“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” (Romans 12:1).
I asked a tough question in devotion last week— what does it mean to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice? My usually chatty group provided no answers. This is a topic with which few engage in the church. For me, presenting our bodies (all aspects of us — body, mind and spirit) is a matter of stewardship. All that I am and all that I have is a gift from the Lord. That includes my physical body so how do I use this body that God has entrusted to me for his glory?
We live in a day and age when the body is under intense scrutiny but often for the wrong reasons. Our dress size does not determine our worth. The sag in the back of our arms does not mean that we are failures as women. Instead, our beauty and worth come from the Lord and his love for us. As Psalm 139 teaches, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
That leads us to some questions. How do I care for my body? Do I nourish my body so that it is strong, energetic and able to work effectively for the Kingdom of God? What is my view of food? As we often ask in Cross Train: “do I live to eat or eat to live?” Food is a gift meant to be enjoyed and for the nourishment of our bodies. However, when food becomes a means to numb, cope or escape that food becomes something God never intended it to be.
God is the only one who can truly meet the deep needs within us. We all have hurts, pains and disappointments in this life. All those feelings are ones that can drive us to the arms of Jesus or to our earthly comforts that provide temporary relief but no healing. Let’s rethink our view of food and nourishment with the perspective that we are called to present our bodies to the Lord.
Lord, how can I honor you with my body today? What does that does that look like? Give me wisdom to understand this act of stewardship; grant me discipline to live according to your will and ways; and give me grace when I fail knowing that your love is much greater than my sin.