One of my articles was being published in a magazine, and I needed an updated photo –which I didn’t have. Due to my weight I’d become a little camera shy. So, I messaged a friend who’s a professional photographer and asked if she’d take some pictures for me.
I voiced my concerns about my weight and my honest trepidation about being photographed at 300 pounds.
She responded with the probably the most beautiful and humbling thing anyone has ever said about me: “You, my friend, are one of the few people I know who literally shine bright with the Holy Spirit from the inside out. You are gorgeous –don’t ever doubt that.”
With those two sentence she stopped me in my tracks and caused me to completely rethink my approach to my weight.
This is what good friends do: they edify like iron sharpening iron.
We had a lovely photoshoot, and as I drove away one thought played over and over in my head: “My weight is part of my story.”
My weight is part of what God is doing in my life.
What if I told you my body is not me? My body is like a house the contains the eternal part of me. My emotions, my thoughts, and my soul –these are eternal.
Our world, with its narrow-minded, nearsightedness equates the shell that houses our souls, our true person, as the person itself.
The Bible repeatedly addresses this issue of overemphasis the external, but we Christians, living in this fallen world, often have a hard time seeing the spiritual, eternal truth amid the temporal noise.
I know I do.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
He [Jesus] had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:3-4
“…beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
I am not my body just like I am not the house I live in. They are both shells containing something important. My house contains my family; my body contains my soul.
But I am not my body.
Imagine if my house was struck by a tornado and those around me said what a horrible person I was for letting that happen. Just like a tornado is an “act of God” (either permitted or directed), so is the condition of my body.
My body is being ravaged by diseases that make it very challenging to lose weight. But even if it had been a result of gluttony or bad behavior (of which I’ve been erroneously accused before), it wouldn’t change one simple, wonderful fact:
My weight is part of my story.
It is part of what God is doing in my life.
I’m absolutely not going to stop trying to get better and be healthier.
But neither am I going to live any longer ashamed of what God is doing in my life.
I should never ever be embarrassed about what God’s doing, of God’s hand in my life.
Far more important than the condition of this earthly vessel is the condition of my soul.
A good gauge on the maturity of my faith is the ability to accept where God has put me and be content.
I don’t have the right to ask God why He made me this way. He’s the Potter and I’m the clay. He molded my body as a plump vessel for my soul.
That could change, but for now, it’s my reality.
What do I gain by being angry or upset or resentful toward God that He made me this way?
I gain no more than a little plump clay pitcher gains by being angry that the potter didn’t make it tall and skinny like a vase.
The plump pitcher serves a purpose just like I serve a purpose for God’s plan.
I am overweight because it serves a purpose to God’s plan –a purpose I can’t yet understand but will someday.
I need to trust God’s goodness and providence.
Whether I fight God or accept where He has put me, it doesn’t change where I am, but acceptance affords me peace in the middle of life’s crazy, out-of-my-control moments.
What if I told you that you that your weight is also part of your story and not something you should be ashamed about?
God is using this –whether your weight is caused by overeating or health problems; it’s God working in your life.
He has allowed this to happen so that He may be glorified in your life, just as He has in my life.
Don’t be ashamed about that.
Never, ever be ashamed about what God is doing.
If your weight is because of overeating [gluttony], repent of that sin and pray for the wisdom to make wiser choices so that God may be glorified in your choices.
If you’re overweight regardless of how much you’ve tried to lose (like me), rest in God knowing He has a plan –and it’s a good one.
It’s far more important that you mature spiritually than that you lose weight. So, God uses the physical to work on the spiritual.
God will not protect you from anything that will make you more like Jesus. –Elisabeth Elliot
Not even from being overweight or unhealthy.
This is what God is doing in your life.
My weight is part of my story. Your weight is part of your story, too.