We’ve all been to the pool or the beach this long, hot summer, and I have to admit I wish I had done more to get in shape last Spring. We are a little more body-conscious in summertime, and most of us have to say, “it is what it is”, relative to our physical shape. If you worked hard to get in good physical shape, then Great Job! But, there’s another kind of body you need to consider, and it’s NOT too late to do something about that. Take a minute to think about ANOTHER kind of body.
”For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:3-5, NIV)
Self-Improved or Self-Absorbed?
There is a lot to consider in this passage in Romans. It refers to a sacrifice that stays alive, and a body that is more than a body…And it tells us not to think too highly of ourselves. Do you know anybody who thinks more highly of themselves than they ought to? Are they fun to be around? When someone is self-absorbed, that’s really the opposite of love, isn’t it?
Here in the (other) love chapter, Paul declares that the result of love is not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but it is a life seasoned with humility and honest reflection. A life of faith does not abandon rational self-evaluation. On the contrary, it encourages us to look at ourselves honestly, and to see ourselves the way God sees us.
Seeing Yourself Through a Different Lens
On one hand, that’s a bit intimidating. God sees my inward failings, my secret sins, my selfishness, and my insecurity. If I think of myself the way God does, then I should probably be frustrated over my limitations and sad about all my failures, right? Wrong! Have you ever really thought about how God looks at you? We forget about how Jesus looked at Matthew, the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, Mary Magdalene, the Prodigal Son, the woman caught in adultery, even Paul. Jesus looked at the world through Grace-colored glasses.
We should, too! Because if I truly look at myself through the lens of Grace, then I can see my redeemed self the way God sees me, unblemished and full of potential, ready to be made into who He created me to be!
I have been given a place in the family, and a role as part of the body of Christ. We are all born into a FAMILY. No one is born in a vacuum; every one of us is designed for relationship, to be part of a bigger team. In spiritual terms, if I am willing to take MY story and subjugate it to HIS story, then I will find meaning and fulfillment in my role. Further, Paul says that in the body of Christ we ALL have different roles, and that “each member belongs to all the others.”
Anyone who has ever participated in a team activity knows how this works: you make the extra pass (Ted Lasso https://lassoism.com/Ted-Lasso-quote.php?id=85 ), take on extra duty to support a teammate, make the key block, lay down the sacrifice bunt. Or in the non-sports world you might take a meal over to someone during stressful times, watch the kids, contribute your creativity to someone else’s presentation… Perhaps it’s not just your body, but also your body of work that matters.
A Different Kind of Body
There’s an old saying that it’s amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit. I’ve been privileged to be on that kind of team several times in my life, and it is absolutely true. If you are not seeing the results in your life that you’d like to see, ask yourself two questions: What team(s) are you on? And, Who do you belong to? Maybe it’s time to work on a DIFFERENT kind of body…
People work out every day to maximize their looks,
Striving to achieve a nice physique that really cooks.
While you flex or stop to see the beach’s latest hottie,
Don’t forget you also have another kind of body.
If you find your role with other people who believe,
And no one is concerned with any credit that’s received,
You’ll be amazed at how it works, and what you can achieve!
You’ll do almost anything with this body, if you let it.
You’re part of the body of Christ, so do not let yourself forget it.
God will bless if no one cares about who gets the credit!
To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread