A Biblical Body Image
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A Biblical Body Image
2 Corinthians 4:6-18 (NIV) 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
What is in the body defines the body.
John 12:3-5 (NIV) 3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”
Matthew 23:27-28 (NLT) 27“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. 28Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
What is hurting the body is humbling my spirit.
Proverbs 31:30 (ESV) Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV) But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
When I die to my desires, I leave room for God to work.
2 Corinthians 4:10 (NIV) We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Galatians 5:24-25 (NIV) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
When my body fails it is to my benefit.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Growing Deeper Together
How have physical realities kept you from noticing what God is doing? What are some of the attributes of God described in the Bible? How often does physical pain or suffering cause you to doubt God’s character?
How have physical limitations caused you to change your expectations of others? Are you more likely to ask for help when you are tired, stressed, or sick?
How do your physical impulses and material desires contradict what the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life? What are some habits that can teach you to deny or delay your earthly desires?
When you are under pressure do people see more or less of God’s power? How can you prepare yourself to allow suffering to become an opportunity for people to see the power of God in you?
Who in your life do you know who has suffered well? What do you think helped them to respond to their struggles in such a positive way?