Recently I started this new eating plan, not a diet, but a “healthy change for the better in what I choose to eat.” (Come on, we all know it’s a diet.) But the book I read encourages me to think of it as a lifestyle choice which is supposed to help me feel more positive about it.
Anyone else ever notice how many strategies we put in place to manipulate our thoughts and provide ourselves with excuses? Often times these excuses come with good intentions, other times, not so much. Let me give you a popular example – “I’d go to the gym if I had someone to go with me.” This statement can be an excuse for why I don’t go to the gym, or it can be a wonderful opportunity to encourage others to participate in a positive experience with me. Either way, we are all guilty of doing it, I think most of us hate it that we make excuses for ourselves and yet we just keep on doing it- because it is easy and what we are comfortable with.
So back to my eating plan. I will be 100% honest and say that previous to the last 2 days, I have been enjoying this plan and am feeling much better. Is it easy? No (especially when I have 5 others living in my house who are not eating the same as I am) however, my stomach has been feeling so much better that I’m convinced it’s worth it! I have also received positive feedback from others, which normally feeds my personality type and helps me to make a good choice, but instead I have been making bad choices the last 2 days.
Can you relate? I KNOW what the right thing to do is, I KNOW it will make me feel better when I make the good choices and I KNOW certain foods are not good for me, and yet… bad choices here I come! What is that all about??
I think ultimately it is because I (like all humans) am sinful at heart. I’m self-centered and I want what I want, when I want it and go hang the circumstances. It is why this thing called Christianity and faith is SO HARD! I want to be a “good person” but I also want what I want. I want to be super model thin, but I can’t seem to give up cheese and chips. Got me? I have a feeling I am not alone in this struggle.
The Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” But how do we do this? How do we step outside of our wants and be transformed?
By following Jesus.
How do we follow Jesus? We build a relationship with him through prayer and through reading the Bible. We stay true and consistent in this approach. We seek after him not just one day a week, but EACH day of the week. And when we “Don’t have the time” or “feel uncomfortable praying in public” or whatever excuses we give ourselves to not do this, we should remind ourselves of what Jesus did for us. Hopefully that is a motivation to get to know this God who loves us SO much that he sent his son to die so that we could have connection to him. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” He is offering us an amazing gift and what are we doing about it?
Look, none of us are perfect and guess what, we NEVER will be. And that statement can be a gift if you look at it correctly. Don’t use it as an excuse to never do anything with your life, use it as a wonderful opportunity to see others with those same eyes and invite them in to this path we choose to struggle down called Christian faith. Let’s choose to do our best, let’s choose to see others with the grace that God shows us, let’s choose to be in relationship with God daily so that he can transform us into not just the people we want to be, but so much more than that – the people he CREATED US TO BE! Then let’s have the faith to see where he leads us.
Now when we stumble and “eat a whole tub of pimento cheese…” Remember, He knows we are imperfect and He loves us anyway. So, learn to give yourself grace. Choose to make a better choice in the next moment. I invite you to join me as I strive to learn how to be a disciple, a world-changer and a follower of Jesus. Not just a Sunday worshipper, but an everyday companion of our Savior and King.