Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God. If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch”? All these ⌊regulations⌋ refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence. (Colossians 2:16-23 HCSB)
I have truly been blessed by my study of Colossians with my small group these past few weeks. God is revealing so much to me in this process, and these verses especially stand out to me. It feels as if Paul is speaking directly to me as he is writing… We are faced with “doctrines if men” every single day. To feel beautiful and accepted, we are bombarded with standards that are honestly unattainable and unhealthy for most girls/women. And these standards (which we think will somehow give us satisfaction) “are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.” We must learn to turn to The Lord for strength to overcome the rough patches in our lives. For some of us going through recovery (or anyone, really), we are fixated on the thought of having a more “beautiful” outside or a “healthy” inside, but this does nothing but pull our attention away from what truly matters. We indulge in worldly things, but things of this world are going to die away. God is eternal. His love is everlasting. And He is where we find satisfaction.