Don't you just hate being on a diet? I mean, just when you're doing so good SOMEBODY brings donuts to work! Or, you're so proud of yourself for saying "no" to that extra helping and then, bam, you're standing in front of the refrigerator shoving food in your mouth like there's no tomorrow. Why couldn't I have been born one of the "skinny girls"??????????
If you've ever been on a diet, you know that it builds character in a HURRY. Making a good choice for breakfast won't cut it. Nope, you've got to make good choices 3 meals a day, seven days a week, for weeks at a time to lose a noticeable amount of weight. Passing up biscuits and gravy for breakfast (my own personal weakness) doesn't help, if you're going to eat two platefuls of food for lunch, believe me, I know from experience. Drinking a Diet Coke while eating a package of Oreo cookies does not cancel the calories. Trust me, I know of which I speak.
Problem is, humans have a hard time sticking to anything for very long. Diets, New Year's Resolutions, they all fall by the wayside at the first sign of temptation. Diets and New Year's Resolutions require a resolve to stick with them NO MATTER WHAT. And that resolve is T-O-U-G-H to maintain. TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH!!!!!! Especially when you are contantly bombarded with the sights, smells and sounds of food.
So how about in our Christian life?? Do we have the same problem? Do we approach a life lived for Him the same way we do our diet? "Well, I'll do my best, but, I just don't know how long I can keep this up." Do we think "if nobody sees me it isn't a sin." Like we tell ourselves, "if nobody sees me eat this candy bar then it doesn't count." "If I don't get caught, then no harm was done." Or how about this one "well, I don't commit the BIG sins, so I'm "O.K."
A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, whether you ate it at lunch or at supper, by yourself or in front of your entire family and friends. And sin is sin whether you committed murder, adultery or told a lie. In God's eyes, sin is sin. And sin separates us from God. Have we gotten so accustomed to sinning, that we don't even feel guilty anymore? Oh, God help us to NEVER be that far from You. May we never separate ourselves from that still, small voice whispering "don't do that, that is not My will."
So today, examine your heart as I examine mine. Is it REALLY my heart's desire to live for Him for the long haul? Good days and bad? On days where you feel so close to Him, and the days where you wonder if He even remembers you? On the days you are feeling all churchy and religious, and on the days where you hope none of your church friends heard what you said, or saw where you just went? I'm just being real.
It takes a serious, permanent lifestyle adjustment to lose weight and keep it off. Believe me, I know. And it takes a serious, permanent lifestyle adjustment to be an effective Christian that God can use for His glory. It isn't just a Sunday morning thing. It isn't just when you are around other Christians. It is constant. Because just like our little internal calorie counter can't be fooled, neither can God. Because He sees all we do, and He hears all we say, and He knows all we think.
Let's be like the Apostle Paul and "press on." Not just once in awhile. Ladies, we can do this thing and live this life for Him. But it takes a resolve to be in it for the long haul. When we stumble, we ask for forgiveness and we get right back to living for Him. Let's do it together, shall we?