This Is Not A Measure Of Your Worth

Susan Narjala   |   April 29, 2023 

Every Monday morning, I climb on my weighing scale. It may seem like a teensy, inconsequential step to some. But others out there know that climbing that one inch onto the scale is fraught with emotion.

Will I be paying the price for the pepperoni pizza I wolfed down on Saturday? But at least I followed that up with Diet Coke instead of the sugary alternative, right? Balanced things there, didn’t I? But then there was that giant slice of chocolate cake that called my name. Will the two workouts on Friday cancel that out??? Please, Lord, let me have lost at least a few grams…. What?! That doesn’t seem right. Something must be wrong with this weighing scale.

It is not just stepping onto a scale anymore. It is about stepping into a whirlpool of questions, excuses, deliberations, decisions, self-condemnation, irritation, resolutions, how-could-I’s, and then some. It is not just about weight anymore. It becomes about how I value myself.

I’ve struggled with “weight issues” for years now. And I know that I can’t blame defunct weighing scales for it. Maybe it’s that I dress in the full armour of God every morning—that shield of faith can be pretty darn heavy. Just kidding. It’s the helmet of salvation that adds the extra kilos. Still kidding.

While I tend to make jokes about gaining weight or being ‘pleasantly plump’ or ‘fabulously flabby’, I am often deeply frustrated by my lack of willpower and my poor food choices. Monday mornings usually have me on a no-carbs, no-sweets, no-junk regimen. By Monday night, I can’t wait to get my hands on the Godiva dark chocolate and all my good intentions melt away faster than ice cream on a hot summer's day.

But through my frustrations with food, God has patiently been teaching me about how I see myself and what truly matters. As I share this with you, know that I am reiterating these lessons for myself as I am a work in progress. Here are two simple ideas that God has been laying on my heart on this topic:

How we take care of our bodies is super important

God crafted us with creativity and love. He thoughtfully and intricately knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. When He says that His works are wonderful, He is not exaggerating. He says that you are His masterpiece—and He is a God who does not lie or make mistakes. Scripture says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. As believers, therefore, we ought to nurture the gift of our bodies because Scripture reveals that the physical form is important to God.

When God has declared something “good,” we as His children are called to take care of it, rather than speak disparagingly of it or treat it as if it is a train wreck. Would you join me in asking God for grace to recognise that our bodies are a gift from Him and for strength and self-control to steward that gift well?

How we take care of our bodies is not the ultimate thing

While on the surface this may sound contradictory to my previous point, it goes hand in hand with it. Yes, it is vitally important to nourish our bodies and get movement in every day and get stronger through exercise. But our culture’s obsession with outward appearance has taken a good gift from God and made it the ultimate gauge of our value. The world tells us that our worth comes from being a certain size. But the Word reminds us that our worth comes from the One who always sees us as precious. Because of that truth, yes, we may have to push ourselves to get that workout in, but we don’t punish ourselves if we don’t. Would you join me in repenting of making our physical appearance the measure of our worth?

Friend, maybe you need to hear this today: Even if you’ve fallen off the wagon with your diet, even if you haven’t exercised for months, even when culture says you’re the “wrong” size, your worth in Christ remains unchanged because of how He sees you. Recognise your significance in Him and because of Him. And lean on Him to take care of your body in ways that bring Him honour.



Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog,

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