Updated: Nov 17, 2021
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. And yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you - you of little faith?”
(Matthew 6:28-30, Italics mine)
When it comes to glorifying God with our bodies, this likely isn’t the first verse that would come to mind. You might think of the scripture about our bodies being temples of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) or doing everything to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). But I’d love to walk you through my thought process on why I chose this passage in Matthew to inspire Fit to Glorify.
“And why do you worry about clothes?”
Point numero uno. I realize the context of this passage is directed toward those who had very little in terms of material possessions and who were actually struggling to find sufficient clothing. I’m guessing most of us don’t face that same issue, but instead struggle to fit all our clothes into a closet. It might be easy to read this verse and decide that it doesn’t apply to you. But God’s word is eternal, applicable at all times and in all places.
How many times have you said to yourself, “I don’t have anything to wear!” in a dramatic fashion. I’m definitely guilty, and that statement was always a great excuse to raid my sisters’ closets (sorry, sista friends). Though we have an abundance of clothes, we tend to focus on the lack in our lives instead of being grateful for what God has already provided. Rather than worrying over just having the bare minimum to cover our bodies, we direct our worry to not having enough new clothes or latest fashionable attire. These are fleeting, empty materials that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things and just frankly not worth worrying over because we have an abundance in Christ. Additionally, I believe this worry over outward appearances can be applied even further, to worry over our bodies.
I don’t know about you all, but if I’m not happy with my body, oftentimes no clothing is going to cover my insecurity. Sure, you can worry about clothes and what to wear, but I think the bigger issue is how you feel towards your body, and your perceived image of it. As I spent time meditating on the passage, God revealed that the ‘clothes’ Jesus is talking about here in Matthew can also be representative of our body image.
“See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. And yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
Point number two. What girl doesn’t LOVE flowers? Flowers are some of the most colorful, intricate, and eye-catching creations in all of nature. I mean, is it not your first, immediate thought when you see wildflowers or a beautiful bouquet that they are beautiful, pretty, or such a gift!? Andddd how many of us think the same when we look at our bodies, made in His image for His glory? Yea. Probs zero. Here is the issue and SOMEHOW we need to connect the dots that our bodies are even MORE splendorous, beautiful, and marvelous than temporary and trivial (yet beautiful) flowers. Flowers grow beautifully with just what God provides for them. We don’t need to chase worldly beauty when God clothes us with a reflection of HIS IMAGE! God is beauty and the reflection of his beauty shines through us when we look more like Jesus in our hearts.
*Just had to share my wedding flowers that I LOVED! After my dress, the flowers were the most important thing to me to pick out! My bouquet was Calla Lilies (In Luke 12:27, the flowers of the field are translated as the lilies!)
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire”
Point number three. God isn’t promising us splendorous clothing like Solomon’s or a flawless physique. Worrying about clothing or trying to achieve a worldly physique are defined by God as temporary, worldly pursuits, able to be destroyed by moths and rust (Matthew 6). Not to be morbid, but we are all getting older... our bodies decay and we will never be able to keep up with the latest fashion trends. But these things are meaningless in light of eternity. Ultimately, we have hope in restored, new bodies in heaven promised to us by God (Philippians 3:20-21). Whatever we do to beautify our souls is what lasts forever, and God is faithful to sanctify our souls (Philippians 1:6, 2 Peter 1:3-4).
The lasting beauty provided to us by God reflects the true beauty of our Creator when we glorify Him, as when we keep our bodies healthy to give glory to God alone. I’m passionate about nutrition & fitness because stewarding your body well is a great way to glorify God. I want women to be able to view fitness and nutrition through a Christian lens as an act of worship wherein we can honor God by taking care of our bodies, delighting in His creation by viewing our bodies through His eyes, and sacrificing them to serve the kingdom. Lifting weights or eating broccoli may not directly share the gospel with others, but our bodies need exercise and nutritious food for good physical, mental, and emotional health… all of which can serve our walk with God. We can also be lights of the world by cherishing and stewarding our bodies well, showing unbelievers that we delight in the gifts that God designed for us instead of neglecting or disparaging them. In just one example, more energy, & longevity can help us offer much more to God’s kingdom throughout our lives. Life is short but not as short as a flower’s lifespan; therefore, we should take every opportunity to glorify God with our bodies (Ephesians 5:15-16).
“How much more will he clothe you - you of little faith?”
Point number four. Oh, you of little faith? Called out. Ouch. I have so much more to learn in order to actually trust consistently and wholeheartedly in my points above. There are so many days when I eat or exercise for the wrong (sinful) reasons. Having a spiritual and positive body image is tough and a daily struggle for me. Often, I’m too consumed with worry over my body image to be thankful and appreciative of the body he has blessed me with. TBH most days I have at least one negative thought towards my body or a thought of what I want to change. Romans 14:23 says that everything that does not come from faith is sin. Yikes. We will always fail in the department of body image and Christ-centered health and fitness without a Savior. We need Jesus, who took our sin upon himself, sacrificing his body and perfect blood on the cross so that our sins are forgiven, and the perfect righteousness of Christ covers us before God the Father. In fact, Isaiah even describes God as the one who “clothes” him in righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). This is the clothing God provides - himself! Christ is the good news and the answer to new life, a life where we can have faith in Him because of His great faithfulness to us. Only Jesus can save me from selfish motivations, worry over my body image, and desire to find comfort in the world. As I confess to you my struggle to appreciate my body and honor God with it, it convicts me and reminds me to continue praying for God to change my heart and perception of my body as a gift, an instrument for worship and service to his kingdom, and more beautiful and cared for than a flower.