For freedom Christ has set us free

Finding my identity in Christ, not my body image

Free - arms spread out on the shore

Discovering my Beauty idols

I care so much about my image. It’s insanity, really, how much I think about it. Weight. Food. Hair. Makeup. You might find me standing in front of my closet agonizing over what to wear because nothing makes me “feel good.” (And I mean really agonizing.)

So why do I think that clothes/weight/etc. should have the power to make me feel good? I placed such importance on their role in my life that they have become full-fledged idols. Somehow, I have the expectation that if I “achieve” some arbitrary level of beauty, I will be happy.

And because these idols fail me day after day after day, I end up feeling worthless. I feel the weight of my sinful pursuits of beauty. The feelings of inadequacy don’t make me a victim, however. I have been a willing participant in sinful pursuits of earthly idols.

Releasing body image idols

It’s time for a change of focus. Rather than remaining glued to my own image, I need to turn my eyes to Jesus. As a redeemed child of God, my identity is not found in myself (my own perceptions, accomplishments, failures), but rather in Christ’s saving work on my behalf. Jesus stands before God and says “I am Janelle’s advocate. See my perfection instead of her wretchedness.” And in doing so, he has given me (and you, if you believe in him) his righteousness. And now in Jesus I am valuable before God. Jesus took the weight of my sin—my daily, stubborn, ineffective pursuit of idols—and destroyed it. Blew it to smithereens.

I am free of my idols. 

Freedom - open door

For Freedom Christ
has set us free.

I don’t have to live in sin. Really, I don’t. (And neither do you.) Galatians 5:1 states that, “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” It is both freeing and stabilizing to live in light of the truth that my identity is found in Jesus’ saving work rather than in my own futile attempts to give myself value. It allows me to face the mirror and say, “I am a child of God, and that is enough” no matter what my weight is or how I look.

This burden of body image anxiety that I feel every day is the weight of the yoke of slavery heavy on my shoulders. But I can cast it off in Jesus. I can live in freedom, and should. Lord, help me to trust that the salvation you have offered me is real and true, and life-changing. I do not need to live under the weight of sin. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. I am free.