1 Cor.9:26-27 “I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping . . .” (MSG)
When it comes to Church, we do a lot of spiritual work and it is great because everything stems from the spiritual. We do a little bit more on the mental side, but we do not do much on the body side. But the body side is what gives the spiritual side credence on earth. However, topics about the body are very sensitive, so we shy away from talking about it because people are sensitive about their bodies. But you need to know that you have a God that loves you too much, a Pastor that cares about you too much, and a church family that supports you too much to leave you the way you are, without coming into what the Bible calls the Abundant Life.
The abundant life is what Paul is talking about in today’s scripture reference when he says that he is striving to be in top condition [physically, spiritually, and emotionally], striving to be in top shape. I agree that there has been a lot of abuse when it comes to being in shape. There is a lot of media idolisation [if you will] on what everybody should be like. So, there are women that want to be size zero even in their fifties and the reason is, that is what the media puts in front of us as what “beauty” looks like. In fact, I did not even know there was anything called a size zero. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being a size zero if you are a size zero. But if you are not, you are still fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the heavens and the earth. For the men, the image is you need to look like Conan the barbarian.
Time and again, I bump into friends from school. After playing golf one day, I bumped into a friend from school and one of the first things he said was, “You have not changed.” But as he spoke, I noticed that he was really looking at me. I also noticed that he had a pot belly, and he was trying to suck it in. And I am thinking to myself that this is not necessary. However, the image we have been given is that if your biceps are not sculpted, if you have one pack and not six then… Pack is pack; some have one, some have six some have… But the challenge is that we have been giving an image of what ‘good shape’ looks like.
As Christians, we have an advantage but most times, we do not even realise it because it is not being taught. While Hollywood focuses on one thing, our God focuses on something else entirely. God’s focus is abundant life, but Hollywood’s focus is artificial shape. Some people are doing plastic surgery to make their lips grow fatter. Honestly, it is unbelievable that people actually do that. Why? It is because people have been made to believe that the image of God that they are bearing is not beautiful enough, so they need to inject their lips and inject their butt. There is only one message it sends; it is a message of shame and Jesus Christ came to take away our shame. So, we cannot allow the media to define our mind-set.
Prayer: Father, I ask for a renewal of my mind by Your Spirit and for grace to walk in the reality of the abundant life You have for me, in Jesus Name. Amen!