Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Resist Body Obsession and Live in Acceptance God’s Way

posted by Linda Mintle

How do we live in this culture of body obsession without being conformed to it?

Paul addresses this in the 12th chapter of Romans, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.(The Message 12:1-2).”

Let’s pick this apart. First, we are to place our entire life before God as an offering, or said another way, as an act of worship. This means that our physical bodies are to be holy and pleasing to God. His condition for holy and pleasing has to do with what we do with our bodies in obedience to his Word, not how we physically appear. In fact, no emphasis is placed on physical appearance.

We are to care for our bodies as the temple where God lives. This means we should eat healthy, exercise and take care of our appearance. However, we should resist the imbalance culture places on appearance in determining our worth. God values us because of who we are, not because we lost five pounds or have great legs.

Secondly, we are not to think like the culture thinks unless it lines up with the truth of God’s word. So, when we are constantly told to improve and fix our outward bodies, we are being distracted from the truth of acceptance. Nothing in God’s word says younger looking skin makes you more desirable to God or that big breasts bring success. These are the ideas of fashion gurus, diet experts, the cosmetic industry and plastic surgeons. The intent is simply to get you to buy more product and spend more money.

Paul says fix your attention on God and renew your mind with His thoughts. Don’t be dragged down by the thinking of the culture that pulls you away from the thoughts of God. And that’s exactly what happens when we get caught up in body obsession. Our thoughts are easily pulled away from the way God thinks of us and shifted to the approval of others and some personal standard we have developed from the culture. Our acceptance is all about how thin we are. Our esteem is based on the right nose or fullness of lips. The lie is that the more we do to look like models and celebrities, the more successful we’ll be. But success isn’t being measured by biblical standards. Success means power and money. This type of cultural think is what we must resist.

 

For more help with body image, get a copy of Making Peace With your Thighs by Dr. Linda Mintle

Don’t Panic! God Is With You

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s been a stressful week. A friend of mine had his house struck by lighting while he was out of town and it burned to the ground. All their memories were gone in  moments. Another friend is going through a divorce, another is waiting on a papers to join her husband over seas. The list could go on…

During times of stress, it is important to remember, God is present. He indwells us and hasn’t gone anywhere.

My tendency is to panic first and then remember God is there–trying to reverse that habit!  I calm myself and remind myself that nothing that is happening is a surprise to God. He is still with me and guiding the process. And if His promises are true, He can use even the difficult stuff to bring about His purposes in our lives.

When trouble comes, it is important to maintain a grateful attitude and praise God in the midst of the trial. What helps is to read scripture that reminds us of God’s continual presence, His care for us and His promise to work all things for our good. If he orders our steps, then He is working in the situation. The trying of faith does bring patience!

So if you are going through a difficult time right now, don’t panic. Ask God for His peace in the middle of the storm. Remember, He is the same God who calmed the wind and rain and declared, Peace, be still!

Is Obesity Contagious?

posted by Linda Mintle

The flu is contagious, yawning is contagious, but what about obesity? Can you catch it from your family or your friends?

Actually YES !

Researchers at Harvard Medical School studied 12,000 people over a 32 year period and found that social connections impact your chance of gaining weight.

If your spouse becomes obese, you have a 37% chance of also becoming obese. If your brother becomes obese, you have a 40% increased risk.

Friendships are even more influential. The risk of friends becoming obese together is anywhere from 57- 71 % depending on if the friendship is mutual. This was even true when friends lived far apart.

The idea here is that once someone becomes obese, there is a social acceptability for people who know that person to also gain weight. Attitudes towards obesity change to one of more acceptance of a larger size.

On the positive side, if someone you know loses weight, it will influence you to get thinner as well. So perhaps our social networks could be used to influence us to lose weight if we need to drop a few extra pounds.

Mothers and Daughters: Adjusting Expectations for a Good Relationship

posted by Linda Mintle

When I was writing the book, I Love my Mother But…, women would ask me what I was writing about. When I told them it was a book about mothers and daughters, immediately they said, “Oh, you should interview me.  Let me  tell you about my mother!”

Obviously mothers make a lasting impression on us and it seems we all have a few complaints no matter how good our relationship is. This is because of the great expectations we have for mothers.

Most of us know that our mom’s aren’t perfect, yet that doesn’t stop us from wishing they were. So we make our moms responsible for everything from our self-esteem to our choice of mates. And we expect moms to be superwomen. Then, when they don’t measure up to our unrealistic expectations, we feel disappointed, or cheated. In fact, we often accuse our moms of ruining our lives and blame them for all sorts of things.

We forget that we  are responsible for our own choices and don’t realize that mom can’t give us what she doesn’t have. She can’t be all-knowing, all nurturing, all powerful and all giving. She is human and an imperfect woman –just like we are.

So lose those unrealistic expectations and look to another source to fulfill all your needs. The only perfect one is God. He’ll never disappoint or let you down because He is love. He chose you, accepts you unconditionally and highly esteems you. We do best when we work on completing ourselves through surrender to Him, releasing our past hurts to Him, grieving our losses and looking only to Him to complete us.

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