June 11, 2009
“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” I Timothy 4:15 (NIV)
I think we all get to a place sometimes in our life where we have to honestly assess, "How I am doing?"
It's not really a conversation I have with a friend or family member. It's one of those middle of the night contemplations where there's no one to fool. There's no glossing over the realities staring me in the face.
I know certain things about myself need to change but it's easier to make excuses than tackle them head on. Rationalizations are so appealing:
I'm good in every other area.
I make so many sacrifices already.
I need this comfort in this season of life- I'll deal with it later.
I just can't give this up.
The Bible doesn't specifically say this is wrong.
It's not really a problem, if I really wanted to make a change, I could - I just don't want to right now.
Oh for heaven's sake, everyone has issues, so what if this is mine?
And on and on.
But excuses always get me no where fast. This is especially true for me in the area of healthy eating. Even if that's not your issue, I suspect this same script of rationalization has played out in your mind over other things.
So, the cycle continues day after day, week after week, year after year.
A whole lifetime could be spent making excuses, giving in, feeling guilty, resolving to do better, mentally beating myself up for not sticking to my resolve, feeling like a failure, and then resigning that things can't change.
And I don't want to spend a lifetime in this cycle.
Nothing will change until I make the choice to change. I have to want it, spiritually, physically and mentally. The battle really is in all three areas.
Spiritually: In Colossians 3 1-5 we are told to set our minds and our hearts on things above. In order to do this, we have to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature which sets itself up as an idol in my life.
Idolatry is trying to get my needs met outside the will of God.
Bingo. Can't deny it. This described food for me at times. Again, it wasn't a huge problem where I was medically in danger. But, any idolatry, no matter how small is a problem.
Physically: According to an extensive study done by Northwestern University, calorie restriction is the key ingredient for managing weight issues. (The link to see this study can be found on Lysa’s blog today.) Of course, they state that exercise is also important but good nutrition is crucial.
Bingo. Can't deny it. It does matter what I eat. My weight is a reflection of what I consume.
Mentally: Don't settle. Don't compromise. What happens when you cut the "com" off of the word compromise? You're left with a "promise."
We were made for more than compromise. We were made for God's promises in all areas of our life.
Honestly. I am made for more than a vicious cycle of eating, gaining, stressing - eating, gaining, stressing...
I am made to rise up, do battle with my issues, and using the Lord's strength in me, defeat them - spiritually, physically, and mentally - to the glory of God.
Dear Lord, help me be courageous enough to speak honestly to You and to myself in those areas I’m giving in to compromise. Show me how to rely on Your strength for more self-discipline in my life - not for my glory but for Yours. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog to see her progress with this and to enter a contest you don’t want to miss.
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst
The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary by Susie Larson
So, how are you doing spiritually, physically, and mentally?
Decide today to set your mind on things above and ask God to reveal to you an area in which He wants to usher you to victory. It will take prayer. It will take faith. And it will take the encouragement of a friend.
What issue do I have that consumes way too much of my mental energy and produces stress in my life? Why not start tackling it today?
How might I apply the insights from this devotion to my particular situation?
1 Timothy 4:16, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (NIV)
Philippians 1:25-26, “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.” (NIV)
Psalm 27:8, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 11 June 2009.