After a weekend of fast food, and treating myself to beautifully decorated cupcakes at my nephew's wedding, this week's grocery list included healthy choices. Fish, vegetables, and fruit ranked high on the list. Snacks, desserts, and junk food didn't make it into the cart. Okay, let me be honest. I've been battling the same irritating couple of pounds since Thanksgiving! It's time to do something about it.
As a kid, I never battled my weight. In fact, as I entered my teen years, I actually ate foods to help me gain weight. Good problem to have, right? Now as a forty-something adult, I'm having to re-evaluate my eating patterns and keep a closer eye on portion sizes. Clothes that have fit for the past few seasons have mysteriously shrunk while hanging in my closet. And my weight seems to be shifting to areas I never had problems with before. Welcome to a slowing metabolism.
The good news is that I'm aware of the problem. That's half the battle. Now I have the opportunity to do something about it. Educating myself, setting some rules in place, and following through on my plan will all help me achieve my fitness goals.
The same is true in my spiritual life. Sin has a way of tripping me up and causing me to drift. The gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit makes me aware of my struggle. His Word points out the importance of staying close to Him, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing," (John 15:5; KJV).
I get fed up with just going through the motions of living the Christian life. Something's got to give. I'm resolved to draw close to the Savior. When I'm aware of what causes me to drift, I can look up specific verses that deal with that issue and begin memorizing them. Timothy puts it this way, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," (2 Timothy 2:15).
Armed with God's Word, I'm ready to put some boundaries in place. How does it work? When I struggle with over-eating, I need to remember the words of the Apostle Paul, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's," (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). And act on them. Am I really hungry? Or am I eating because I'm watching Food Network? If I AM hungry, am I eating something that is nutrient rich or just empty calories? I can avoid over-eating by determining my motive for eating and then steering clear of eating additional food after dinner.
Memorizing God's Word and putting boundaries in place, both allow me to follow through with my commitment. An accountability partner is the icing on the cake - or should I say the sugar-free topping on the fruit?! My accountability partner knows where I struggle and is able to hold my feet to the fire when necessary, as well as cheer me on when I'm succeeding.
Is there an area where you struggle? Remember, admitting it is half the battle! Arm yourself with God's Word, set some rules in place, seek an accountability partner, and follow through with your plan. You'll find yourself abiding in Him and reaping much fruit! Well worth the effort!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please show me the things in my life that are displeasing to You. Help me agree with You that those areas are sin, and to take the steps necessary to break free from sin's grip. Give me the ability to memorize your Word, set boundaries, and follow through with my commitment to live a life that's pleasing to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.