I Don't Covet.... Or Do I?
(In response to the new "Quarantine Body" most of us are seeing in the mirror staring back at us.)
By Tracy Galloway
/kavat/ Verb - yearn to possess or have (something)
(My sweet little sister Emily with me at Grounds For Sculpture, my fav. place in Jersey)A few times a year, not often, usually when I am reading the Bible... God gives me a revelation. A revelation of something that seems so HUGE, so IMPORTANT that is could change a generation, change the world even! It is something simple. Right in front of our faces. Yet if understood fully, profoundly life-altering. This is what God showed me yesterday...
"Women covet thinness, more than seeking Me. If I were to add the minutes, hours, weeks, years women look at their bodies and wish it looked like someone else... all of that time added up... if it were spent seeking My image... they would reflect real beauty unlike is rarely seen."
I thought about how many times I look at my belly and wish it was smaller, every time I sit, every time I glance down, pass a mirror. I think about my neck how it doubles when I bend to read or write this blog post on my laptop, and I curse my inherited fat neck. I contour my face with makeup to make it look like there is not as much chub there that is there. It must equal thousands of little or big thoughts that pass through my mind every day. Really. Sometimes it is self-talk "I look fat in this" most times they are passing thoughts, "I wish my arms/legs/face/stomach/even back were thinner." as I glance down at my body or in a mirror.
When we truly have a revelation of this waste of time coveting thinness, we see that this is an elephant in every room we step into... and this elephant is not our friend, he is a distraction, possibly the biggest distraction of our lives. I view thinner people on social media or television and think "I wish I looked like that" before I even realize I thought it. I covet. I covet a body other than my own. It could be the littlest thing about them I covet like their hair, or thin tall neck lol, or the whole package. I KNOW I am not alone. This is a modern-day idol of the perfect proportion.
i·dol /ˈīdl/ noun - an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.
Coveting and "there shall be no idols before me" applies to this kind of striving too.
I am usually the strong girl that tells other girls "XL stands for Xtra Lovely!" I am the one that goes to the beach even though my figure is one of the largest ones there, and I don't think about it really for the most part. But even I, the one who taught my girls over and over growing up that "it matters what is in the inside more than what is on the outside" kind of mom..." I struggle still. Do you? I am all for exercise, healthy eating. Living gluten-free, dairy-free, mostly sugar-free with regular exercise. For years this has been my normal due to health reasons. But when these actions do not reflect on my body, it's easy to get bummed out and want to give all healthy choices up to just "live a little." We are not talking about that here. Our focus here is on seeing Coveting, Idol Worship, Envy, and Vanity in regard to body image as a sin instead of just a weakness. You see, if it is just a weakness, we sigh and say"oh well!" If it is a sin, we are faced with the fact that we need to deal with it.... and deal with it we will if you keep reading just a few more minutes.
It must equal hours every day of tiny thoughts flashing through my mind that say "you are not enough, you can do better, you are gross looking." Maybe there is some truth to that. But that is how Satan works, half-truths twisted into bondage to draw us away from a loving Father who holds all the answers in His perfect vision of who we really are. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this. Even extremely thin women do this more than I ever thought possible. In fact, the thin ones do it more than most. What a flip flop concept for the thinnest to feel the fattest? Looks like a trick of the old Beelzebub once again yes?
Ephesians 5:3 ".
"..covetousness must not even be named among you,
as is proper among saints."
Can you imagine if all the time we spent coveting another's figure, hair, whatever, we instead coveted Jesus alone? What if the hundreds of little self-loathing thoughts each day, pausing in front of the mirror too long insulting God's creation (you) what if instead, we could look into the eyes of Jesus hundreds of times a day to see who HE is so that we can KNOW who we are, inside and out. This would equal tons of moments every day of letting our thoughts be His thoughts, our ways, His ways. I can only dream of the beauty that would radiate out of my eyes if such a thing were to occur.
Do I covet? Yes, yes I do. Are there idols in my life, yes, yes there are. It's not television, Facebook, Instagram or even a new sports car that are tempting idols for me. (Though I do appreciate a cool Jeep) My idol comes in a perfect figure of what used to be size 8, then size 6, down to a size 4, 2, and now 0- an impossible, unachievable figure.
Unless we lay our lives on the altar of starving and running night and day, the idol of thinness is the carrot hanging in front of our eyes that even if achieved, is never enough and most times is lost within months or years once again. This god I am told is ruthless, filled with hate for you and for others, and never satisfied. Who would want to follow a god like that?
The god of thin-ness can never be satisfied
Do you struggle in this area? If so...pray with me now: say out loud "Lord please forgive me and help me to take my eyes off of myself, my body, and the bodies of others. Forgive me for coveting and having an idol before you. I make the choice to stare deeply into your unconditionally loving eyes for me, inside and out. Let your truth of what REALLY matters become my self-image. Let Jesus be the only figure I crave in my 24-7, 365-day world. Let the transformation I pursue, be to live more like Jesus. Mold my heart, grow my confidence, change my belief system, convert my preconceived notions of beauty to the things that YOU find beautiful. Help me to make what you love, my deepest hearts desire Jesus."
Changing your mind happens through time in the Word of God, here is a taste if you have been away from this life-transforming words for a while, I encourage you to watch The Bible Project online or download the Bible App. (The little brown one with yellow letters on the Bible is the best.)
1...Do not forget my teaching,
2for they will add length to your days,
3Never let loving devotion or faithfulness leave you;
bind them around your neck,
4Then you will find favor and high regard
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
6in all your ways acknowledge Him,
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
9Honor the LORD with your wealth
10then your barns will be filled with plenty,
11My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD,
and do not loathe His rebuke;d
12for the LORD disciplines the one He loves,
as does a father the son in whom he delights.e
13Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
14for wisdom is more profitable than silver,
15She is more precious than rubies;
16Long life is in her right hand;
17All her ways are pleasant,
18She is a tree of life to those who embrace her,
Following Jesus and His Word that leads to Life Transformation,
Being raw and real,
Rev. Tracy Galloway