And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is the scale a stumbling block?

I really appreciate the blogs I’ve read on the use of the scale. Some women have decided to give them up altogether because of their potential for making them stumble. I applaud that. The closer we come to the point where we see ourselves as God sees us, the better—and God doesn’t see us as a number on the scale. He sees our hearts.

I used to feel insecure because of my weight. In my mind, I could see this lineup of women, and I was standing at the wrong end of the line—the unacceptable end—the overweight end.

I felt self-conscious about my looks, and this made me self-conscious about my relationships. I worried that people wouldn’t like me because I wasn't "good enough." This often kept me from reaching out to others—at least the ones who intimidated me.

Even though I haven’t been heavy for awhile, I still sometimes see myself at the unacceptable end of the line because I don’t measure up to the world’s standards. I’m not sophisticated, I’m not fashionable (except for the rare occasion), and I don’t have a glamorous job. In fact, I don’t have a job at all.

I’m a home school mom, an occupation that carries its own stigma. Everyone has an opinion about home schooling and not all the opinions are good. At least in my own life, it hasn’t been a real self-image booster, even though it's been a delightful way of life.

So how do I get over my insecurity given my handicaps? Do I need to stop homeschooling and get a glamorous life? No, of course not. What I need to do is see myself (and my life) from God’s point of view. My insecurity sometimes interferes with loving others well, so it's an issue God wants me to work on. And I work on it, not by trying to look good in the world's eyes, but by working hard to see myself the way God sees me.

Every time I catch myself feeling insecure, I write down what I'm thinking - or what I think others are thinking about me. Then I compare those thoughts with God's thoughts.

Does He think I'm a loser because my outfit's not the greatest? No. Does He think I'm a failure because I gained a pound? No. Does He think I'm mean because I said something mean to that woman? Well, yes, He thought that was mean. I better apologize.

Sometimes these sessions lead to repentance, asking God to forgive me for my sin. Sometimes they lead to prayer, asking God to make me more like Him. And almost all the time they lead to a new view of myself as I lay down the standard of the world and pick up the standard of God.

God judges people according to their hearts (1 Samuel 16:7, Luke 16:15), and He's not crazy about the world's standards. It bothers Him when looks are valued more than character, when glamour is more important than godliness, and when a model-like figure is more desirable than a Christ-like love.

I think He probably grieves when He watches us judge ourselves by the world's standards, and then condemn ourselves because we don't measure up.

The scale can be a stumbling block, because it encourages us to see ourselves through the world's eyes. If we're going to step on the scale, we must be careful not to believe the lies that crop up when we see a number we don't want to see.

I'll be talking more about those lies in my next post. For now, though, try to see yourself through the eyes of the One who adores you—and if you're tempted to see yourself through the eyes of the world, watch out for the scale.


Unknown said...

I agree it can be a stumbling block and has been for me my whole life. But now I see it as a good thing--since I joined WW and am being held accountable from week to week. Even though I am scared to step on the scale, it has kept me honest with my eating. But my perspective is different this time too. ALthough I still want to lose weight, it is more of a health issue and to have order in my life. But I know I have to be careful of getting in that mindset like you talk about where looks become an idol. I fall too easily for that!

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment, Kathy. I agree - the scale was a great thing for me, too, when I went to Weight Watchers (four or five years ago). In fact the scale probably helped me lose weight even more than the classes, because it was intimidating - I didn't want to eat too much all week so my little card would show a loss!

I guess it can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how we use it. I know it has also made me gain lots of weight weighing at home when I weighed more than I thought I should and ate because of the lies I believed about it - which I'll talk about in the next post.

Thanks for bringing up the point that it can also be a good thing though!


eliz said...

My accountability is my 19 yr old daughter. We hold accountability to each other for staying in the Word, keeping our eyes on God and keeping our boundaries. We also share our truth journaling and option charts, but those come secondary to God's truth.(she is over 1/2 way through the study and I am finished, but continue to review it day by day)

If I use the scale I have very un-realistic expectations. My mind instantly reverts back to the world's. I hear "you're losing too slow", "you'll weigh X amount forever", "what you are doing is obviously not effective" "Get used to being a fat person with a heart for God". When I went to Weight Watchers I coveted everyone elses large amounts of weight loss. I used to even weigh myself 8 or more times a day as the weigh in day approached. I even learned how to dehydrate myself so the scale would always show a loss. My eyes were far from God.

I just wanted to say that if you can relate to anything I've said about the scale; Freedom From Emotional Eating can free you of this obsession too. The bible study for me was like a step up to see over the madness and fix my eyes on God. Just releasing my eyes from the worlds view was enough for me to see clearly that God truly was, is and continues to be the answer!

Thank You God!!

Unknown said...


That's so cool you have that kind of a relationship with your daughter. I appreciated your comments on the scale. I just got back from vacation and plan to write a blog on the lies of the scale in the next few days. I too have succumbed to some of the lies you mentioned - I'll keep them in mind when I write my blog. Glad to hear God is setting you free from the lies of the scale, as well!