The issue of body image starts in Genesis 3. Ever since then, male and female, have struggled with this issue. Am I too short, fat, tall, thin, weak, etc. ? Essentially, after The Fall, we have all become selfish and greedy, sinful by nature.
In my estimation, dealing with how we and others view our own body is something that most believers (and unbelievers) will deal with regularly. In the same way that we sin every day, there will always be an aspect of our body image that we are working through. In other words, we will constantly be seeking to rest in the knowledge that God created us as we are, and that Jesus loves our bodies.
This struggle is good. We need not look in the mirror and be judgmental or ashamed. In fact, we ought not to spend time gazing in the mirror as we can make our own bodies into idols. As Martin Luther put it, our hearts are “idol-making factories.”
I’m not saying don’t appreciate your body. Far from it. But don’t hold it up to a standard that it was never meant to bear. Eat well. Exercise. Get adequate sleep. Leave the rest up to God! Because the treadmill of comparing ourselves to others never ends well. It never ends, period. Similar to how some people can never get enough sleep, we will never be able to come to a place where have a superior body to another’s. There will always be some flaw, never mind the fact that we age every day (2 Cor. 4:16).
Body Image: Community Image
Here’s something to think about: just like avoiding getting overly concerned with our appearances is important, so is working on the relationship with the “body of Christ.”
In the second half of 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul talks about how we each need to be concerned about serving in the church, which is Jesus’ body. We cannot put God’s children in some sort of arbitrary hierarchy. It doesn’t work that way.
Instead, the least honourable parts are made holy. Same with in the Church. Those who are lowliest should be held in high esteem. Philippians 2:3-4 teaches that we need to put others’ needs ahead of our own. This is Christian living. I will talk more about this and other topics in the book I will be releasing called Father to the Childless.