Friday, March 7, 2014

No such thing as spiritual Spanx

Women everywhere know about Spanx. This product came to life in 2000 when a woman was distressed over the unsightly appearance of panty lines. Her crafty handiwork with a pair of scissors and some pantyhose, gave birth to a new phenomenon known affectionately as Spanx. The idea was to eliminate the embarrassing lines and create a smooth, sleek shape. 
The concept took off. From her kitchen counter, the founder handled calls and fulfilled orders. But that simple business model didn't last long. By 2008 her small start-up had flourished into a thriving company worth over $750 million dollars. 
Not too shabby for some shape wear!
You may be wondering why I'm spending your precious reading time covering the history of a women's undergarment company. I promise, there is a purpose to this random history lesson. 
Spanx is proof that we human beings are concerned with our shape. And it's not just women. Men have gotten on board, too, purchasing their own line of Spanx for men's products. The desire to be formed and molded into the right looking package is a universal desire that spans generations and  genders. Men and women want curves in the right places, muscles with the right definition and figures that flatter. And we humans would like it all with minimal effort which is precisely why Spanx is so popular. Spanx provides the shape and all you have to do is put it on! Spanx does the job of molding and forming for you.
No wonder this business took off. 

The love of a simple solution that is easily purchased and requires no effort has made Spanx a huge success story. The concept has worked wonders for the physiques of women and men worldwide. But this concept has its limits. The Spanx solution isn't transferable to all manner of shapes. Consider, for example, your spiritual shape. There is no Spanx for our spiritual shape.There is no "shapewear" that can be purchased and put on that can fix all of our spiritual problems or give us the desired spiritual physique. 
Our spiritual shape is doomed to flab and ghastly panty lines without Christ. The saving work of Jesus is our only solution to poor spiritual shape. 
Unlike Spanx, getting into spiritual shape does take sacrifice. To attain a desirable spiritual shape takes dedication and commitment. You can't buy spiritual shape. There isn't a product on the market that can be put on, injected or ingested that can improve our spiritual shape. 
Spiritual shape comes from being molded to the image of God. It is His shape that we are to strive to attain. He doesn't give us shapewear. Instead He has given us the Holy Spirit. By submitting to the indwelling of the Spirit and living in obedience to the commands of God we can be formed into the image of Christ. 
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 tells us how to get into spiritual shape. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
You and I get to choose our spiritual shape by opening the door to the Holy Spirit who is the Lord Jesus. When we invite Him into our hearts He can do the work of molding, forming and shaping us from the inside out. 
The work God has to do in us to change our shape won't be painless. Sometimes it will be uncomfortable. It won't happen overnight. We won't be able to simply slide on this new shape like a fresh pair of Spanx. The work of the Holy Spirit comes through trials and challenges, requiring patience and a building of faith. 
But God never told us that our walk with Him would be as effortless as putting on shapewear. To the contrary! He warned that we would have tribulation and hardship. Yet, in all of the difficulties there is a miraculous change of spiritual shape taking place.  Thanks be to God as He sculpts and molds each one of us into the likeness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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