What story are you telling about yourself? Take today’s lesson to see if it’s time for an edit.
“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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)
I glanced in the mirror, lowered my eyes and walked away. I was overweight. My clothes stretched across me. My jeans felt like a vise grip, yet I refused to go spend money on new clothes that upped in size one more time. I felt helpless and hopeless, but most of all I chastised myself for not taking better care of this temple called my body. I had been overweight since childhood and the more I dieted, the more I’d gain it all back as soon as I got off the diet. I’d lose the gumption to even try to lose weight, and the inches and pounds would creep on month after month, year after year.
I’d looked to God for strength in times of trouble, doubt and sorrow. Why had I determined my weight was my battle alone? I knew the answer. Because gluttony is a sin and I felt ashamed. How could I present my body in its current state? I was anything but a holy, good, acceptable or perfect offering. Even though my faith-voice knew better, I had slipped into the “I have to win His favor for Him to be pleased with me ” mode—a lesson I learned from my earthly father, not my Heavenly one. The “present my body” part of the verse was my stumbling block.
When I read the next verse, five words leaped out at me – “the renewal of your mind”. That was the key to transforming my resolve, and my body, to become a healthier witness so God could use me to His glory. My attitude needed to be renewed. If I adjusted my attitude and looked to Him for strength instead of approval, I could learn to crawl, then walk, and eventually run this race towards a healthier body and more importantly, a healthier body image. He could transform me, if I let Him. But, renewal had to come first.
Here is the best part: I didn’t have to undertake the renewing alone. Our Lord is in the renewal business. All I needed to do was to hand Him this part of my life. Which is easier said than done. It meant confessing my weaknesses and failures. But I knew my loving God would embrace me. I didn’t have to please Him by becoming more perfect, I just needed to be willing to let Him do the transforming. He’d give me the strength and determination to make the lifestyle changes.
What are you battling alone? Consider why that is. It just may be an old learned behavior that you must first un-learn. God is calling you to renew your mind so it can be transformed. That may mean coming to Him as you are, broken and weak. But you come, not as a child facing the whipping belt or time out in the corner, but as a child of the Creator of the universe who loves you whole heartedly and sees what is good and acceptable and can be made perfect in you. He is waiting for you to bend your will to His so He can help you in that renewal process. He is standing there, sleeves rolled up and ready to begin the transformation. All you need to do is whisper, “Okay. I am ready. Help me do this.”
Father, Help me to let go of these things I cling to so tightly. I want to be transformed. Renew my mind so I can be more like You. Amen
Questions: What is blocking you from renewing your mind when it comes to a certain struggle in your life? Pride? Guilt? Low self-worth? Hopelessness? Fear of failing ? again? Will you give it to God and let Him transform you?