There is so much attention placed on our bodies. Countless articles, books, and videos are dedicated to helping people have the “perfect” body. The media tells us what makeup to wear so your eyes will pop, what hairstyle best compliments your face shape, what type of jean is most flattering, what exercises will make you look red-carpet-ready in the shortest time and with the least effort put forth.
We are so much more than our bodies. So much more than our outward appearance! Our bodies, in all shapes and sizes, are created in God’s own image!
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
How beautiful is that? God created all things. Trees that reach up to the heavens, birds that sing so sweetly, fish that glide through the waters. Our loving Creator took what was nothing but a “formless void” (Gn. 1:2) and out of nothing, created such astounding beauty! And yet, while the beauty of nature and animals is certainly awesome, God made human beings something more. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14) Not just another part of creation, humans were created separately, in the very image of God Himself!
As such, we are called to treat our own bodies with dignity and respect. In fact, our bodies are not just empty shells but are the temple of the Holy Spirit!
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Created in God’s own image with our bodies as a temple for the Holy Spirit dwelling among us. How amazing! If we were only to remember these facts how different would we live our lives?
If we looked upon every human life as created in God’s image, how could we turn a blind eye to abortion, to refugees struggling for a better life, to those who are starving, homeless, or sick?
If we saw ourselves as the temple to the Holy Spirit within us, how could we possibly abuse and degrade our bodies?
What if, instead of focusing on the latest fad diet, we put that time and energy into glorifying God in our bodies?
We need to see God in ourselves and in those around us that we may be more mindful of our actions and words. More respectful of all life. More the person God created each of us to be. More like Christ. For we are created in the very image of God.
“Let us be very sincere in our dealings with each other, and have the courage to accept each other as we are. Do not be surprised or become preoccupied at each other’s failures – rather, see and find in each other the good, for each one of us is created in the image of God.” Blessed Mother Teresa