"So God created man in His image...male and female created He them." Genesis 1:27
In HIS image. In the image of Almighty God.
I stood on the scales and dreaded to look down at the digital numbers that were staring up at me. I had tried...hard. I had deprived myself and purposely made wise choices. But was it enough? I summoned the courage to look....slowly I peered at the number. Less than one pound lost! Actually, it was exactly eight ounces!! My heart sank, and my whole day took a decidedly negative turn. Why couldn't I lose weight? What more could I do to make it happen? I began to scold myself and feel very worthless. Some very self-berating thoughts were going through my head.
My dear Lord began to deal with me, and I began to feel condemnation for the self-deprecation I was inflicting. Should numbers on a scale define who I am? Should seeing them determine whether I am going to have a good or bad day? In the grand scheme of life and eternity, is it really all that important? Sure I feel guilt over allowing myself to gain the amount of weight I have gained. I am very aware that I should definitely take better care of the temple in which God's precious Spirit dwells, and this is an area that I desperately need more self-control.
But, it occurs to me that who I am...who I truly am...the real me deep inside is loved and cherished by my Creator. He doesn't look on my outward appearance. He looks on my heart, remember? I Samuel 16:7 (KJV) says, "...for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." Oh, what a blessing! My failures do not alter the fact that He loves me...unconditionally...no matter what.
My thoughts turn, as they so often do, to Zachary. I am so glad God chose to allow me to assist Him in the miracle process of creating a new life!! How hurtful it is to hear him put himself down and make degrading remarks when his performance is less than he knows it could have been! It hurts because I am his mother, and he is a part of me.
How it must hurt and grieve our Heavenly Father when we degrade ourselves, and we despise the physical bodies He so carefully designed! Psalm 139:14 (KJV) says, "I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." Instead of focusing on the outside flaws and imperfections and areas that need improvement, I need to praise Him for the healthy body He has given and all of the amazing blessings He has bestowed.
II Corinthians 10:12 (KJV) tells us that "comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise." When I compare myself to those around me who are thinner, prettier, or even more spiritual, I am using an unwise and man-made gauge that is not used or even recognized by my Creator. Society places unrealistic demands and generates pressure on us, especially as women, to conform to earthly "images". This takes our focus off of the real Image we are created in, and the Image we are endeavoring to be more like.
So, I will continue to try hard to lose this excess weight. I'll do the things I know I need to do...drink more water, exercise more often, and continue to endeavor to make healthier eating choices. And I will remind myself often that God is more concerned with how closely I am conforming to His Own image than to external, fleshly standards. And I will try to remember that even when I mess up and fall short, He loves me just the same.