13. A Healthy Diet
In today’s media, a lot of emphasis is on the way you look. Attaining a certain sense of beauty is key to our popularity and status in life and of course, our self-worth! One of the things, and I can speak from personal experience, is the myriad of diets that are offered as supposed keys to success in achieving the perfect fitness and the perfect look.
Please don’t misunderstand me, a good healthy diet is nothing to be sniffed at but the bottom line is that often the extreme diets are offered as a quick way to achieve something superficial and extreme. Eat this diet and you can look like whichever lycra-clad, stereotypical, athletic person used for the marketing. The bottom line is that the reality of real life means that achieving whatever goal for many people is far more complicated. Again, I am not suggesting that self-improvement is not a good thing but actually exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet will make you as healthy as the next person. If you are chasing a goal of a healthier lifestyle I am impressed and supportive but for health and self-esteem only, not to be like someone else to attain the shallow goals of beauty or popularity.
Off the subject of food, our relationship with God is very similar. We need a healthy balanced diet of study, church and fellowship and prayer. During the lockdown I did a lot of study. The goal of this diet is not outward beauty but of development of our soul. I love to study so find this easy to do, my nose is always in an article or a book. I like all kinds of literature, but I love studying the theology and philosophy of my faith. Like food, studying and knowledge is food for the soul and nourishing your faith is really important.
So, going back to image, there are many different perceptions of the image of what a Christian can be. Sandal wearing, bookish, out of touch with society and granted in the past this has sometimes been the case but, in today’s world, being a light to others means being in the world but not of it. What this means is of course you are part of the world but the image you project should show that you are walking alongside people showing what your life means. (The sandals are optional!) I pride myself on a glamorous footwear collection. I have always loved my shoes. I’m not suggesting we give Christianity a cool makeover, notoriously when Christianity has tried to be “cool” it has famously failed and been uncool. But think about an event. You plan it, maybe send out invitations, maybe a Facebook event. You plan the food to appeal to all your guests and the music and activities the same. Christianity should be like this: an invite to those who don’t know about a relationship with Christ that have elements of interest that draw them in. I pride our Church on our outreach to our community, for example take M&Ms or our Christmas events or even our Toddler Group. We show that we invite to share our interests and offer a relationship with Christ. We are not trying to be cool. We are projecting the image of who we are with welcoming arms.
Lastly, our personal projection of who we are is also very important. Being Christians, we do have responsibilities to show who we are by the choices we make. Of course, we all get it wrong and no one is expecting Nun like purity. However, we are expected to set an example and think about the choices we make.
Final thought – do you need a soulful makeover? Do you need to make any changes to the choices you make in regard to how you project your own image? Do you worry too much about the way you look?