As I am raising my children, I often find myself telling them, “We can do this the hard way or the easy way. Either you obey, or you choose to disobey and face the consequences. Either way, it is your choice.” As a parent, my children’s choices seem so simple. Choose to obey! I want to scream it at the top of my lungs! But, I know they have to make their own choices. I cannot make them for them. How will they learn? It is hard as a parent to sit back and watch them fail sometimes.
I believe God feels the same way about us. He grieves when we make poor choices and he celebrates us when we succeed, much the way I do with my babies. Sometimes, I even get the same encouragement from Him, “Meredith, we can do this the hard way or….” I have chosen enough of the hard way to know that it is not very productive. In fact, the consequences stink as well.
I have had many comments about how obedience is hard and questions about how I do it (choosing to obey God regarding food). First, I can do nothing outside of the Holy Spirit. Trust me, I have tried repeatedly. However, with the Spirit, I can do the following three things consistently. The lists are categorized by choosing the easy way or choosing the hard way. (You can check out the first post here.)
(Disclaimer: This is my path and it is proving successful. Your path may be different and just as successful. Hopefully, our common denominator is the Lord. Also, I am a Weight Watcher member. I love WW. WW has been a very helpful tool. But my strength, my answers, my refuge, my self control—- please, don’t be confused—- all of these things come from the Lord.)
The Easy Way
1.) One small decision at a time. You have to start somewhere. Choose to start by making one small decision, and then make another, and then…you get the point. Small decisions add up to big choices and end up life changes. I decided to obey God one small step at a time. It adds up. (2 Timothy 2:15)
2.) Be truthful with yourself. We all spend a lot of time trying to appear that we are not overweight. We buy the right clothes, such as clothes without horizontal stripes, sans big fat flowers, and search high and low for larger size clothing stores that offer up to date fashions. We spend a lot of time covering our sin, and making our sin look good, but not a lot of time looking at our sin truthfully. The truth is we are only fooling ourselves. The easy way is to realize how outwardly visible our sin is to others, is by first realizing it for our self. We want desperately to be seen for who we are on the inside but our outside doesn’t reflect that at all. If we can’t see it, we can’t own it. Be whole and holy before God. (Romans 6:13)
3.) Be healthy from the inside out. The easy way is to want to be healthy from the inside out, rather than stuffing things inside your body that temporarily feel good and cover up the sin. It is like laying a beautiful bed of roses on top of a rotting stinking trash can. Eventually, the pretty roses will die and the smell of the trash will rise up again. It is the same thing when we fill ourselves up with food that may feel god but is terribly unhealthy. Be beautiful from the very core of you, and that beauty will flourish and overflow for all to see. (James 1:18)
The Hard Way
1.) Lean on your own understanding. “Get out there and find every quick fix you can.” “You just haven’t done enough research. Keep looking! The magical answer has yet to be found.” I know this by heart. I have tried many of them and had great loss and even greater gain. The gimmicks do not work. Trusting in the Lord does. Plain. And. Simple.
2.) Do what you have always done. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results. For years, I have fallen back on old patterns and old behaviors, always expecting something different. Through mountains and valleys I have trudged dragging my baggage (insanity) with me. Unhook the trailer sister and leave it for good. If not, the enemy wins.
3.) Blame it on someone else. “I come from a long line of big-boned women.” “My mom is heavy, so I am heavy.” “It’s no use, I am just never going to be thin. No one in my family is thin.” “I had a bad childhood.” “It’s because I was abused (physically, mentally, and/or sexually).” ALL are Satan’s lies, my friends. Don’t strive to be thin. Don’t believe what anyone says about you but the Lord. Don’t pass the blame. Don’t talk yourself into a self pity spiral. Your life is not the sum of your mistakes. Christ died for your sins. Don’t let that be in vain. Be who Christ says you are: beautiful. Looking back will only rob you of what lies in front of you.
It is ultimately up to you, friend. My journey is not over. I choose everyday to walk away, if not run, from sinful choices. I know the state God found me in, and I do not want to go back. Not going back means making small choices every day. Choose to live your life free from the slavery of sin. Choose God.
If you are battling obesity, and would like to talk more, message me. There are brighter days coming. I am praying for you.
“She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue,” (Proverbs 31:26).
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him,” (James 1:12).