For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. . . Titus 2:11-12
For years I fought a daily battle with my body. It started when I woke up and continued until I finally calmed my thoughts enough to fall asleep at night. My head spun out of control all day long: counting calories, fretting over carbs, plotting new exercise routines, researching diet supplements, and wondering what I could do to lose ten pounds before the next time I had to go out in public.
Though I asked Jesus to be my Savior as a child, I wasn’t living like a saved person. I was in bondage.
I didn’t understand grace. Mistakenly, I thought “normal” life included struggling with my body.
I couldn’t see how salvation meant freedom.
Nor could I see how grace offered me anything for the here and now.
If God truly wanted to help me, I thought he’d just point his finger down and zap me with a new size 2 body. Then, I knew I’d be satisfied.
Yes, if there was anything God could offer to help my struggle, it was certainly in the form of speeding up my metabolism or leading me to the right personal trainer.
But, his plan for me was bigger than my dress size. The salvation he had in mind was far more glorious than my temporal plans for a better body.
Freedom Doesn’t Come From a Perfect Body
Now, I know the path to freedom isn’t found in achieving the perfect shape, getting clear (or wrinkle free) skin, firm abs, or even squeezing into size 2 skinny jeans.
His grace is better than the latest firming cream, Plexus, Thrive, P90X3 and even Botox.
The grace he offers does not just surpass all of our earthly body woes. His grace is greater than all of our sins. Every blemish. Every stretchmark. Every scar life has indiscreetly left on our person. His grace covers us inside and out.
How do we accept this grace? How do we live in the freedom of salvation like Christ intends?
Read the second part of that verse above one more time. We get our heads out of what this world is telling us. Renounce worldly passions. Strive to look more like Jesus than the cover of Glamour.
And we embrace that grace. We work out love in our hearts just as furiously as we work out our abs on a mat.
We wrestle with what it means to be that loved, that accepted, that forgiven. . .and we cover ourselves with His grace.