Standing on the scale, I watched the digital numbers escalate while my weight was calculated. The final number made me cringe.
How can I exercise all week, control my appetite, and not lose an ounce?
Five weeks earlier, I faced two choices: Lose weight or buy a bigger pair of pants. I elected to spend my summer eating more fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly.
I was motivated as long as my pounds decreased. When I hit the plateau, self discipline took a nose dive.
That evening, I indulged my craving for a HUGE bowl of popcorn…smothered with melted butter. Yep, ate the whole thing.
I don’t know how many calories I consumed, but I didn’t taste an ounce of guilt when I licked the bottom of the greasy bowl.
Contrary to all the weight loss miracle ads, losing weight (in a healthy way) is a slow, methodic process. And when it comes to building and toning muscles, forget instant gratification.
However, since I began eating healthier and exercising, my pants are less tight. I have more energy; more strength. My mental outlook improved. Isn’t that worth the process?
Or am I only focused on an end result—reaching that ideal number on my scale? If that’s true, my healthy regimen is a temporary fling like a summer romance instead of a necessary, life-long commitment.
The same holds true for spiritual growth.
Years ago, whenever I wanted to experience more of God’s presence and become a “better Christian,” I’d pray more and inundate myself with reading the Bible and Christian material.
I experienced spiritual growth spurts; glimpsed moments of euphoria. However, I couldn’t maintain that spiritual high or rate of growth. Finally, I realized…
There’s no such thing as microwave Christianity.
We renew our minds by the daily reading of God’s Word. Then we’re chiseled and changed by the Holy Spirit in the minuscule moments of each day.
This slow, sometimes painful, chiseling process is necessary to achieve God’s finished product: molding us into the likeness of Christ. (Romans 8:28,29)
My task is learning how to obey and cooperate when I’m confronted with God’s Word. For example…
- Do I listen to my heart’s desire to complain, scold, attack, and ridicule? Or make peace?
- Do I apply God’s Word throughout my week even though the lessons are painful?
- Do I sweat to do the right thing? Or cave in when something becomes too difficult?
- Do I rely on my own strength? Or lean on the Lord to make a way in the wilderness?
“Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).
If I want to strengthen my faith and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22),
I must abide in Christ.
Not sporadically during a spiritual whim, but habitually.
Even in this … endeavor to lose weight and live healthy.