Biblical Body Image

Janet Aucoin April 23, 2021

There are so many voices in our head and in the world telling us what to think about our body. But what does God's Word have to say about it? Janet Aucoin and Jocelyn Wallace walk through II Corinthians to help us think through a biblical view of our physical bodies. Main Passage: II Corinthians 4-5

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Transcript:

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Resources:

Booklet

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness - Tim Keller

Teaching

Theology of the Physical Body

Article

Biblical Integration in Anatomy and Physiology: A Design Approach - Answers in Genesis

Sermon

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness - Tim Keller

Janet: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.
Alexandra: I just want to make it as totally simple and no brainer as possible for ladies to see that
the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.
Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.
Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of
my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to
inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as
women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy. Typically, I’ll be joined by either
Jocelyn or Alexandra, but for our first full episode listen as all three of us discuss the topic of
joy.
Janet: Hello, and welcome back. I'm Janet. And back with my friend and cohost Jocelyn. And
today we're discussing a topic that I think we would all agree is pretty huge for women and like
many areas of life. We seem to go from one ditch to another in how we respond to it. So, today
we're talking about how do we view our physical bodies. And already everybody is going, I don't
even want to hear this. But really what impact should the gospel have on how we do that? How
are we going to think theologically about our physical bodies? And this is so funny because the
very first time I really thought through that on a theological level was listening to Jocelyn, who
was discipling a friend. So it got me thinking about this as well. And, so.
Jocelyn: It's a pretty important topic. Like we live in a body. Our soul lives in a body, and we
should have some sort of theology about why God gave us that body.

Janet: Yes. And I love that. I had known I shouldn't idolize my body, but to really be thinking
about how should I think about my body. So I would say that most of us, if not all of us are either
in the ditch of over prioritizing our physical body, because we are disciplined, we are
self-controlled. We are going to maximize what we have physically. We are not going to eat it,
especially if it tastes good, we are not giving into the flesh.
Jocelyn: Never!
Janet: Because, we are over our body
Jocelyn: And we're super spiritual.
Janet: Yes. Because that's how we show that we discipline our body and make it our slave, which
we'll talk about in context, a little later has absolutely nothing to do with fitness regime. Or I'm
going to have to relate more to this one over the course of my life, under prioritizing our physical
body. And then , we use the other spiritual excuse, you know what God doesn't care about what
we look like on the outside. It's what's in our heart, which quite frankly impacts how I view the
outside, but that's okay.
Jocelyn: That's another. That's --later on
Janet: I shouldn't have to think about it. I should be only concerned with my inner man. I should
be able to eat what I want, exercise when, and if I want, which we're just going to have to admit
it's going to be never. And I'm going to revel in the beauty that is me.
Jocelyn: And when you think about it, like, okay, which one am I? Uh, which day is it? And
which season and which year and how old am I? Because we live in both of those ditches.
Janet: No kidding.
Jocelyn: Neither of us is doing this... On a personal level, neither of us is doing this perfectly.
Janet: No kidding.
Jocelyn: And it depends on what's going on in our life about, you know, how much emphasis
we're putting on our physical body at the moment. So we're learning, we're learning and setting
this out.
Janet: Fellow Travelers.
Jocelyn: Yup.
Janet: And amazingly, whichever ditch I'm in, I can spiritualize it.

Jocelyn: Yep, absolutely.
Janet: But to realize the reality is in either of those ditches, I'm still thinking about me,
Jocelyn: Yeah, the whole focus.
Janet: I haven't heard anything of what I've said so far that's because I love Jesus, because this is
the way to glorify God. Though we can try to do that as well.
Jocelyn: What's kind of tricky is that you can spiritualize selfishness easily. Kind of like what
you were just saying, like, well, God accepts us. So we accept us. Like we can spiritualize our
own, you know, wrong thinking sometimes and make it sound better than it actually is.
Janet: Yes. So I'm going to suggest that both of those approaches: under prioritizing my body,
over prioritizing my body, are both actually not just focused on me and wrong. Yes. But they're
also opposed to the purpose of our bodies. Like our body does have a purpose. I think that's what
was so like, wow. I want to be thinking about what's the eternal impacting purpose that my body
could play.
Jocelyn: Totally.
Janet: And I think the other reason that should help people be motivated to actually listen to this
is whatever ditch you're in. How happy are you? How much contentment and satisfaction are you
finding in either of those ditches? So, Why don't we talk about a way that could actually result in
satisfaction and contentment?
Jocelyn: And joy. Yeah.
Janet: So, I'm going to spend some time specifically in second Corinthians four and five, and let's
just start thinking about how we should view our bodies and how we can really experience
freedom, which is not, I never have to think about my body. It's freedom from enslavement to
me.
Jocelyn: Yes. I love this passage because it's so clear and helpful and you don't have to wonder,
Oh, I wonder what I should think about my body or if I should think about it or how I should use
it. It's so clear in this passage. I'm excited for you to explain it.
Janet: So let's turn to 2 Corinthians 4. The verse really is going to start in verse six, but let's go
ahead to verse five. Paul is talking about his ministry and he says, "we don't go around preaching
about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord and we ourselves are your servants." And
now, this is so beautiful. What he says next. "For God who said, let there be light in the darkness
has now made this light shine in our hearts so that we could know the glory of God that is seen in
the face of Jesus Christ."

Jocelyn: I love that.
Janet: So to begin with. The God who has the power to just use His words, to create light, took a
small piece of that light, of that, what some refer to as His Shekinah Glory, but basically just
think some part of that light, and He flung it into our heart. Why? So that we would go look at
how I look? No, so that it would light up the knowledge of the glory of God. So somehow that's
got to be able to happen, in our bodies. And I love the very next verse about that. "We now have
this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great
treasure." I love that. That's on purpose. And he says that because he goes on to say, "this makes
it clear." What makes it clear? The fact that we're just in fragile clay jars. "Makes it clear that our
great power is from God, not from ourselves." So when I'm reading that, I'm thinking, okay, my
body has an amazing purpose because it has the opportunity to shine the light of the glory of
God. And sometimes I would think my body being weak would hinder that.
Jocelyn: Yeah. It would stop you from doing your purpose that God created you for.
Janet: Yeah. And then God says, actually I made it a fragile clay jar so that the attention would
not be drawn to the jar, that it would be drawn to the great power. And if there's any power of the
gospel in the word of God, it's going to be clear. It's not because of me. Look at this clay jar.
There's nothing here.
Jocelyn: It's surprising that God can use something as weak as we are.
Janet: Yes. And then think what a waste of time that we become so enamored with the pot.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Instead of how do I use this pot to be enamored with the treasure that's in it.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Which is amazing. So God gave us weak bodies on purpose. So my goal is not to
overcome that. My goal isn't to try to have the perfect body, because quite frankly, that would be
at odds with God's plan and would draw attention to me. I mean, if we all looked like Superman
or Wonder Woman, I don't know about you, but when I see them, I don't think I wonder what
their heart is like.
Jocelyn: Yeah. Yeah. You're focused on the exterior
Janet: Yeah. So my broken, fragile body can do exquisite things only because God is that
powerful. And that shows how big He is.

Jocelyn: And in giving us those weak bodies, the work that we're doing in them, just, it draws
attention to God. It's so beautiful how God gives us the very thing that will make us able to
glorify Him better.
Janet: Yes. And then we, by contrast can make it our goal: I have to eliminate anything that's
finite or weak from my body. And to understand I'm already at cross purposes with God, no
matter how I do that.
Jocelyn: Just with that thought. Yeah.
Janet: You know, I think about that in my own life. I have a precious friend, who needed to go
to the hospital as an emergency. Well, because she had been raped , and so, I needed, she came to
my house , and let me know that and we needed to go right away
Jocelyn: Yeah. Can't Wait.
Janet: You have to do those things right away. So I have low blood sugar. Not a big deal. I know
that, I shouldn't go hours and hours and hours without eating. Okay. That's fine. Well, she came,
I want to say late, mid- morning. I had not eaten breakfast yet. Still, I don't think that's a sin. I
hadn't had breakfast, not a big deal. I'll do that later. Well, we're going to go to the hospital.
That's a, well, I'd never been through this before with someone, but it's an incredibly cold
unfeeling.
Jocelyn: Dehumanizing.
Janet: Oh yeah. That's a great word for it. Yeah. That's exactly. And it was hours. I'm like what in
the world. This should not have to take this long.
Jocelyn: It's like re-injuring people that have just been injured.
Janet: No kidding. So we were there like forever. So I know if I don't eat right. And more
importantly, if I'm not drinking a lot of water, my body doesn't respond well. But I'm not thinking
about that. I'm just there to help her. And at some point I'm standing next to her holding her
hand. I'm trying to help her not think about how uncomfortable all of this is. And I realize my
lips have started tingling.
Jocelyn: Oh, my word
Janet: I know what happens after that. I know that after that things are going to start looking very
blurry and then I'm going to wake up somewhere.
Jocelyn: Yeah. On the floor.

Janet: And I'm thinking, Oh, my word. Again, I have a weak body. I'm not, I don't believe at this
point there was sin, even in my stewardship. I just have a weak body. Here I am. And I'm
thinking, okay, find a chair. At least if you sit down, I can probably keep this from happening.
And then I can just ask for some water. Looking around, there's no chairs in the room. Again,
very inhospitable environment. Standing there. And I thought, okay, maybe I can sit on the floor
next to the bed. Just keep holding her hand because you know, I could be tired from standing
just,
Jocelyn: Yeah, not a big deal.
Janet: I'm not going to draw attention to myself. I'm just going to sit down before I fall down. So
I sit down and my sweet friend immediately. You okay? And I'm like, I'm okay. I just, I haven't
had anything to eat today. It was probably four o'clock by now. I haven't had anything to eat
today. Really haven't had much to drink. It's not a big deal. I just need to sit down. The nurse
hears that. Now suddenly everybody's thinking about me. She's like, you need some Sprite. Let
me get you some crackers. And my friend and I'm like, this is the last thing I wanted. And then to
realize my weakness in my weak body was an opportunity for my friend to not think about what
was going on right then.
Jocelyn: Oh, that's so cool.
Janet: And she's a very sweet friend. So she's immediately concerned about me. And while I was
initially feeling like I was a hindrance to loving my friend,
Jocelyn: You were messing it up.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: It was a blessing.
Jocelyn: That's so cool.
Janet: So now we're both laughing and I'm like, look at what's going on here. And everybody's
thinking about me. Nobody got you any crackers and Sprite, but I'm getting crackers and Sprite.
And then pretty soon it's over and we're sitting at a chair. Nobody will let us leave because I
might pass out.
Jocelyn: Oh, my goodness.

Janet: So we're sitting in this chair, both of us having crackers and sprites and laughing, and I'm
like, look how the Lord used my weakness, because what do we know if she's loving God and
loving others, that's best for her soul too.
Jocelyn: That is.
Janet: And it was actually good. My weakness was used by God to encourage my friend who got
to use her purpose to love me.
Jocelyn: That's such a cool story to understand what we're talking about.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: That's so neat.
Janet: But not what I would have chosen. And in my mind it could hinder and I was wrong. I just
need to trust the Lord with whatever weaknesses He's given me.
Jocelyn: And then we're going to talk about this later, but like how willing are we to let God use
our, you know, week jars of clay bodies to do stuff for Him? It doesn't have to be perfect for us to
be useful for Him. That's what's so encouraging about this.
Janet: Yeah. Yup. And to know that not only are they weak, that God purposely allows these
weak, fragile clay jars to suffer. And somehow that's part of it. He goes on in verse eight in
chapter four: "we're pressed on every side by troubles, but we're not crushed. We're perplexed,
but not driven to despair. We're hunted down, but not abandoned by God. We get knocked down,
but we're not destroyed." Somehow that also draws attention to God.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: You know? And, and do I, am I willing to allow my body to be used that way?
Jocelyn: Which really looks at your theology of suffering, which is a whole different episode,
but, it begs the question, do I have the right view of this body and how it's going to be used?
Janet: Yes. Because verse 10 is exactly what you just said, "through suffering our bodies
continue to share in the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."
What does that, I've not always understood what that meant, and I'm sure I'll continue to
understand more as I study even more, but to think about, it's not that I have to add to what
Christ did.
Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But He chose suffering in His body, because it's what my soul needed. And when I
respond well to suffering in my body, people see the priorities and love of Christ. They see
Christ.
Jocelyn: And just think about how Jesus used His body in points of extreme, physical weakness.
Like while dying on the cross, His focus was on making sure His mom was taken care of for the
rest of her life. While dying on the cross He was welcoming a new follower that was also on
another cross. So if we're manifesting the life of Christ in our body, then we are using our bodies
in their moments of weakness, the way Jesus used His body in His moments of weakness. He
was the ultimate example of how to do what we're talking about.
Janet: And that the weakness was the plan
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: for Him, you know, for us too, but absolutely for Him. So the focus of our bodies is to
display the life of Jesus. I don't need to draw attention to my body. It's the shell, but I also don't
need to hide my body, whether that's, I've just completely hoodied up and trying to hide or
whether that's I have to have on all the fancy clothes and all the fancy makeup. I have to hide
because my weight isn't where I want it to be, whatever that is. I don't need to hide it because it's
the holder of the glory of Jesus.
Jocelyn: Right. And the focus isn't to land on the body it's to land on the Christ that is being lived
out in the body.
Janet: Yes. If I'm hiding my body, I'm hiding what's in it.
Jocelyn: Yep.
Janet: If I'm focused on the body, I'm distracting from what's in it.
Jocelyn: You're hiding opportunities where Christ could shine.
Janet: Yes. So, we have the ability to display the life of Christ in our mortal flesh. But our flesh is
dying. It says, goes on in verse 11. "Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we
serve Jesus. So that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of
death, but it's resulted in eternal life for you." It's being used by God.
Jocelyn: And just think about how often we think about how to not make that true, how to not
face our mortality and how to not use our weakness. But God's said that's the point. It's working
toward an end.

Janet: Yes. And it's okay. Because what goes on in verse 14. "We know that God who raised the
Lord, Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you." So we
know we're going to be raised. This shell is going to get a glorified shell.
Jocelyn: It's so exciting!
Janet: I know.
Jocelyn: I think about that often and what it will be like and how our work will differ with a
body that isn't cursed by sin and doesn't suffer and isn't weak. It's going to be so cool.
Janet: Yep. And it's coming, so it's okay that it's not here now. And in the meantime, knowing
that, verse 15, "all of this," my currently weak body, the hope of a future body, being able to
suffer and use my body like Jesus, "all of this is for your benefit," which is the total opposite of
all of the ditches that we discussed, which is all about me. Either I shouldn't have to think about
it because quite frankly, I don't want to, or I get to focus on it so I can look amazing. Cause quite
frankly, I want to, and this is actually even my physical body. It's all for your benefit. And as
God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving and God will receive
more and more glory. I love that. What's going to put me in the best position to promote more
thanksgiving to God, more glory to God, and to minister to others. And sometimes it's a trial, or
a weakness, or a failure that best helps spread grace. Sometimes it's just the weakness of my
body.
Jocelyn: Which is so like counter-cultural. We try to set up the perfect circumstances, so things
go perfectly. When God uses the hard and the distressing, and those are moments when Christ is
going to shine more than if it went to perfectly to begin with.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: That's hopeful and helpful.
Janet: It is. Cause I think, yes, we can have this pressure of, I have to be god. No, I represent
Him, but I'm not supposed to be Him. I'm actually supposed to show that I'm not.
Jocelyn: And the way that we show most that a crisis is different is when it's very difficult, and
it's not going according to plan.
Janet: Yes. And then verse 16. "That's why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our
spirits are being renewed every day." So, summary statement there, from the day we're born, our
physical body is in the state of dying.
Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But our spirit is being renewed and getting stronger. So to the ditch of over prioritizing it,
the analogy that helps me is to think about, your body is like a cut flower from the minute we're
born, we begin to die. Just like a cut flower. And so what do we do with a cut flower? Well, it's
beautiful. It has a purpose. We put it in a vase. We don't just put no water in. We might even put
sugar water in it if we're really wanting to be fancy. So we use it for its purpose. We enjoy its
beauty. We take care of it. We put it in water, but we don't expect it to live forever. We know it's
going to die. And I prioritize the amount of time and energy and money I put into that when I
recognize how long it will last. I enjoy it for its purpose. And I know that it's temporary.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Same with my body. I'm going to put the time into it so that during it's temporary sojourn,
it can shine with the glory of God, but I'm not going to put everything into it because my body
isn't going to last forever.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: But for this temporary time, what an amazing purpose. So at least beginning to see how
that all kind of goes together. Verse 17 "for our present troubles are small and won't last very
long," which is very hard to hear when your present troubles feel huge.
Jocelyn: And when there are lifelong ailments that will never go away, until you receive your
glorified body. They don't feel as small, light, and momentary.
Janet: No chronic pain doesn't feel
Jocelyn: No
Janet: momentary, but compared to eternity, it says "they produce for us a glory that vastly
outweighs them and will last for forever." I love that. I love that the light and momentary
affliction of a weak and failing body, but an eternal weight of glory.
Jocelyn: It's producing again, like you said, the suffering is producing stuff in us. It's producing
results that will last much longer than our physical bodies.
Janet: So what does that do for us in verse 18? "We don't look at the troubles we can see now.
Rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now," including our
bodies, "will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." So understanding the
temporariness of my physical body is going to help me focus on the things that are unseen
instead of the things that are seen. And in the meantime, God uses the hard stuff, the suffering, so
that, that light that He put in my soul at salvation gets brighter and brighter. You know, I think
about how suffering matures us and strengthens us. My soul becomes more and more alive and it
begins to overshadow the body.

Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Which is amazing. I think about, I don't know if you can think of someone, Jocelyn, that
you just think they radiate grace as an older person.
Jocelyn: Oh, totally. Absolutely. You don't even notice their physical body anymore because their
soul is so precious.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: They shine Jesus when they talk. Their hands manifest Him and you don't get distracted
by what their body looks like as it's going more and more close to death because the Jesus in
them is so clear and obvious and takes over what you see.
Janet: And that's what we want. That's what we want. Now going into chapter five, verse one,
right after that. "For, we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down" and, they let
us know. Paul even tells us in parentheses, "that is when we die and leave this earthly body, we
will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself, and not by human
hands."
Jocelyn: I'm so excited to see what that means and what it looks like.
Janet: Yes. Yes. And I love that he calls it a tent. You know, because when I think of a tent,
especially in their day, a lot of that was for shepherds.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: And that was clearly a temporary thing. And it had a really important purpose.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: But it was a temporary thing. And I love how Valley of Vision, which is a book of Puritan
prayers I just love, here is just one section from one that's called the Awakened Sinner. He says
this, "Oh my forgetful soul awake from your wandering dream. Turn from chasing vanities." I'm
going to include over- prioritizing your body on that. "Look inward, forward, upward. View
yourself, reflect upon yourself. Who and what you are. Why here. What you must soon be.
You're a creature of God formed and furnished by Him. Lodged in a body like a shepherd in his
tent."
Jocelyn: That's so profound.
Janet: Yeah. And I think, okay. If I put that together with what we just read, that we're in this
earthly tent, and think about a shepherd in his tent. The shepherd's tent has an incredibly
important purpose. But I'm not picturing those shepherds spending a lot of time decorating them.

I mean, I think how ridiculous would that be if they started having contests. You know, who had
the best decorated tent or how come his tent is a darker brown than my tent. I always get the light
brown tent. Whose is prettiest, but you know what they might've focused on. Mine has holes, and
it is not working. Yeah. So now I'm going to steward that I'm going to take care of it. So it
doesn't rot. I'm going to do what I can do to make it last long. So it will keep me warm. I'm going
to patch holes.
Jocelyn: So it can fulfill its purpose.
Janet: Yeah. But I'm not going to focus on making my tent look the best because I'm going to get
home. And then maybe when I'm home, I'll decorate my house.
Jocelyn: Yes. Because that's permanent.
Janet: Yes. Yes. So I love that. Verse two, "we grow weary in our present bodies. And we long to
put on our heavenly bodies, like new clothing." I love that. So we do long to be free from the
limitations and weaknesses of our flesh. And I don't read here that that's wrong.
Jocelyn: No.
Janet: One day I will be. I was created to be fully in the presence of God, and not in a sin cursed
body that is going to pass out if I don't have water within a certain number of hours. But I'm
going to err if I focus on fixing my body now for that perfection, instead of stewarding its frailty
and knowing that the body that I was designed for, the glorified body is coming.
Jocelyn: It's coming, and I can look forward to it.
Janet: Yes. And I am. The older I get there's a lot more to look forward to. And He uses the
current frailty to draw attention to Him. And I love verse four, "while we live in these earthly
bodies, we groan and sigh." Yup. "But it's not that we want to die and get rid of our body that
clothes us. We want to put on our new bodies, so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up,
not by death, but by life. God Himself has prepared us for this." And I love this. We see this in
Ephesians one as well. "And as a guarantee, we know this is coming because He's given us His
Holy Spirit." I love that. We have that guarantee. And he goes on to talk about, in verse nine. So
while we're here, what should it be like in verse nine? "So whether we're here in this body or
away from it, the goal is the same." And again, it's not about me. It's to please Him. "For, we
must all stand before Christ to be judged" and fascinating, "we will each receive whatever we
deserve for the good or evil we've done in this earthly body."
Jocelyn: In this body.
Janet: Yeah. How did I use it?

Jocelyn: Exactly. So it has a purpose and we're supposed to be using it and we'll be held
accountable for using it and receive rewards for using it in a way that advanced eternal purposes.
Janet: So it's amazing. How I use my body really matters. What it looks like? Not so much.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Not so much. How did I use His light in my soul while I was in this frail tent? And we're
going to need that perspective. Verse 12, "are we commending ourselves to you again?" Paul
says. "No, we're giving you a reason to be proud of us. So you can answer those who brag about
having a spectacular ministry, rather than having a sincere heart." So what do I value? Do I value
a sincere heart? I've got to have a right perspective on that. So other people who have misplaced
priorities, who are all about the flamboyant ministry, or all about how they look. That I can help
them see the beauty of using their bodies for what it was intended. I can teach my children that.
And when I focus on my outward appearance, I'm missing it. Why would I focus on the
temporary tent instead of the glory that is in it? So instead, what should I do?
Jocelyn: I love this verse
Janet: with it. Verse 15. "He died for everyone. So that those who receive His new life will no
longer live for themselves." Again, diametrically opposed to the ditches. We're not going to live
for ourselves. "Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them."
Jocelyn: I just love that verse.
Janet: Yes, that's what I'm going to be doing. So what would that mean? When I think about my
physical body, it means I'm now the hands and feet of Jesus. I'm now living for Christ. Back to
the creation mandate purpose episode. If I'm supposed to be representing God, and His values, I
do that in this body.
Jocelyn: You do it. Your soul is inhabiting this physical body, and that is the tool that is used to
be able to do your job. And when we're raised to new life in Christ, we're still in this body. It's
like Jesus is now inhabiting this body. The Holy Spirit moved in at the moment of my conversion
and He is living out Himself, Jesus Christ Himself in this body, along with being in the bodies of
all the other believers as well. So collaboratively, we're doing this.
Janet: Yes. So now that's what my body, I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I can love the
people around me.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: For me initially, my husband, my children, in such a way that they could actually feel like
they've been loved by Jesus.

Jocelyn: Isn't that astounding? Like my hands being used by Jesus is delivering the love of Jesus
to them. My feet, taking them places is where we're living out. Christ's love in this body. It's
amazing.
Janet: Yep. And that is the proper use of my flesh.
Jocelyn: That's why God gave you a body. So you could love people using it for His glory.
Janet: And because His spirit indwells me, I can do it.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: I can. That's amazing. So what else will I do with this body? He goes on to say near the
end, verses 20 and 21, "we are Christ's ambassadors." Another way of saying we represent
somebody else. " God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead
come back to God." Is that how I'm using my voice? "For God made Christ who never sinned to
be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right through Christ." I should be using my
body to beg other people to be reconciled to God reconciled.
Jocelyn: Be reconciled. Yeah.
Janet: That's the purpose of my body. Okay. We've already said we're just fellow travelers. But
the more I start using my body positively for what it was designed for, the more this gets in
perspective, not just, stop thinking about your body, the wrong way. How about start using the
right way?
Jocelyn: Start using it correctly.
Janet: And then seeing how much better it is. When that's happening, I'm not going to want to
pamper and indulge my flesh. I do see that it's a dying tool and I need to take care of it. I'm not
going to be intimidated by others, because it's not all about the flesh.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: I don't have to look at the pretty people and be jealous of them. That's their tent. And
what's going to help me is not telling myself stop being jealous, stop being jealous. I'm going to
be so busy using my body as an ambassador for Christ.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: I don't have time.
Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: I don't have time to be jealous. Another picture that helps me. Because if I can attach it to
something more practical, it just,
Jocelyn: It just makes it gel in your head.
Janet: Yeah. Yeah. So I think about a pencil. When we think about pencils. Okay. Actually
sometimes it can be fun to get different colors of pencils. Right? But do you actually spend a
whole lot of time thinking about how much money I'm going to put into getting this hundred
pack of number two pencils. A pencil is a utensil that derives its value, not from what it looks
like. They pretty much all look alike, but from its purpose. And if you think about a pencil, it
seems like something that's not very important. But if you think about what you can use it for
,what it communication tool.
Jocelyn: Right. You can do lots of stuff with the pencil.
Janet: Yeah. I can write a love note. I can share the gospel. I can write out scripture to memorize.
I can think through my goals and am I valuing what God values? I can journal truth I've learned
in the scripture, so I won't forget it.
Jocelyn: I can balance my budget. Like,
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: I can make sure I'm not overspending. I can encourage someone. There's so many things
to do with a pencil as a tool.
Janet: So it's incredibly valuable in that way. But it would be really foolish to be so excited about
my pencil and love the fact that it's red, which is my favorite color, that I wax it, and I shellac it,
and I put it on a wall, somewhere, behind glass, because it's beautiful. People would go,
Jocelyn: That is utterly useless.
Janet: What a waste of a pencil.
Jocelyn: What a waste.
Janet: Yes. So that would be dumb. But you know what? It would also be foolish to leave it out
in the rain. Cause now I can't do any of those things with it. It's now foolish again. So I'm not
going to pamper it or idolize it, and I'm not going to neglect it. I'm going to enjoy that it's red,
because I enjoy red. But I'm really just going to use it for its purpose. I'm going to sharpen it so it
will work better. And if I continue to sharpen it and use it at some point, I'm going to use it up.
And I'm going to have used it to its fullest. And in the meantime, I want it to last as long as
possible. But I'm not trying to make it last forever. And that's how I wanna view my body.

Jocelyn: I absolutely love that analogy. It's so practical and useful to see, like, there is a point to
our body. We don't want to pamper it, idolize it or neglect it. We want to use it and we want to
use it up.
Janet: Yes. And I think, because I don't know how many days I have, I need to steward it. So it
will last
Jocelyn: as long as possible
Janet: As long as He's got me here to serve, I want to try to steward it.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: But I hope when I'm put in the grave, it's used up.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Not that it's been shellacked because I had every surgery known to man so I could try to
look 20 when really you just look plastic. It's really an amazing thing. But, I wondered how some
people smile, like, does that hurt? I don't know. But I don't want to die looking like I'm a 20 wax
model. I want to use it up.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: But I don't know how long I need it, so I'm going to steward it.
Jocelyn: So you need to make it last.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: Do what you can to make it last.
Janet: It makes me think of first Timothy 4: 7 and 8 "That bodily discipline is of little profit."
Not none, but little profit. "But godliness is profitable for all things."
Jocelyn: Excellent. Excellent.
Janet: So biblical discipline is going to mean, I recognize bodily discipline has some value, but
not in comparison to godliness. And godliness will encourage me to have the appropriate bodily
discipline.
Jocelyn: Exactly.
Janet: So I can use it.

Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: Doc Smith, who's been a part of our church for years. Dr. Bob Smith wrote a medical desk
reference because he is a medical doctor who also is a biblical counselor, and putting those
things together. And I love this quote. He says, "discipline of the body, even to the point of
sacrificing pleasure and comfort cannot be a replacement for obedience to God's word." And I
love that because some of us think I am showing how disciplined I am, but, he would even tell
you medically, he goes on to say this, "a right relationship with the Lord does more to promote
good health and long life than all the vitamins, exercise, correct eating and protective devices
available."
Jocelyn: That’s cool.
Janet: From a medical doctor, that's actually pretty amazing. So I don't try to impress God with
my self sacrifice. I need to do what He's told me to do love God and love others. So restricting is
not an end in itself. Idolatry, worshiping my body, gluttony. All of it is self-love. Instead as I'm
growing to have a right relationship with the Lord. I'm going to abide closer to Christ. I'm going
to love what He loves. I'm going to value what He values. And then my decisions for my
lifestyle are going to
Jocelyn: flow out of that.
Janet: Yes. My husband, I just did a parenting conference this past weekend. And as he taught
them about their purpose so that they would know their purpose as a parent, and how to teach
their children, their purpose, he kept saying over and over purpose precedes obedience. Purpose
precedes behavior was the word, purpose, precedes behavior. So the purpose of my body
precedes how I treat it.
Jocelyn: Exactly.
Janet: Instead of my purpose to look amazing or my purpose to do whatever I feel like. When I
understand the purpose of my body, that precedes the behavior.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: And then it will get so,
Jocelyn: and it doesn't make the right behavior, like super easy. It just makes it possible and well
balanced.
Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: It's not saying like, and then you will have no trouble obeying God if you know your
purpose for your body. It just makes it more possible, so you don't get into either of those bad
ditches of either overemphasizing or under emphasizing.
Janet: Yeah. And so it means I can be confident that the hard work I'm doing
Jocelyn: It's worth it
Janet: is for the right reason.
Jocelyn: Yeah, totally.
Janet: Yeah. Cause it's, like you said, it's always hard. And what's our perfect example. Always.
Jocelyn: Jesus Christ.
Janet: Yeah. So how did He use His body? I find it fascinating that He was not known for His
physical beauty at all.
Jocelyn: I think that's really helpful. Like it's helpful to know that He wasn't like super hot,
handsome person accomplishing all these amazing things because of how He looked.
Janet: Yeah. That He had a charisma to it, how He looked. No, Isaiah 53: 2 tells us that "He grew
up before them, like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or majesty that
we should look at Him and no beauty that we should desire Him." And yet they and we are
drawn to Him, but it wasn't cultural good looks, whatever that would have been in their culture.
It was because of who He was.
Jocelyn: And how He functioned in that body.
Janet: Yes. Yes. And He wasn't ashamed of His body. So He didn't have a body that was marked
by whatever would be the cultural Adonis body at the time, but He wasn't ashamed of His body.
He used it for God's purposes and at the resurrection-- so interesting to think about-- He has a
permanently marred body.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: We won't. He will for all of eternity. And He's not ashamed of that. He said, look. Look.
He didn't go, I know it's kind of ugly. You know, you probably don't want to look here. My side,
it's kind of weird. It was like, this is a mark of love. This is a reminder of my sacrifice. So are
moms' bodies after childbirth. Is our goal to make it look like we never had a child. Why? You
did.
Jocelyn: You did. And it happened.

Janet: And what an act of love.
Jocelyn: And God brought forth life out of that body.
Janet: So do I view it the same way? He was not ashamed of His body, even when His body will
have permanent marring. He's not ashamed of that. And how did He use it? Obviously to serve.
Jocelyn: Yeah, to love and serve.
Janet: Matthew 20: 28, "even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve." I think
about His hands touching lepers, who nobody would touch. His feet, taking Him from town to
town to share the hope that only He could give.
Jocelyn: And He got tired when he was doing it. I was just reading the story about Jesus and the
woman at the, well, like He sat at the well because He was worn out.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: Like He wore His body out, doing stuff for others.
Janet: Yes. And so did He say I'll just push till the end? No. Then He rested.
Jocelyn: Yeah. He sat down and rested and got a drink of water.
Janet: Yes. So He's using it and stewarding it.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: And even as He was resting,
Jocelyn: He was serving. Yes.
Janet: Yeah, He used His mouth to teach so patiently over and over. I was looking through the
scriptures and I can't even remember what specific thing I was looking for. Examples of Jesus
discipling. And I was like, I don't even know what to write down for verses. That's all He did.
Jocelyn: Because it's everywhere.
Janet: That's all He did.
Jocelyn: Yeah. Read the entire New Testament.
Janet: So I was like, I guess I just need to say, read the Bible, but I feel like I should be more
specific. But it's, that's what He did. How else did He use His body? He intentionally spent time
alone with His father. It says in Mark 1: 35 "rising very early in the morning while it was dark,

He departed. And went out to a desolate place and there He prayed." So all of that was done
inhabited in His body. He had to get up, go somewhere away from people, be alone. He
intentionally prioritized time with His Father in His body. And talk about being the pencil that's
been used until it's a really little nub. I don't know about you, but I like to use them like
Jocelyn: Yeah, 'til you have to throw them away
Janet: Isn't that funny? Like how much did that cost? Like 2 cents. But I'm like, I'm not wasting.
There's a little bit left in here. How about how Christ used His up on the cross? His appearance,
Isaiah 52: 14 says, was so marred beyond human resemblance and His form beyond that of the
children of mankind. He completely used it up where it was not even recognizable, but He did
that because it's what my soul needed.
Jocelyn: He accomplished His purpose.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: Using His body.
Janet: Yes. So remember our goal. Always represent Christ. Be His perfect image. Look like
Jesus. Please God. However you want to say that. So some practical perspectives on that, and
then we'll talk about what that looks like in our lives. That means I'm going to value what God
values. I am not going to say I can't wear shorts because you might see this stretch mark, or you
might see, you know, I have a friend who was burned. You know, what.
Jocelyn: That's part of her story.
Janet: Yeah. God's going to use that. So my hands are worn out from serving. And so they're
ugly
Jocelyn: Calloused. Yeah.
Janet: Use it. I am not ashamed of my stretch marks. I'm not ashamed of my body wearing out.
I'm going to, just like His scars. I'm going to see that that's something beautiful. And it's an
opportunity to share the beauty of serving for Christ just as He used His scars to show them.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: I'm going to agree with God about how He created my body. The ideal woman who would
not pass out with her friend is not what God created my body to be. And it's wrong for me to say,
God you're wrong.
Jocelyn: And I need that in order to do things for you.

Janet: Yes. This is the body God gave me a use for His purposes, and it's a privilege to wear it
out.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: So I can't say it would be better if my body were, which I, that's a battle for me because
there are a lot of things I think would be better. But I'm wrong. So I have to remember that I have
to value what God values and if it's going to be about God, then I look at 2 Corinthians 4: 2,
"moreover, it is required in stewards." I'm stewarding a body that God gave me for a temporary
time. It's not even mine. I steward it for temporary time. "It's required that they be found
faithful."
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: That's the goal.
Jocelyn: Right.
Janet: And I have to tell you, I want a different goal.
Jocelyn: Yeah. Because getting up and doing the right thing every day, stinks sometimes.
Janet: It does.
Jocelyn: I don't enjoy that.
Janet: I loved, Jocelyn, this is from you, when you were talking to, we were co-counseling, but
really I was watching you, and you talked about the difference between faithfulness and- I've
never heard this phrase before- bulemic bursts of energy.
Jocelyn: I made it up one day in bed. Cause I was trying to figure out how to describe this
amount of energy that a person would put into swinging from extreme to extreme. It doesn't
require faithfulness. It requires this burst of energy where you say, and now I'll be perfect. And
you just swing from identity to identity, or goal to goal. And your goal was never faithfulness
and stewarding. It was okay. I can't do that previous thing perfectly. So now I'll do the new thing
perfectly and I'll never mess this one up.
Janet: Yes. And I think, Oh my word, that's easier.
Jocelyn: It is.
Janet: It seems like you're working so hard, but it's so easy. I can muster up enough
self-discipline for a short time if I'm motivated. But being faithful is the opposite. Instead of

looking for quick results, here's what we want. Why is this such powerful marketing? Lose 20
pounds in 20 days?
Jocelyn: Because it's only 20 days
Janet: I can do anything for 20 days.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Yes. Learn to tap dance in 10 lessons, and it won't be hard. Memorize the book of Psalms
in a month. Why do we want that? The appeal is
Jocelyn: the short time period.
Janet: I don't have to be faithful. It's like, it's the exact opposite of what I'm called to be. I'm
called to be faithful. And I'm looking for, how can I not be. I just want quick results. I do not
want to be faithful.
Jocelyn: And it's almost like you want to cheat the system. Like I want to really be able to do
whatever I want and still have this good result. Whatever my goal of the result is. I was thinking
about this whole faithfulness thing last couple of days. Like, so sometimes when I'm trying to be
healthy, I'm like, I want to eat right. So that I have a healthy weight because so many bad things
are associated with obesity.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: And so I'm like, so I will, I will eat correctly. And then I will be healthy. And my mind
tends to go toward, and I can have a little tiny bite of this, and if I don't have too many little tiny
bites of that, then when I weigh myself, it won't go up. And my, goal then became just not
getting larger instead of
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: Eating healthily. Like you can't cheat how you eat. It's going to show up in your health.
And so there's such a short term look at it. Like I can do little daily unfaithfulness because it
doesn't matter in the long run. Instead of just saying my goal is to be faithful, just to do the right
thing, you know, forever until I die, because it's the right thing.
Janet: And just cause I know this is not what you're saying. It doesn't mean I can never have
dessert.
Jocelyn: No, no, no. Not at all.

Janet: What it means is, I can never just say, I know that was unhealthy and not good for me
today, but as long as I don't gain weight, it's good.
Jocelyn: Exactly. I'm not saying no, don't enjoy life
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: Like enjoy life.
Janet: That's part of being faithful.
Jocelyn: Right, that's part of
Janet: But you're right. We suddenly, the only way I'm judging whether or not I'm faithful is what
the scale says.
Jocelyn: Yes.
Janet: Which means now I'm about the results again, not the faithless. It's like, I want a way out
of that. And yet if I'm going to emulate my Savior, if I'm going to love what He loved, if I'm
supposed to be the image of Jesus, He was faithful to the end.
Jocelyn: And joyful in His faithfulness.
Janet: Yes.
Jocelyn: Which I think is part of our struggle. It's like, Oh fine. We'll be faithful. Like as it's a
curse and we're missing the point that faithfulness is what brings joy.
Janet: Yes. Cause everything else is an enslavement to me.
Jocelyn: Yes. It's an enslavement that I was, Jesus came to set me free from, He set me free from
being a slave to anything except for Him.
Janet: And what it does when I force my mind to stop believing. There's a better plan than
faithfulness. When I agree with God that this is best, it actually pushes me towards endurance,
perseverance. Those other words that we think are bad and they're actually beautiful,
Jocelyn: Yes. Steadfastness, completeness.
Janet: What does the Bible tells us comes with the end of those?
Jocelyn: Joy is the result.

Janet: So all character qualities that I'm commanded to pursue, faithfulness pushes me there. And
it pushes me to my knees, because I can't do it.
Jocelyn: Yeah, it's hard. It is so hard. And that's why 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 is talking about how
the Holy Spirit indwells us. Like we're being asked to do something that is not naturally possible
in our human bodies.
Janet: Right.
Jocelyn: We need the Holy Spirit to be able to do this.
Janet: And we have it.
Jocelyn: We do.
Janet: And I love that because I want a way to be able to say, I can do this on my own, but what
God asks of me is, gets me to a point where I'm saying I can not do this.
Jocelyn: Can't. Yeah.
Janet: Which shouldn't be a surprise. Because, you know, isn't faithfulness, wouldn't that be, I
don't know, actually, literally a fruit of the Spirit?
Jocelyn: A product of the work of the Spirit in you.
Janet: So I'm going to have to have that. So let's just think through an example.
Jocelyn: Let’s.
Janet: We'll use fitness.
Jocelyn: Okay.
Janet: Because I have an incredible love, hate relationship with that on my own life. But we'll get
to my example in a minute.
Jocelyn: As do I.
Janet: Oh, my heavens. So when I think about fitness, in general, it can be a hobby. It can be an
idol. It can be a matter of stewardship. We already know what it's supposed to be. Let's talk about
what it actually is. So if I were actually just thinking about stewardship, I might think, okay, for
me personally, I need to drink more water. I wouldn't think I gotta weigh myself every day and
make sure it doesn't go up. I might think, you know, what the portions at the restaurant, while I
enjoy it, I know it's more than I need and it ends up quite frankly, I feel sick later or whatever. It's

not good for me. It's too much sugar or whatever for my issues. So I'm going to just try, when we
go out to dinner to ask for a, to go from the beginning and put half of it away. Just take some
home. Build that habit. Might not see much, but you know what I'm just trying to say, how do I
steward that? I might do some long-term portion control. I might exercise a few times a week.
Instead of, I'm going to exercise every day and then I'm going to push myself so hard that I pass
out, and I never want to exercise again.
Jocelyn: Which could be a bulimic burst of energy.
Janet: Which is me. So it was very easy for me to come up with all of those ideas.
Jocelyn: And for me, it's like, okay, do I stretch every day? Cause I want to have a sculpted body
or do I stretch because I have lower back problems and have had surgeries. And without that I
can't function.
Janet: Yeah.
Jocelyn: And I'm lying on my back. Not able to do the work that God has organized for me to do.
And my husband has asked me to do, and our life revolves around. Like, there's a difference in
how you look at it. Is it an idol that forces you to do something? Or is it a stewardship that allows
your body to be able to do the jobs that you have in front of you?
Janet: How might it look different? If it's a hobby? Some of my goals might be, I want to feel
better. I want to look better. I want to live longer. I want to be stronger. That's not necessarily
wrong.
Jocelyn: No. That's not necessarily wrong.
Janet: Sometimes I want a cheeseburger. And I don't need it, but I might like it. So, it's not
wrong. But I do think we have to have some cautions here. We think about hobbies. Hobbies can
be, ought to be I would think, a way to refresh our minds. You know, somebody has a hobby of
gardening, somebody as a hobby of whatever, things that are helping you refresh your mind. But
to think about the entire focus of this hobby is you. And I think we have to at least acknowledge
the inherent dangers with that. Not it's sin to enjoy working out.
Jocelyn: No. We're not saying that a hobby is bad.
Janet: No, and hobbies are good. And even this one can be, but because of my own idolatry,
because of my own sin, I can twist any good thing and make it selfish. And I would think, I do
think in the area of fitness, it's even harder. Because it's different from other hobbies like
gardening. And then I say, let's can that and give it away. Or quilting. And I, instead of hanging
all the quilts on my wall. So everyone can say, look what she did. I give them away and use them

as gifts. I had a friend who blessed our children with memory quilts when they graduated from
high school. She asked me for 15 of their shirts and her gift was making quilts out of it.
Jocelyn: That's so cool.
Janet: So what a way to use her hobby, her gifts and abilities
Jocelyn: to love and serve.
Janet: To love somebody else.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Now, can she still get arrogant about it if she wanted? Sure she could. But at least there's a
way to think of others with that one. Think about the goal with fitness. How I look, how I feel. I
am the goal. I am the goal. So if I'm going to use my body for God's purposes, those who love
fitness is not nothing wrong with. They love pushing their bodies. They enjoy that. I can't relate
to it in any way, but the good for them. I would encourage them to really think through how can
that hobby not be about you?
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: How can you use that and have a focus of loving God and loving others? And I don't
know, but get creative. I know there are ways.
Jocelyn: Yeah, making yourself more useful, not just doing it for the end itself of looking or
feeling a certain way, or having pride in your accomplishments, or benching a certain amount, or
squatting so many times. You know, whatever. There's all sorts of self-centered goals that it
could be about.
Janet: And, and even those are not wrong, but if they feed the idol of me, we just need to be
aware of it.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: So, and for some fitness just is an idol.
Jocelyn: Outright. Yeah.
Janet: This is not just, I enjoy it. It's an idol. I have to look a certain way. I have to feel a certain
way. , So what would be some indicators? When I think about in my life. What's the amount of
time that you spend thinking about what you're going to eat next? Is that healthy? How many
calories is that? Have I exercised? When am I going to get to exercise? When can they be done
talking so I can get off the phone and go exercise? How much of my mental energy is there

versus loving God, loving others, being in His word, praying for others, being a blessing, calling
someone I care about.
Jocelyn: And being used up for Him.
Janet: Yeah. Yeah. So would my time, my money, my energy indicate that I agree with God
about which things are temporary and which things are lasting. Do I think I cannot miss a day of
working out.
Jocelyn: That's what I was just thinking. That's one way that you can tell what your priorities are.
If something interrupts it, like if a person makes you not able to do your workout for the day,
were you really caring about loving and serving others, or were they annoying you, because it
got in the way of you completing your fitness goal for that day.
Janet: Which is so ironic, because we will say, and I think about it, let's take it out of fitness for a
minute, for those who are struggling with trying to get there, even in taking care of my home, I
will say and believe that I mean it at the moment, because I so deceived myself, I am taking care
of my home today because I want to love my family. And then when an opportunity to love my
family interferes with taking care of my home. I'm mad.
Jocelyn: Or when loving your family means they come in and put their backpacks everywhere
and make it dirty when you just cleaned it.
Janet: Yeah. So if the whole point of maintaining it was to love my family. If I'm ever given a
choice between maintaining my home or loving my family, I'm going to pick loving my family.
Jocelyn: Choose loving your family.
Janet: But when maintaining my home makes me angry with my family, then that wasn't my
goal.
Jocelyn: Then, you know, you have it backwards.
Janet: It's moved to idolatry. So maybe you are trying to exercise for the right reasons. How will
you know if it's morphed?
Jocelyn: If somebody interrupts you and you're upset.
Janet: What happens when a child throws up and you were on your way to go out the door to
work out, are you mad? Oh. What happens when my friend comes up to the door and I need to
go spend the day with her. Now, I can't ever say I'm disappointed because I couldn't work out,
but for whatever other thing, if that's distressing or upsetting,

Jocelyn: But it does help you see what your goals are and what your priorities are. And those
little reality checks are good for us. It's good when our routine gets messed up. I think a lot about
food. Like we have a very strict food regime that we follow and sometimes that food regime gets
in the way of being able to be hospitable. And so we have to evaluate, what's more important: the
people that we're having over or the way that we eat? And just those little reality checks are good
for us. They help you examine what really was the goal. And if a good goal has morphed into an
idolatrous goal, then this is the time to confess and repent,
Janet: Bring it back.
Jocelyn: Bring it back to what the goal is supposed to be.
Janet: So what would it look like if it was actual stewardship? Well, here would be my some
goals. It wouldn't be: I have to have no pain when I'm done. I mentioned that one because I have
chronic pain. So I've been told I need to be doing exercise, strengthening muscles, because that
will help with some of the connective tissue stuff. But if my goal is to just get out of pain, that's
not stewardship. If my goal is, swimsuit season's coming and I have to look good in my bathing
suit. It's a tent. That's not the goal. Instead. It's going to be, I want to have energy to serve others.
I want to be healthy, even if I have pain.
Jocelyn: Because in your case, you'll probably work out forever and still have pain.
Janet: Exactly.
Jocelyn: So losing the pain, can't be the goal because you'll never be able to meet that goal. It
will be hopeless and pointless.
Janet: Which is one reason it's been harder for me to be faithful. I don't see the results, which has
shown me. I'm not doing it primarily for stewardship. I'm doing it for a result. And then the
results not happening, here's what I say. It didn't work.
Jocelyn: Didn't work. I guess I should just be done with it.
Janet: Yeah. And it's like, it didn't work. Actually, my fitness goal, from a physical perspective is
supposed to be, this will keep it from getting worse. Which means I'll never notice. That is the
goal. Which is good for my soul. Just shows that that's really not where I am.
Jocelyn: And if our goal is faithfulness, we can be faithful and God can choose to throw a
monkey wrench into our faithfulness plan. Like last year I injured my back significantly and was
flat on the floor for two weeks. And I did not have that as my goal, but Jesus did, and God made
some amazing, really cool things happen in our family relationships and doctor relationships
because of that situation. So my goal was to be physically fit, but God had a different goal in the
middle of that. And so I can't say I'm going to work out and be faithful to my fitness plan so that

my body always functions properly because my body will not always function properly. And
God is the master of those sovereignly ordained circumstances.
Janet: And He has never held us responsible for the results. He has said be faithful. Be faithful.
And if that's my goal, then when I exercise for those reasons and walk away, I have been faithful.
Period.
Jocelyn: It helps me like to not do little stupid cheating in my eating, like, Oh, these Oreos,
aren't going to matter in the long run because if the goal was faithfulness, then I had already
decided what I think about eating sugar. And I need to reserve that for special occasions. Not, I
feel like it occasions or I'm stressed out or that made me mad. So faithfulness is an
accomplishable goal, even though it's challenging and long term.
Janet: Yes. So what about [First] Corinthians 9: 27? That says, "I buffet my body and make it my
slave so that after I've preached to others, I will not be disqualified." Okay. I've got to keep my
body in subjection. I got to be self-disciplined. And I know a lot of people that use that verse as
part of their fitness goals. Which is really fascinating. Do you actually think Paul was talking
about his fitness regime?
Jocelyn: I think context matters.
Janet: Yeah. And I'm not aware of any time where Paul talked about what he did to maintain his
physical body. I just don't even see it where he ever talked about that. He was saying, I force my
body to bow to my priorities. And what were his priorities? I never saw him say, so I get up early
and I do stretching. Is that wrong? No, but that, wasn't what he talked about.
Jocelyn: He was in chains for vast majority of his life.
Janet: Yeah. Not probably doing that. But what he talks about in all of 2 Corinthians 9 is all the
ways that he forfeited opportunities and rights that he had. I didn't expect money from you. Even
when I could have asked for money. I didn't do this. I didn't do that. I restricted my liberties. He
used his body to focus on what his priorities were, his mission of sharing, the good news.
Nothing was going to get in the way of that. And he didn't let his body do what it wanted. So
basically what's the principle for me? I beat my body and make it my slave. I force it to obey,
meaning what I end up doing with my body shows what I wanted and what I prioritize.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Whatever that is. So, where do we typically fall? How about you? Would you say you're
typically an over or under prioritizer? Though I know we'd both say yes.
Jocelyn: Yes. Uh, both. I think it depends on the time of year, and the year, and how old I am,
and how busy I am. But I think like, My goal is stewardship. I just want my body to be useful as

long as possible. But I probably tend toward the under emphasizing ditch and be like, it doesn't
matter. Jesus loves me. He'll give me the grace to do whatever I need to do. Like, yes, I stretch
every day. Yes. I walk for my health and it doesn't matter anyways, who cares? I'm just going to
be lazy. Or I'll just really, it's less laziness and more over-scheduling like, I try to do more things.
Janet: Yeah. I don't prioritize it.
Jocelyn: I do more things than I know is wise and Oh, oopsie. I didn't have time to do that wise
stewardship of my health thing today.
Janet: cause I was doing more spiritual things.
Jocelyn: I was doing more spiritual things and taking care of myself. So for me, it's probably
under emphasizing and I think it would honor God if I was more balanced by having a proper
perspective on stewardship and health.
Janet: And I have obviously, like everybody else, gone back and forth. I think back to high
school, early high school, I absolutely over prioritized. I weighed every day, I exercise for three
hours every day,
Jocelyn: Oh, my word.
Janet: And I don't know what you want to call this, but I only ate for an hour.
Jocelyn: Oh, wow. That's super time restricted eating there.
Janet: Yeah. Five to six o'clock at night I ate.
Jocelyn: Wow.
Janet: But clearly this was not about health. I ate whatever I wanted. So from five to six, I could
eat whatever I want.
Jocelyn: Time restricted bingeing.
Janet: but from six to nine, I exercised and got rid of whatever by exercise.
Jocelyn: Wow.
Janet: So I never knew what to call it.
Jocelyn: What a slavery.
Janet: Cause somebody was like, were you bulimic really? I'm like, I don't know what it was. It
was sinful. And it was

Jocelyn: definitely not faithful.
Janet: Exactly. It was bad. I don't even know what you call it, but that's what I did. And I lost a
ton of weight. So
Jocelyn: which was obviously the goal.
Janet: Absolutely. Cause I weighed every day. So, talk about being enslaved. If you asked me to
go somewhere, I don't want to go till nine at night.
Jocelyn: Because you were busy.
Janet: Because I've got things to do, and I couldn't do it earlier, because we were in school or
whatever. So, I got out of that. And I wish I could say I got out of that because I understood the
purpose of my body. And then I started being balanced, but I got out of that and said, that didn't
work. Therefore, why am I bothering doing anything.
Jocelyn: Don't do anything.
Janet: Yes. So years later I now have chronic pain and most recently diagnosed with worsening
osteopenia. Well, the osteopenia, I don't feel it at all. So it's hard to take seriously because I don't
feel anything to do with that. The chronic pain, I feel regardless, nothing really has any impact
on that. And what I've learned is I tend to be what I could have called faithful until nothing
changes.
Jocelyn: So changes where the goal.
Janet: Yeah. Yeah. My pain is not better. I don't think my bone densities changed. I really have
no idea. I don't really feel any better. Well, that was never even the health goal. The health goal
is don't go to osteoporosis. The health goal is not to even less so even on a health level that
wasn't even ever, the goal.
Jocelyn: Maintenance is more the goal than that.
Janet: Yeah. Which was a gift from God, because it forces me to have to say, why am I doing
this? Why am I doing this? My husband and I have talked about the fact that as empty nesters,
our desire is to be able to travel more, to speak other places and serve together. And we have
some precious friends who are not able to do that due to somebody's health. So we've talked
about the fact that, okay, I know, I have early onset arthritis. It's all part of the connective tissue
thing. It's possible the day's going to come I'm in a wheelchair. I know that. But if I'm in a
wheelchair because I didn't faithfully steward well,
Jocelyn: Take care of yourself. Yeah.

Janet: how selfish to do to my husband, because then we can't travel together. So if I'm in a
wheelchair and I faithfully stewarded, then I can with confidence, know this is a good plan.
Jocelyn: So the goal is not stay out of a wheelchair. The goal is serve and love and do what is
most effective to make that able to happen as long as possible.
Janet: Exactly. And my motives get revealed, because faithfulness is long-term and very
supernatural and that's where I keep getting pulled.
Jocelyn: And I think that's one good takeaway from this, is faithfulness is long-term and
supernatural, which means you will not be able to do it by yourself. And if you're going to be
faithful with your physical body, for the right reasons, it will require the help of the Holy Spirit
in the moments of faithfulness, which means when you're tempted to not be faithful, tap in to the
help that's available to you. Don't just try to do it by yourself.
Janet: Yes. Which is the exact opposite. Like that's the whole point. The bulimic burst of energy
is what you're trying to do by yourself.
Jocelyn: You did it by yourself.
Janet: Not faithfulness. So, analyze where you typically fall. I would encourage everybody
listening to do that as well. I think it's helpful to say really take some time to thank Jesus for
how He used His physical body.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: Like let's, let's not think about ourselves for a minute because even the whole topic of
physical body is thinking about me. Think about me. Think about me. How about just thank
Him. Thank you for serving and making that Your priority to Your own hurt to Your own death.
Thank you for doing that. And then I would say, how about a put on. Prayerfully evaluate ways
you can use your body for eternal purposes.
Jocelyn: There's so many, like there's billions, how can we use our eyes? How can we use our
ears? How can we use our hands? How can we use our feet? Just list your body part and how can
you use it to serve and love the people that God has put around you and emulate Jesus Christ.
Janet: Yes. And as I grow in doing that, I believe I will taste and see that the Lord is good. His
way is better. It's more satisfying. And then it will make either exercise or not, eat this food or
not, get in its proper perspective. Not by trying to get it there.
Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But by submitting to the Lord rejoicing in what He says and using my body for what He
intended it to be used for. So, you want to bring up a resource for us?
Jocelyn: Yes. I love the little booklet by Timothy Keller called The Freedom of Self
Forgetfulness.
Janet: It's also a sermon you can listen to.
Jocelyn: Oh, that's cool. I didn't know that.
Janet: It's a free sermon online.
Jocelyn: So let's link to both of those things. You actually introduced me to this little booklet.
And, what I love about this resource is that it tells you how to stay out of either ditch by letting
yourself get wrapped up in Jesus. You forget yourself in the beauty of who He is. It's a great little
booklet.
Janet: I love it.
Jocelyn: Easy to read. Easy to share. We highly recommend that resource.
Janet: Absolutely. I do love that. And again, that's the put on. It's not, how do I think about my
body? It's how about, how should I be thinking in general and how do I love God, including
with my body? And it puts things in perspective. I would encourage you to get really practical.
What a great thing for parenting as well. But getting really practical and I love, Jocelyn, the idea
of list your body parts. And it may seem weird, but intentionally say, okay, when I go to church
today, maybe I know I tend to say, how do I look? I have actually thought, I wonder the first time
that I'm actually in a group of people worshiping God and not ever once thinking about how I
look is probably going to be at Revelation 5 when we're all together, looking at the throne and
Jesus, I just don't think I'll be going how's my hair.
Jocelyn: Yeah.
Janet: But until then, it's a battle. So to maybe say, boy, I tend to go to church thinking about how
I look, how about, instead of saying, stop doing that. Why don't I make it a goal? I'm going to
find three people who nobody's talking to. I'm going to go up and ask how they're doing and I'm
going to learn that that's actually more satisfying by doing that.
Jocelyn: Than obsessing about yourself.
Janet: Yeah . So coming up with goals like that.
Jocelyn: There's all sorts of ways you can use your body to serve other people. Take somebody a
meal, which takes a lot of prep. That's using your brain. It takes a lot of chopping using your

hand, cooking, carting it in your cart somewhere. Calling someone, talking to people, I mean,
more than just calling, just like being willing to have a conversation that's more than just, Hey,
how's it going?
Janet: Yup. Yeah. Hugging somebody that's lonely. Touching people that need that. But thinking
of them using whatever hobbies I have and saying. How can I be a blessing? Like I love you
guys do a lot of gardening. I know you have your own business doing that too, but I also see you
using the fruits of that to be a blessing to others.
Jocelyn: We certainly try to.
Janet: And how fun, how fun to get to do that. And it changes how you see it.
Jocelyn: It changes it from being mundane work, to being something that you can be excited
about.
Janet: Yeah, because it's a blessing. So, just some ideas and we hope that this will just give you
some food for thought instead of just food to eat. Being faithful and seeing that that is better. So
thanks for joining us today. Don't forget to leave us a review if this has been helpful. I hope you
can come back for a special episode next time. We're going to be interviewing Pastor Dustin
Folden on the topic of "Feasts and Fences."
Jocelyn: Which is perfect to come after this episode.
Janet: No kidding. Are you intrigued? Any idea what we mean? Good. You're going to have to
come back and find out more.
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Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to
receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.
Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money
for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their
website.

Janet Aucoin

Bio

Janet is the Director of Women's Ministries at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.