"THE MALE BODY Build it, Feed it, Show it off!"
Cover headline of July/August issue of Men's Health Magazine
I know that you have to expect this sort of headline in a men's health magazine. Even still, it is indicative of the overall culture's (I should say of humankind's) emphasis on the "flesh." Our attraction to things of the flesh has always been. We simply have more immediate ways to gratify the attraction at our disposal now. The encouragement to "build it, feed it and show it off" really should be at odds with a Believer's perspective.
I've been told more than a few times recently that I'm being too hard on myself (and vicariously, all husbands) in this Blog. I may have to ask my wife, Gwen, to weigh in on how hard she thinks I'm being on myself in comparison to how hard I have been on her and my sons over the last 30 years. I truly believe that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present, loving, Creator. I would rather be hard on myself now than have Him be hard on me later (know whutta mean?). Yes, I may be hard on my self, but I believe that my pursuit of Christlikeness demands it. Scripture is pretty clear about this.
Matthew reports, "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.""
And the apostle Paul (whom I greatly admire) says "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me ." It has been pointed out that the word "I" in this passage is translated from the Greek, "Ego." So, my egotism, my conceit, my self-importance must be sacrificed in favor of Christ.
John the Baptist, upon hearing of Christ's work said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." I maintain the same: Christ must increase and I must decrease.
As my physical, fleshly, perspective decreases, my goal is to replace it with a spiritual, Godly paradigm. So, instead of building, feeding and showing off my flesh, the goal is to build, feed and display Christ's spirit within me. Why? Because Scripture is also clear about this: "...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..." Only the "imperishable" spirit can enter God's kingdom.
God help me (and you!)