Lesson 5- Believe your worth

In my last fitness lesson, I asked the question Am I willing to fight as hard for my life as I did to beat cancer? I have been thinking about that a lot, and it has led to another more thought provoking question. Am I worth the fight? For all my women readers, you know this one. And to be honest, though women struggle with this one daily, I don’t believe that men are as immune to it as we might think. My value and how I see myself, is critical to taking my life back. If in my view, I think I am not strong enough, or able enough or beautiful enough, I end up in why-even-try land. My attempts at fitness are half-hearted at best, which sets me up to fail. Then when I fail, it feeds my already low opinion of myself and I eventually give up trying only to gain twice as much weight and feel even worse. You know the cycle. I don’t have to tell you where it leads.
So how do I break it? The Sunday School answer is to look at what God thinks of me. Sounds easy enough, but we are bombarded with images and opinions on what makes us beautiful everywhere we look. I know that I will never be a supermodel…so why do I feel like less of a woman because of that fact? Even in the church, there are unrealistic expectations. (I can hear the collective gasp, that I would actually write about such things on paper ) That Proverbs 31 woman has haunted me for years. She is perfect. Her arms are strong, not flabby. She doesn’t eat the bread of idleness, meaning she is not sitting around eating all the time. It is the first recorded low carb diet! She can feed, clothe and parent her children, and keep her man happy all while working and doing community service. She has a sense of humor, and is strong. I know she must be beautiful too, otherwise they wouldn’t talk about her at the gates of the city. She is the church’s example of what a Godly woman should be like. How many of us have tried to follow her example only to end up spread too thin and exhausted? Our husbands and children to do not always call us blessed. Sometimes they don’t even like us, because we are constantly pushing, trying to fit into this mold that someone, somewhere told us would make us (and them) Godly. Are you tired of trying yet? Have you given up? In my opinion this measure of our worth based on performance is just as bad as the worlds measure of physical beauty. It still is an impossible task.
I mean, I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know that I am the apple of God’s eye. So I ask God, how come I don’t get it? How come I cannot successfully take care of myself and my health, knowing how important I am to you? “Ah”, he says, “because knowing it and believing it are two different things. It is a matter of believing, in your heart that my sacrifice is valid. That you are worth the spilling of my blood.” Now I don’t know about you, but that stopped me in my tracks. When I downplay his sacrifice for me, I am discounting it. Yikes! Don’t really want to discount God. I know that if I was the last person on Earth he would have still died for me…but do I BELIEVE it? I can hear myself say, “You don’t have to do that. Really don’t go to any trouble for me. I don’t want to put you out or to bother you with my troubles. It isn’t necessary to go through this kind of pain on my behalf.” Wouldn’t you feel this way if he was going to the cross for you alone?
Peter had this attitude, when Jesus was washing his feet. He told the Lord no. It is humbling to recognize the value he places in us. I want to deflect that kind of soul-piercing love and attention from him, because I don’t feel worthy of it. I don’t want him to see the dirty places of my heart. Yet he says, if I do not wash you, you will have no part in me. He is serious. He values me that much, even though he already knows that I am not the Proverbs 31 woman. He didn’t make me to be her. He knows my weakness for ice cream and my aversion to exercise, and he still thinks I am worth his blood. However, it is when I see that truth, and believe it deep inside, I change. I begin to believe it about myself. I am worth what he did for me. It is no longer about dieting or exercising…it is about life. It is about seeing myself as he sees me right now…a strong, beautiful person. Fitness just becomes a way to make my outside match the person I now see on the inside.

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