After completing this morning's treadmill workout, which consisted of a four mile brisk walk and light jog, I felt both elated and rejuvenated. My Monday workouts can be very challenging but today's seemed a bit easier. I think I've finally gotten into the groove of my workout routine and it feels awesome! As the sweat poured from my body, I felt amazing. I even snapped a picture to commemorate my accomplishment. I felt good!
I grabbed my towel, keys and the rest of my gear so I could leave the gym to head home, freshen-up and start my day. But right before I got to the door, I caught a glimpse of myself in the full-length mirror. Suddenly my celebration was cut short. I no longer appreciated what I saw because what I saw was a tummy that has put on quite a few "happily married" pounds...shoulders that are too broad...hips that are too wide...and... Just like "that", my focus changed. My accomplishments that I celebrated only moments before were crushed. Even as I type this, I can hear the somber music of tiny violins playing in the background.
But just as I started to feel down, the Holy Spirit stopped me (literally). Philippians 4:8 filled my spirit:
"Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]." ~ Philippians 4:8 (AMP)
What was I doing?! I certainly wasn't focused on anything pure, wholesome or lovely. All I was doing was focusing on the negative things that I saw about my body. I was comparing myself to other women. I compared myself to how I looked when I was younger. I compared myself to how I looked before having babies. I compared myself to how I looked just a few years ago.
In that moment, I was reminded that God doesn't look at our outer bodies. He focuses on our hearts. My big hips and tummy are not what He adores most about me. Instead, He wants to know that my heart is pure and focused on His Word. He cares that I do the things He tells me to do. He cares that I live my life in the manner that He wants me to. He cares that I have a relationship with Him. He reminded me that instead of focusing on what I perceive as negative, I should focus on things that are excellent, praiseworthy and confirmed by God's Word:
I am made in the image and likeness of God!!
I am fearfully and wonderfully made!!
God created Tiffany Charonne "TC" Thompson with great reverence, heart-filled interest and with respect. I am unique and God set me apart. I am marvelous!!
I am a new creation in Christ!!
I am complete in Christ!!
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." ~ Genesis 1:27 (NKJV)
"I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;"
~ Psalm 139:14 (AMP)
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
"and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power."
~ Colossians 2:10 (NKJV)
He also reminded me that bodily exercise will do me no good if I am spiritually flabby.
"Growing strong in body is all right but growing in God-like living is more important. It will not only help you in this life now but in the next life also." ~ I Timothy 4:8 (ESV)
So while it's okay for me to think about the benefits of being healthier and taking care of my outer body, when I am tempted to focus on the negative, I need to combat those thoughts with what God says about it. I need to see myself, situations and challenges how God sees them. So here we go:
Benefits of working out:
I am healthier than I was three months ago!!
My clothes fit better!!
I can walk/jog four miles, on an incline!!
My skin is glowing!!
True Praiseworthy WHOAments:
I study God's Word daily!!
I read God's Word daily!!
I spend private time with God daily!!
I am impacting the world spiritually because I allow God to speak through my writing!!
I make God proud to call me His friend & daughter daily because I do the things He instructs me to!!
So the next time you are tempted to look at someone else or their situations and compare yourself, remember that you, too, should be focused on what God says about it. Think of the things that are praiseworthy and excellent. Change your way of thinking! Think on those things that are "just...right!"
Chat with TC: What are some praiseworthy things in your life? What does God's Word say about them?