19 Aug Self Love as Worship
I’ve been to a lot of beautiful places. I’ve walked all over Europe, sipped wine in Argentina, played in the beaches of Central America, and driven across plenty of states, here in the USA. When people ask me where my favorite place in the whole world is, the answer comes easily for me… it’s Beaver Creek, Colorado. The mountains just do something to me. When I’m there I feel every emotion – awe, wonder, humility, and more. I stare at those gorgeous, enormous peaks and I can’t help but to be blown away by the beauty of His creation and how small I am in the face of it. I always find myself saying, “God, you made these beautiful mountains… You are amazing!” Then, I’m always hit with a truth that we, as Christians and especially as Christian women, hardly ever take the time to truly bask in…
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
The same God who created those incredible mountains in the distance created me. He created every single part of every single animal on this earth with a purpose, and so He did with me, too. Every freckle is meaningful. Every weird quirk is purposeful. My toes that look like fingers that my family makes fun of (and that now also belong to my daughter) … they’re there on purpose, made by the same God with the same glory in them as the oceans and the mountains! Did you hear that correctly? You were made with the same glory in you as the mountains, the ocean, and as…. Beyoncé! Sister, you need to shout that from the rooftops with joy, wonder, and gratitude!
It’s so easy for us to praise Him when we see His beautiful creation in nature, but it’s not as easy to do the same when we look in the mirror. Why can we praise Him for His creation in nature, but not for His creation in us? I hate to put it this way, but when we hate our bodies, we spit on His creation – we question His sovereignty in what He has made. We subconsciously accuse Him of making a mistake. He created your body beautifully! He created your body to do incredible things (like birth babies and dance)! To recognize your own beauty is to praise Him. What if you looked in the mirror and said a prayer of gratitude for something physically beautiful about the body He gave you? How would that change things for you?
In the same tune, taking care of our bodies is a form of worship. We honor Him when we take pride in the body we’ve been given. When we feed it food that nourishes our body, we honor Him. When we are mindful to strengthen our bodies with discipline, we honor Him. Now, there’s a fine line between worshipping Him through self-love and letting self-love become an idol (in which the world’s standards become the end goal). The point is the heart – is your heart for Him, or is it for you? When we start to put Him first, we lead our health decisions with gratitude. When we are trying to make a change for our own need to fit the world’s standards, we lead with “I’m not enough.”
Today, I encourage you to look in the mirror and thank God for something physical about you. If it’s hard for you, pick something you can praise Him for…
“My smile is pretty. Thank you, Lord,”
… and then add to it tomorrow…
“My smile is pretty… and my… ankles are nice? Thank you, Lord.”
… Stick with it. Soon, you’ll see your perspective shift and it’ll become easier to praise Him and acknowledge His glory being shown through His creation of YOU.
“Lord, thank you for my belly… thank you for these stretch marks, that I was able to carry those babies and deliver them.”
“God, thank you for these legs of mine – that I can walk… that I can run. As I work to make them stronger, Lord, please know how grateful I am for legs that can support my body.”
“Thank you, Jesus, for the scars… as they are a part of the story you’re writing in me. May my story glorify you and that you even imperfections are perfect in you.”
How can you practice self-love as a form of worship this week? Remember, He made you in His image. He knit you together in your mother’s womb with purpose, intention, and beauty! Now, go out and walk with that confidence and with gratitude for the glory of His creation in YOU.