There are basically 2 reasons why we look after our bodies – a wrong reason and a right reason.
What should we start with? … OK. Let’s start with the wrong reason so we can at least end on a positive note 🙂
The wrong reason is doing it out of vanity. The Oxford definition of ‘vanity’ is “excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements”. A second meaning from Oxford is “worthless or futile”. And that really does sum it up. It’s futile, and here’s why: we end up competing with others all the time, and we never seem to get satisfied. The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to compete with the younger generation. And there’s a new generation coming all the time! Aaaaaah! The frustration! Then we start having to resort to all kinds of way out, expensive, time consuming methods and procedures just so we can (barely) keep up! Then, half an hour of exercise 3 days a week is no longer enough when gravity keeps trying to take over! So, now we do 1 hour 5 days a week! ….. And the clock just keeps ticking … What a frustrating way to live, always looking for new, better ways to stop those wrinkles! Just remember that worrying too much about your wrinkles will give you wrinkles!
Now, there is a place for cosmetic surgery and procedures. It’s very effective for people with scarring or burns and also for people with sagging eyelids hindering the eyes, plus many other valid reasons. You must just ask yourself why you want to do it. If your reason is validated, then go ahead. Just make sure you are not getting on the proverbial “tread mill” of perfection, because it won’t be easy to get off once you start.
Now, let’s move to the right reason. The right reason to look after your body is to honour the One who gave it to you. I have been given a body. Now, life has not been perfect, so my body hasn’t always been in the best state, but I believe that when I was conceived I received a perfect body. And between then and now life has happened. It’s not God’s fault if my body is not perfect now. It’s also not my fault because life isn’t perfect. But there are some choices I have made that weren’t always the best ones to make – and I take responsibility for those. I say, “Lord, forgive me for not always looking after the body you gave me. Help me to be a good steward of it.” I have an assignment to complete on this earth, and in order for me to finish it I must keep myself strong – spirit, soul and body. And that’s my responsibility.
You see, when your motive is to honour God, then there’s no competing with anyone. Honouring God simply means that I do the best I can with what I’ve got, knowing that I’ll always look, feel and be better and stronger if I look after my body, than if I don’t. And that’s the only comparison I make. I compare myself neglecting my body with myself looking after my body. I run my own race. If we are not comparing ourselves with others, then the pressure’s off. What a relief! Now we aren’t doing it to turn heads, but to honour God. And when we honour Him, He always rewards our diligence.
The less we try to compete, and the more we try to be good stewards, the better we will look – naturally, of course. Because anyone can look good with professional make-up on … but that is just on the surface. It’s coming off tonight. Real beauty comes from within and overflows to the outside. It’s in the countenance, not the perfection.