Friday, March 13, 2015

#FightBodyShaming: Replacements

[The background: This is the fifth post in my series, #FightBodyShaming. Check out all of the previous posts on this page if you missed them. I so appreciate the feedback and support I've gotten for this series. Together we can help each other combat body shaming.]

In my very first post in the #FightBodyShaming series, I talked about replacing lies with the truth. It's one thing to cut out lies, it's just part one in a two-step process. The second step is to fill that hole with the truth. But, lies aren't the only thing that need to be replaced.

I keep hearing this quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy." That statement cannot be more true, especially for the area of body shaming. How many times a day do you look at someone who you think looks "better" than you and compare your body to his/hers? How often do you feel inadequate when you measure yourself next to someone else's standards? How do you feel after you compare?

After I compare my body to someone else's, I usually feel pretty lousy. I feel inadequate in so many ways, and start wishing I could change my appearance. I don't feel good and I certainly don't feel joyful. But, for as bad as I feel doing it, it's really hard to stop.

Comparison is another thing that can't simply be cut out, it has to be replaced. I think the best thing to replace comparison is thankfulness. Thankfulness ushers in truth and joy as it causes us to consider the good things that are present in our lives.

The thing with thankfulness is, it doesn't come naturally. Comparison comes naturally, but we have to work on thankfulness. Thankfulness takes time and effort.

So here's my challenge for us: each time we compare or start to compare, I want us to thank God for at least five things about ourselves. Yeah, it feels really weird to do it, but it's so great at the same time. It helps us shift our focus from what we think is wrong or needs to change, to what we have and should be thankful for.

The Bible tells us lots of things about how God made us and sees us (check out this post for some verses). We are each a unique part of His creation that He formed individually to be special and one-of-a-kind. He values us more than His own life because He sent Jesus to earth to die and make a way for us to be with Him forever. (More on that here.) How can we not thank God for who we are because of Him?

I challenge you to start by thanking God for the things you like least about yourself. Each part of you serves an important purpose, even the parts you don't especially like, so you can find something about it to be thankful for. Don't ask God to change anything, simply thank Him, and allow thanksgiving to transform how you view yourself.

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