In our ever self-focused society it should be no wonder why people are body image obsessed. It’s hard to go anywhere and not see a beautiful body on a billboard that has photoshop written all over it. What’s concerning isn’t necessarily that the advertisers need to go to such extremes; but that people react and respond to what they think they are seeing. And not in a good way.
Every person was created unique; and through that it is the responsibility of each person to maintain how exactly it is that he or she wants to look. It’s really that simple. When we take a back seat to being self aware of what we do look like; the results are evident it’s just whether or not we see them. Do you see your beautiful self? Do you really?
Getting sidetracked by what others look like or what society wants you to believe they look like is a trap. The only thing that matters is your health and keeping a sound mind. The more focused you are on such campaigns by Victoria’s Secret campaign about the ‘perfect body’ the more you are missing it. How so? You are not seeing the beauty of you! You are allowing a company to sell you an idea of something that most likely you wouldn’t even want if you had it! What companies are doing should have no relevance to how you perceive yourself. You are not owned by these companies. They exist merely because of the power of you- do you see this?. The perfect body is the one you have so work with it and make it as precious as your heart, mind, body and soul. Who says the flaws are flaws? Who told you that? And why did you believe them?
If you have fallen into the trap of not seeing yourself the way that the Lord does; forgive yourself. Your body is the outer layer of you. That’s it. The inner you is the most precious. Don’t let it be disturbed by what others are telling you. You are worth far more than that. Forgive yourself for not being where you want to be and don’t look back. Don’t look at the failings, fat; and fear of what you have become with no clear path out. Get up, stand up, and rise up to the occasion to say that today is your day to start anew! Today is your day to see that you are worth more than you have allowed and accepted. Today is your day to forgive yourself for focusing negatively on something that you have the choice to change. Focus on the upside of change today and start by forgiving yourself and your body. You are worth it.
It’s a serious question that we must ask ourselves. It is a command to love they neighbor for it is written in Mark 12:31 ‘The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Interesting isn’t it? You may have grown up hearing it but not now where it comes from. I ask again- do you really love your neighbor? It seems in our society that we love twitter, we love a great shoe sale or Duke basketball; even though they loss but do we really love our neighbor? Do we love the obese man next door? Do we love the African American to the other side of the house? Do we love the homosexual couple? Or do we just think we are speaking a good idea in theory?
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone and listening to her testimony truly touched me. See; all too often we interact with people and base whether we like them on political stances instead of the people themselves. Whether you are homosexual or agree with the lifestyle is irrelevant. It simply is. The Bible is clear but so do we need to continue to focus on that in that context or go bigger to see something else? In the conversation with this woman I was blessed to hear her story, her pain and loss and her victory that she now blesses others with. I could hear that what she wanted most was to be loved and accepted for who she is and to love others. It is natural. It is normal. Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are and right where they are. The good news is that you are!
So are you loving your neighbor? Are you living in the land of love or are you too busy judging others because they are not the size 2, driving the vehicle that you think is cool, or drinking your favorite beer? Are you looking down on someone because they don’t attend your 40k member mega-church? It is simply not the place of any of us to judge anyone as that in and of itself is sin. Who is anyone to look at the life and path of another and condemn them? Am I not just as guilty for the sins I have committed? See; being homosexual is no different in the eyes of God as adultery, abortion; or stealing a pen. Sin is sin and we have to remember that. Sure the outcome may be different but that simply is not the point for this moment.
It’s amazing how many don’t realize the magnificent and the magnitude of the words Jesus spoke before His death: ‘Forgive them Father for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34) and how true it is! People are hurting by their sins so why judge them even more?
I remember a few years ago I was walking out of a store and a strange gentleman asked me my plans for the evening. I replied ‘none’ and his reply was ‘oh another beautiful lady home on a Friday night.’ Ouch! What I saw though was that the pretty ladies are judged for their looks just as much as the not so pretty ladies. In the end- all are home alone on a Friday night. And that’s not cool!
We are only called to love our neighbors. It’s that simple. None of us know the specific path that someone has been through. We just don’t. Know one has walked my journey except for Jesus and the same is for you. I will be dealt with on Judgment Day as will all of us whether we believe it or; like it or not or want it or not. Through al of this so long as we hold over those who we believe are more sinful than ourselves we are simply playing God. It is not up to any of us to place ourselves in that position as what we think today may be different tomorrow. It is only our responsibility and duty to reach out and love our neighbors and demonstrate that love so that others can see the light and forever be changed.