“Which one do you like best, Daddy?” the boy asked.
“Son, it doesn’t matter to me. Pick which ever one you want; they’re all pretty cool.”
“I’ll go with Thor,” the answer finally came, and a satisfied look came over the little boy’s round face. Daddy selected the rolled up poster from beneath the hanging examples and tucked it under his arm. Father and son clasped hands and made their way to the register. As they walked, the young boy squeezed his dad’s hand.
“Thank you for my poster.”
“You’re welcome, Son.”
“Actually,” the little boy stopped in his tracks. “Thank you for your poster. You’re the one who’s buying it.” Realization swept over his features. “You’re just letting me hang it on my wall.” He took two more steps, then paused again. “Wait, what I mean is thank you for hanging your poster on your wall where I can see it! ‘Cause it’s really your wall too!”
A pastor related this personal story and I laughed with the rest of the congregation—cute. But the next morning when I opened my Bible to the Parable of the Talents, I saw the story repeated in Matthew 25 only in ancient, middle east terminology.
“Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.” Matthew 25:13-15
So often when we read this story, we imagine the “talents” as the talents and gifts that God has given us, those things that belong to us that we are responsible to use for God’s glory. But that’s not quite right. In the story, the money never belonged to any of the servants. The master held them accountable, not to wisely use their gifts, but to wisely invest His resources.
Paul brings this truth home to those of us with eating disorders, calling us to understand who really owns our bodies. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
It’s tempting, even in recovery to say things like, “God wants me to take care of my body,” or, “My body is a gift from God.” While these are nice affirmations, they are theologically incorrect.
We do not care for or use our bodies or invest our lives purposefully because God has given us a nice gift. No, we do these things because we are stewards of His resources. We do not own even our bodies. Let us tend them so that when He returns, He will find us faithful.
“Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3
Gift of a Story, by Julie LaJoe
Does God Care About My Eating Issues? video resource
The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor’s Story, book by Abby Kelly