Being gentle with your body is something that is not always popular in today’s world, and it’s nothing something that came easily to me especially when I had the completely wrong idea of what it was to live in freedom in Christ. It’s easy to always want to go for the next workout even if your body is screaming. It’s easy to think that your mind can be pushed to ‘infinity’ when we really aren’t infinite. Only God is infinite, and only because of Him can we live and breath and survive every day. When I try to depend on myself, I’m inevitably a failure.
Thank you Amanda for letting us think out loud today! I always really love sharing thoughts and finding so many other good reads every Thursday.
It’s okay to miss a workout. It’s okay to be gentle with your body even when the world of fitness says, ‘PUSH it to the maximum. Kill it so you can make it better.’
It’s okay to be gentle with your body for a day or two or three or ten and enjoy God’s creation and go lay in the sun for an hour in a world that moves at a million miles a minute.
It’s okay and WONDERFUL to sit at the feet of gentle, compassionate Jesus, even when so many other things are calling for your attention.
Luke 10:38-42, ‘Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’
The thing I’ve learned is that the Martha spirit is STRONG in me. It’s so easy for me to wander away from my identity in Christ and try to ‘do’ myself into being a Christian. I forget that my identity lies in Christ, that my salvation is not in my works. Of course, I know that I can’t say, ‘Oh, yes, I’m saved by grace, so I’ll just lie on the ground and do nothing.’ Yet, the more I realize that I am set on the rock which is Christ the more it presses me to rest in Him and do everything in the light of who He is and who I am in Him. I don’t buy my salvation. He has already bought me, and all I do now is just an expression of my love for Him as my Lord and Savior.
When we are in Christ, that means that we are a new person. It means that He has redeemed our whole person. And even, if my outward body is dying on this world, I also can look forward to the promise of a new, redeemed body in heaven with our Lord.
The body is not a bad thing, and it’s not a bad thing to be gentle with it. Our Lord Jesus Christ perfectly wielded the Sword of the Spirit throughout His ministry on earth in a gentle and yet piercing way, and we can treat others, our bodies, and our lives in the same way. Sometimes we act like it’s okay to just beat ourselves into shape. We tell ourselves that our body will never be good enough. It’s never toned enough. It’s never pretty enough, but where does God say that we had to be good enough for us to be saved in Christ Jesus? In fact Ephesians 2 says the opposite.
In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve. He called them GOOD. They were created in His image, and God is the essence of goodness. So the body was and is not bad. Sin is bad, but the body, created by God, is not bad or sinful.
Genesis 1:27, ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’
From where does all the evil or the corruption in the world come? It comes from Satan. It comes from sin, the corruption from Satan. Satan is the father of lies and of evil. He was the one in the garden whispering lies to Adam and Eve. And they believed him, but even Satan, is under the feet of Jesus, for Jesus has crushed the head of the serpent.
Ephesians 1:19-22, ‘And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that fills all in all.
In light of that, how should we treat our bodies? How should we take care of them like temples of the Holy Spirit, like people who are no longer our own, but bought with the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ?
If Jesus Christ died so that we might be forgiven and made new and rose again so that we could rise with Him, should we spend our lives berating our bodies and trying to starve them or think, ‘I can never do enough to be good enough for God.’
Jesus Christ covered it all. Jesus Christ came so that the good work might be completed in us. We don’t say, ‘I’m good enough,’ because we will never be good enough. We plead Christ Jesus because we know that Christ is good enough and far more than we need. Because of Him, we don’t beat our bodies, because He was the willing, obedient sacrifice for us.
Instead of starving my body, how can I treat my body and soul and mind and spirit for God’s glory? What are some of the things that God has been teaching me over the past year about how to really care for my body in a way that glorifies God and sings praises to the completed work of Christ Jesus?
1. Spending time in God’s Word and creation.
1 Timothy 4:8, ‘For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
2 Timothy 3:16, ‘All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,‘
2. Putting off anxious thoughts with thoughts of prayer and thankfulness for all of God’s mercies and gifts LIKE PUPPIES!!!
Philippians 4:6, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.’
3. Remembering that God will supply all my needs, the needs of my soul, the needs of my body, and my mind.
James 1:17-18, ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’
4. Resting. Resting in the joy of Jesus and remembering why I’m living life. It’s not so I can please the next person. It’s not so I can make the most money in the world, although it’s nice to have money for some things. It’s so I can glorify God and live for Him and in His precious promises in His word.
John 15:1-5, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me; I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing’
5. Traveling is SO good for the body, mind, and soul. It reminds me just how simple life can be, and yet how we can learn to be content in every situation. It expands my perspective and reminds me that God is in control of the whole world, not just my part of the world, but the whole world, and His wonder, His hands, and His work are in every part, redeeming it daily to Himself through His Son Jesus. It really expands your view on His powerful redemption plan.
Mark 10:45, ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Titus 2:13-14, ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’
Traveling forces you to explore and reminds you to trust God MORE with your body and the deep needs of your soul and spirit, because He is our refuge and strength in every situation. He provides the food we need. He takes care of us even when we don’t know what the next day on the road will bring. It’s like life. Life is traveling, but He is our refuge, our shelter in every storm.
Psalm 71:, ‘In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.’
6. ENJOY God’s food that He has made, both physical and spiritual. For a long time, I think I separated, in my mind, the human body and soul, but now it’s been so freeing to learn more about what the first commandment really means.
Luke 10:27, ‘And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.’
When I love God I can truly love the person I am, because I am loving the image of Christ Jesus in me. Christ is now in me. I’m not just me. I have Christ Jesus as my King and He is in me, the hope of glory. Through Jesus, I can have freedom to enjoy every precious gift that God has created and every Word of Life that He gave to us in His Word.
How are you learning to be gentle with the body God’s given you?
What are some of the things you do to step back and just rest?
How do you keep perspective in a world that often moves so quickly?