Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hoping to Gain by Defining Beauty

I began a new bible study this week; and in an effort to help me process what I read, I want to write down my thoughts after each chapter. If you're interested in learning more about the study, click this link
or watch some videos at this link.

I was excited to start this study, hoping to gain some biblical insight and understand what His Word says about the body...then I read the first chapter's discussion questions. My mind swirled and my heart sank. I was going to have to dig deep, truly soul search, if I wanted to gain and glean. The hardest part of growing is the pruning; the clipping back of our beliefs & experiences, so we flourish in Truth and into the beautiful creation He intended.

The most difficult questions for me are the last two of chapter one:

How would you define beauty?
What do you hope to gain through this study?

Define Beauty I give the Christianese answer, or the world's viewpoint answer? I turned to my daughter and her friend, and asked them. They are fourteen, and regularly inundated with the obsession of chasing beauty. Their responses were a little surprising, and encouraging:  


I have so much to learn! They are looking beyond the surface, and deep into the hearts of the people they admire. 

Hoping to Gain
Not until I prayed about this question, did I realize I still had body image issues. I honestly thought for the most part I had dealt with the history of living life in this flesh He fashioned specifically for me. As I shared with my group what I hoped to gain from this study, tears from deep down bubbled up to the surface...and I'm not a crier by nature. 

My hope is to once-and-for-all truly believe in the depths of my soul that I am who the I AM says I am. I want to KNOW - without any doubt - that all those verses I quote to my children and sisters and friends are intended for me, too. 

Psalm 139:14
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Job 10:10-12
You guided my conception
    and formed me in the womb.
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and you knit my bones and sinews together.
12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.
    My life was preserved by your care.

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 
So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

So today, I begin earnest prayer. As I seek the Truth of beauty, I seek His transformation of my perceptions on this subject and a willing heart prepared to accept what He shows me in this journey. May my desires for the perfect body, instead match His desires for me to glorify Him with the body I've been given. It's time to move and grow. 

How do you define beauty?

Does the way you view your body
inhibit your walk with God?