It was something I had been told as an 8 year old ballet student. The other students made negative and demeaning comments about my appearance.“You are fat” which my mind translated into “You are not good enough” It felt like a poison dart and it affected my self-perception. You might struggle with the same lie; or perhaps the lies you believe differ.
During that emotionally stressful and socially embarrassing season, I focused on my outward appearance to a default. Years later, I believed the same lie; I thought being rail-thin would help me fit in with the cool kids. In junior high school I tried every fad diet invented in hopes of attaining the unrealistic bikini bodies I lusted after in Seventeen magazine. In high school I tried an assortment of diet drugs with the notion of getting fast results. I soon found out the truth – there is no substitute for renewing my mind by the word of God.
When we devote ourselves to search out and discover truth, we find it’s through submission to God’s ways, we uncover victory.
Hebrews 10:22 says, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” This means we are dedicated to learn what God thinks about us. When we do this, the impact of the opinions and accusations of others will be diminished. God helped me untangle the knots of self-deception so I would be free to experience His truth. God’s Word cut through the lies and ushered in the truth of His love: “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jer. 31:3 (NIV). When I heard, applied and believed what God said about me, I could love myself, my body and appearance, just the way God made me.
When you feel guilty, it is difficult to move forward. But we don’t have to be victimized by our past, held captive to our thoughts or imprisoned by how others perceive us. Trusting God moves us ahead unhindered; our progress becomes secure as we apply God’s word to our circumstances and allow Him to move us from deception to truth. It helps to take control of our thoughts and say His word out loud. The truth of Romans 8:1breaks through guilt, shame, blame, and unworthiness, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Let God defend you and free you through the power of His word.
Now I accept my body and my physical limitations with the first-hand experience of the importance of disciplining myself. It feels wonderful not to allow food or the opinions of others to tell me how to feel about my looks, my personality or even my spiritual gifts. For my own fitness, I’ve chosen to maintain my weight using a healthy eating plan, physical exercise and activity plus a daily banquet of God’s word. I know that it is worth it to believe God’s ways are best. Belief has brought me great relief. What about you? Do you doubt God’s ways? Maybe it’s time to chose God’s will over yours. You won’t regret it.
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Dear Father, thank you for your word. I ask for you to show me the lies I have believed. Help me find scripture references that cut through them and bring in the truth. Renew my view Lord; show me what is true. Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love and for freeing me from condemnation. You have set me free, indeed. In Jesus’s Name, Amen
This blog appeared on Lead Like Jesus’ blog on July 25, 2019 https://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/belief-brings-relief