Is Your Body an Ornament or an Instrument?

“I’ve noticed that when I treat my body like an instrument instead of an ornament, my relationship with food completely changes.”  ~Alanis Morissette

My husband plays the violin.  It’s old and beautiful.  It’s been a long time since he pulled it out, but he did a few weeks ago. 

It looked lovely as he took it out of the case and I waited anxiously as he began to tune it.  Eek!  It did NOT sound good!  It had been so long since it was used or taken care of, that the sound was not pleasing at all.  But I would never have guessed that the sound would be so irritating based on the beauty of the instrument.

When I was growing up, my church sang a song that had the lyrics, “Lord, make me an instrument, an instrument of worship.  I lift up my praise in Your Name.”  Since then, I’ve always believed that an instrument is something that is useful and productive, something that brings about good things.  Sadly, I’ve never really viewed my body as an instrument.  To me, it’s always been an ornament.  I dress it up, work to make it beautiful on the outside and pleasing in the sight of others.  I feed it with things that make me feel good at the time.  But all of that just affects the way it’s viewed.  It doesn’t prepare me for any service or enable me to bring about good.  It’s just an ornament, hanging there, a beautiful old violin that sounds awful from lack of use!

When we think of our bodies as instruments that need care in order to bring joy and strength to others, it makes it a little easier to see how something as mundane as food can be such an important decision every day.   So much of what I eat is based on how I’m feeling, not based on how I want to feel so that I can do what God has called me to do.  It’s not about making me a better ornament, but a better instrument.

In what ways are you treating your body as an ornament?  What changes can you make to treat your body more like an instrument to be used by God?
Join us for our Body Matters conference, April 12 and 13 at the Pelham campus. Click here for details and to register.
~Chappell Hughes, Downtown