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Accepting Your New Self

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This week I have wanted to be someone else. I haven’t liked myself because I don’t have the money to get my hair done professionally. I haven’t liked how pasty my skin is or the ridiculous amount of spider veins I have for someone in their twenties. I haven’t liked any of my clothes and have resented our lifestyle because we choose to spend our money on things other than new clothes. I have wanted to crawl in a hole and hide from the glances I got while shopping in a high-end store because the sales clerk thought I looked poor (I could see it in her eyes). But what was really getting to me is that I wanted to be who I used to be.

Every day is the same battle. I wake up and decide to either try, or not try. Both decisions come from the same motive: dislike for myself. The days I decide to not try I am simply giving myself an excuse that makes me feel better. “I look like crap,” I say, “but that’s because I didn’t try.” On the days that I opt for trying, I find myself in outfit after outfit as my self-hatred grows.

You see I wore the same size in college that I did in high school, and then lost weight after that because of health issues. So until this year I have had teenage expectations on my ever-aging body. But in the last year, I have become healthier and my body has started working the way it should, for the most part. As a reward for my health, my body has gained 25+ pounds. It is like all of the weight I should have been gaining is just making up for lost time. While I don’t wish any of my previous ailments back on myself, embracing the change has been hard. Most of us struggle with our own version of dissatisfaction with our body.

Breaking Free

Today I took a step of freedom, and in three painfully long hours, I tried on every piece of clothing I own and got rid of the things that didn’t fit. I refuse to tell myself to look like a teenager again. Do I need to pursue health? Yes. Do I need to grade myself by a standard unattainable? No.

I proclaimed freedom from self-hatred one hanger at a time.

I don’t feel very free yet; in fact, I feel more upset writing this than I did shimmying out of snug clothes that used to fit. That’s because I am involved in more than a physical battle. The way we view ourselves physically seems very tactile, but in fact it is very spiritual.

This morning I read Colossians 3:1-4 out of The Message:

[quote_box author=”Colossians 3:1-4″ profession=”The Message”]“So if you are serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ- that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life- even though invisible to spectators- is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up too- the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.”[/quote_box]

I am serious about living this new resurrection life. I am serious about living a lifestyle of worship. And if I am serious about allowing the Lord to glorify himself through using me, then I cannot continue hating myself. Jesus didn’t die to save part of me. He didn’t die so that my soul can float away in the clouds. He saved all of me: mind, body, soul and strength. The same way my soul will one day be without blemish of sin, so will my body be made perfect. It will not be made into the old 25-pound-lighter me. It will be made into the new me. So in the same way I strive to seek not the things of this world for my mind and my soul, I need to seek not the things of this world for my body.

So, I cleaned out my closet from the garments that told me to worship my old-self. Tomorrow, I will eat salad not out of pursuit of my old-self, but in pursuit of my new self, made perfect in Christ.

How will you pursue the things of Christ for your body?

Posted in: Discipleship

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