Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#FightBodyShaming: Weights + Measures

[The background: Last month I wrote my first #FightBodyShaming post, you can check it out here. I so appreciate all the people who gave me feedback on it; I hope it encouraged each reader in some way, male or female.]

As a society, we're used to having a set system for weighing the value of something. We use weights and measures to assess what something is worth, a grading scale to give value to work, a system for evaluating cost. We're pretty used to it by now and able to throw out terms to describe just about anything. "It was 100 meters. It was cheap. It's half a carat." But how do we determine the value of people?

We've gotten pretty good at throwing out terms about humans, too. But it's not a set scale, it slides depending on who's talking. Words like fat, skinny, ugly, or pretty are used at random, and with little thought, to assess the "physical value" of a person. Our culture has gotten pretty good at making it clear what it values and what it rejects when it comes to people. And most of us have an idea of where we fall on that sliding scale.

There are so many issues here, but one of the biggest is that it improperly and inadequately places value on just one thing, appearance. Sure, there are other ways we try to "measure" people--smart, dumb, talented, deadbeat--but almost every way we measure skirts around the true weight or value of a person. Why is that? Because we as humans don't have the capacity to assess the true, real value of a person on our own. We need something unbiased, outside ourselves to determine our value.

So, if we're like this $20 bill, then our value is determined by our maker. It can't be determined by other $20 bills, or other people, but by the Creator. And if that's the case, we have to look at how He determines value for an accurate representation of what we're worth.

Someone once said, "You can tell the value of something based on what someone is willing to pay for it." If that's true, then we have to look at what our Creator is willing to pay for us. John 3:16-17 tells us just what God was willing to give for us, the life of His only Son. "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." (HCSB)

God the Father gave up God the Son to save us from sin, death, and hell so that we could be with Him forever. To be honest, the life of Jesus is far more valuable than all our lives combined, and yet God loved us that much that He sent Jesus to die for us. He gave up the invaluable to give us life, and thus show us our value in His eyes. I think this should forever change our view of human value and life. It is priceless.

To fight against body shaming--both that of ourselves and of others--we need to internalize this truth and believe it. You need to know and believe that you are a priceless treasure to God, worth more than His own life. You need to know that He wants you, loves you, and thinks extremely highly of you. You also need to know that He views every other human life in this exact same way. No one is less valuable than anyone else. We are each precious, valuable, and loved.

If you want to read some more about what God says about us in the Bible, go back to my previous post in this series for some important verses.

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