“Jerusalem has sinned greatly and so has become unclean. All who honored her despise her, for they have all seen her naked; she herself groans and turns away.” Lamentations 1:8
As a gymnast I learned so many important life lessons and skills. Similarly God used gymnastics and my childhood coach to teach me many lesions about himself. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be a gymnast. For it was used by God to shape me in many amazing ways. But it also shaped me in some not so positive ways. One of those not so positive ways was my focus on my physical body image. It was not gymnastics that did this but others within the sport and my own innate sin. It was during my college years that it started to become a real issue. I could not look in the mirror at myself naked without obsessing about all the flaws. But as much as this was about my physical body it went much deeper. I could not look in the mirror at myself without being sicken by my sin. I was disgusted with myself and I had very little love for myself. No, I hated myself. I was destitute.
Believe me I have been through all kinds of therapy, counseling, etc for me to deal with many of these issues. I have learned some valuable tools. I have learned a lot of good things but by faith is still what has help me the most. For what Jesus told me was, stop closing your eyes and took. Look in the mirror. See you sin. See the disgust. Accept that you are a sinner. You stand before me naked and you have so many flaws. It is in this place of naked vulnerability I feel all my guilt, shame and inadequacy. But you know what Jesus tells me? “I died on the cross so that my blood would flow over you cleansing you of all that disgust and dirt. You are now clean before me and I now cloth you with my words. For I call you my precious child.”
Counseling tried to teach me to think differently about what I saw in the mirror. Sometimes this was helpful because many times my thinking was wrong. But at the end of the day I had to confront my own sin and no counseling can make that go away. But Jesus blood does cleans us of our sin. It is only through Jesus we can be free from the bondage of our own shame and guilt. When I stand in front of the mirror today I have to watch myself to not pick apart the parts of my physical body that I dislike. This only become more challenging the older I get. But beyond this I am in love the women Jesus has molded me to be through clothing me with his words.
Have you every really stood in front of the mirror naked and look? Not just at your physical body but who you are. Looked at your life? Have you looked at your our faults, failings and sins? Have you asked for Jesus to forgive these sins and wash you with his blood? If not why not try it? It sometimes is disturbing but avoiding it won’t make it go away.