I am still making my way through Lesson 5 in the HEAL book. I hope you are still with me! 🙂
I just feel prompted after reading/working through the first few pages to sit back a moment and to take time to evaluate….join me in this, ok?
Do you find yourself plagued by thoughts like these?
- “I have let God down…again…”
- “I am never going to be free from this…”
- “I just want to be normal.”
- “I have blown it again.”
If the answer is “Yes,” consider something…whose standards are you aspiring to meet? Your own? God’s? Someone else’s?
If the answer is anything other than God’s, then we have to, HAVE to make some adjustments to our thinking.
If the answer is “God’s” then the next question is, where do we get our understanding of what His standards even are?
So often we get our ideas of what we have to do to “impress” God or convince God of our “okay-ness” from the world, from our (often dysfunctional) families or some other source. Often we don’t get our ideas from the Word of God–even if we *are* students of the Word!
For instance, I often hear (and have often said) “I have let God down.”
The truth is that God doesn’t depend on me to hold him up! I can’t “let God down!” In fact, quite the opposite is true. He holds me up! He lifts ME up!
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
Many of us are plagued by perfectionism and fears of failure. The Lord wants us to let go of this. This is true even in the area of our eating and exercising. In fact, maybe he allows eating, exercising and body image to be a challenge for us so that we can learn to let go of our insistence that we be perfect. Maybe, just maybe, our longing for perfection and relentless way we try to arrive there is a deep-seated longing for our True perfect Home–Heaven…the perfection of Jesus and all He promises some day!
Questions for prayerful evaluation and application:
- Is there any way in which you have allowed yourself to have a standard of perfection in your eating, your exercising, or your view of yourself?
- Do you extend grace to yourself? I am not talking about license where you throw caution to the wind, but what sets the standard for you? Is it society that says women have to be all, do it all, and look dynamite (according to a computer-enhanced image in fashion magazines) to boot? Or is it the Lord that tells you to rest in Him, to fix your eyes on Him, to set your mind steadfastly on the Lord and he will give you peace?
- Do you spend as much time agonizing over the lost in the world as you do over not fitting into a new pair of jeans? Do you hate sin as much or more as you hate being too heavy? If not, then you have bought into our culture’s standards. It may be subtle…
Moving for change:
How can we realign our thinking with that of the Lord?
- Ask Him to help us with this is a great first step.
- Ask His Spirit to show us where worldly thinking has seeped into our own lives will help, too. Perhaps you can take time with an open bible and an open journal, pen in hand. Ask Him, “Lord, in what ways do I invite the world into my thinking to determine my standards? Then jot down what He impresses upon your heart as you wait quietly before Him.
- Determine to do something practical to obey Him in this. For instance, do you have fashion or exercise/dieting magazines? Throw them out! Take time to fast a particular program you watch on TV that he lays on your heart might not be in godly best interest. Let’s allow ourselves to be reprogrammed by God who says we are His precious daughters. He looks at our hearts, not our outward appearance.
- Prayerfully ask Him: What does my heart say to You, Lord, about who I am? Jot down what he lays on your heart.
You’re loved regardless of your performance and what you have or have not accomplished. Jesus’ love is constant and ever present. (Smith and Halliday, HEAL, page 90)
Let’s press on. God isn’t about changing our bodies. He is about changing our hearts.