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Wednesday, 4 January 2012


One of the news stories over the past few days, has concerned the problems that have arisen over a certain brand of breast implant.  Closely related to it is one about the lack of training required for those who would inject others with Botox.

While it is true that a percentage of the women who have had breast implants have had them as part of reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, the majority come under the general label "cosmetic surgery"- as do those situations regarding Botox treatment; and men who, reportedly, ask for breast reduction operations.

This begs the question, does it not, as to why some people are so dissatisfied with their bodies that they are willing to go to the expense, discomfort, and associated risks, of going under the surgeon's knife!  There isn't, in such cases, a valid medical reason - it seems that it's all to do with appearance; and that, in turn, has to do with some sort of 'ideal' bodyshape that is, itself, the result of modern airbrushing techniques used by advertisers and publicity agents!  I don't make any claim to be a modern Adonis - but I'm content with my body, just as it is, and find it difficult to understand when others want to make such wholesale changes to theirs!

Of course, we should look after our bodies to the best of our ability.  That involves exercise, diet, and abstinence from those substances (e.g. cigarettes, over-indulgence in alcohol, illegal drugs) that we know cause us harm. It's called 'healthy living' - and you know that it makes sense!

For the disciple of Jesus, there is yet another consideration.  Writing to the group of believers in 1st century Corinth, Paul reminds them of the results of immorality.  "Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body." (I Cor 6:18).  But he goes on:   "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own;  you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. " (I Cor 6:19-20).

If God the Holy Spirit inhabits my very body, then I have a sacred duty to care for that body - neither abusing it, nor defiling it, nor polluting it.   As it is given to me, by God, it ought not to be dishonoured in any way.  I may never be chosen as Mr Universe; but I can seek to glorify God by ensuring that I take care of the body with which He has provided me - and being content with His gift!

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