t create flaws; everything in His creation was “good”. And that includes you!
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT
I never really looked at myself as His “masterpiece”. But I LOVE this way of looking at what He did when He created me and formed me. I am His work of art! You are His masterpiece! And then when we become a new creature in Christ–that masterpiece takes on even more in depth beauty!
For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10 NLT
I live around mountains and I’ve never seen one disappear, but just in case if one does, I will know that God’s love is even more faithful than the surety of a mountain staying put. So basically, it’s pretty much impossible for a mountain to disappear. So we can be sure that God’s love will ALWAYS be! His love is unfailing!! (1 Cor 13:)
What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 NLT
There is really no point in knowing how many hairs we have on our head, but God says He loves us so much and we are so important to us that He even knows that number. We are so precious to Him! Can you see just how much He loves you and cares about you?
Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalms 73:25-26 NLT
This is one of those verses that really makes me see how God is totally enough for me. My security isn’t my health or how lean my body may be. I want Him to be the strength of my heart because I will always have Him–forever and always. He is my Rock on which I stand–no matter what! Forever!
And the last two verses I’m sharing are the same from Zephaniah, but I wanted to share two different versions because they are both so beautifully written:
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
He delights in us! Think about how when you have a baby: they sleep, they eat, they poop…oh…and cry. And eventually they smile, and coo. But the point is that even in those few things that they do, we delight in them. We love them just because. It’s not based on their performance or because of their looks. We just delight in them and they are so precious to us! The Lord delights in us and it’s not because of our performance. He’s like, “See that child of mine? I love them so much!” And then he rejoices over us with singing. This is such a beautiful description of how much He loves us. So just cuddle up in His arms and let Him sing over you. He is just so in love with you!
These verses have been such a blessing to me in the last week. I need to lean upon God’s word in this journey. His word never changes and it breathes life into my soul. I’ve been so encouraged as I’ve applied these truths. When lies arise, I take the thoughts captive and bring them under the obedience of Christ by remembering what God says about me in these scriptures. For example, today I saw myself in the mirror and immediately I started to criticize my body, but then immediately, God’s truth came in and raised up a standard against those lies (Isaiah 59:19). I’ve been using these verses to write scripture prayers. Before even getting out of bed in the morning, I open my notes on my phone and read through these scriptures. When I truth journal, I include what God says about me from these verses. And let me tell you, it’s helped so much! There are so many wonderful tools out there that we can use to renew our mind and to help us think on His truth, but there’s nothing like the unadulterated word of God!
I want to encourage you to keep these verses close to your heart! You are loved and accepted by Him! I’m praying that you will be transformed by these truths!
This really spoke to my spirit. I had to stop weighing myself and trust God that this journey is not about body change but about heart change. It is so difficult, but God is speaking with me about these same things! Thanks for the encouragement. I’m going to copy down some of these verses as well.
Mandy, I am so thankful that these verses spoke to you! I really like what you said about this being about a heart change. So true! And I truly believe that heart change will in turn create a physical change as well. Pray these scriptures. Meditate on them and soon they will come back to your remembrance when situations arise. God’s word is our weapon and answer!