My New Year’s Resolution: Look in a mirror before leaving the house.
“Can I talk to you in the hallway for a minute before you start?” My husband waves me down before I stand before a group to speak. He smiles and informs me, “Your shirt is in inside out.” The crazy thing is – it hadn’t been the first time this month that I’ve worn my clothes inside out!
Another time, I rushed around getting everything together to leave the house. Got everyone in the car. As we arrive at our destination – I realized I hadn’t brushed my hair all morning.
These are funny examples of a much deeper issue. I simply neglect taking care of myself. I feel guilty if I spend money on new clothes, I don’t get the medical check-ups I need, I don’t eat or exercise like I should. And for some reason – I’ve worn this neglect prouder than any monk. In my discombobulated logic – I justify my neglect as thinking more of others than myself. “My time is spent caring for others – so I don’t make time for myself.” But I’ve had an epiphany: I matter to God – and I should treat myself like I do.
First, Romans 12: 1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Old Testament law demands sacrifices to be the first, the best, and without blemish. If I allow my body to go – don’t take care of my health, my body, my appearance – am I offering my body as a holy and acceptable gift to God?
Secondly, In I Corinthians 6:19 – 20 God says, “Or do you not know that your body’s a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
The “temple” of God – is where God dwells and it is beautiful. The “temple” was God’s idea, God’s design (just as our bodies are – Psalm 139:13). The Old Testament Temple contains embroidered linens of blue, purple and scarlet, as well as precious metals of gold, silver, and bronze. In Revelation 21 – God describes a new temple or dwelling place – made of precious jewels – jasper, sapphire, emerald, topaz, pearls. God’s dwelling place is always filled with beauty – and He sees us no differently. In Ephesians and Psalms God says we are his handiwork, in Malachi his jewels, in Isaiah his “crown of glory.” We were created to be a beautiful dwelling place of God.
The Bible makes it clear that our personal beauty is not for the purpose of self-gratification, or others looking at us and honoring us because of how good we look. Beauty for self-glorification is a sin. Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,” and I Peter 3: 3 – 4 “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,” both indicate that outward beauty should not be what people are drawn to. People are drawn to us because the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Our outward appearance should be pleasing enough to draw people, and lead people to the presence of the Lord. As with the Proverbs 31 Woman – I can be dressed in fine linen of purple (the clothes of royalty) and still be clothed in strength, dignity, and the fear of the Lord.
God is passionate about His temple. He designed it. He dwells in it – and He demands it be kept holy. We see this when Jesus found unacceptable things within the temple and wiped it clean (John 2: 13 – 16). Likewise, God is passionate about me. He designed me. My body is a living holy sacrifice to Him. My body is the temple in which His Spirit dwells. Anything which is preventing my body from being holy is unacceptable to God.
Christ, turn over and throw out the tables in my life:
- Turn over the table of pride – pride of not honoring my body as well as pride of wanting to be seen and honored by others for it
- Throw out the gluttony – my over-indulgence and over-consumption of food to the point of extravagance.
- Demolish the table of emotional eating – dwell in me freely so I find comfort and joy in You and not food
- Forgive my laziness – help me to work as unto You
- Forgive my ungratefulness and disregard for the temple you have made me
Dwell in me:
- Keeping my body worthy of being a holy sacrifice for You
- May my body honor You
- Help my outer beauty to draw others to me – so they can see You – not me
- May every bite I take glorify you: I Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
I resolve: To look in a mirror before leaving the house.