The Choice to Mess Up – Part 1

27 Jun

David Martino wrote about a teacher in his Bible class who asked a woman to read from the Book of Numbers about the Israelites wandering in the desert.

“The Lord heard you when you wailed, ‘If only we had meat to eat!'” she began. “Now the Lord will give you meat. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days or five, or ten or twenty days, but for a month ~ until you loathe it.”

When the woman finished, she paused, looked up and said, “Hey, isn’t that the Atkins diet?” (1)

Many of us go on various diets or try to overcome unhealthy habits, and psychologists tell us that the task is easier if we have someone in our corner, checking up on us. Christian psychologist Dr. Henry Brandt once said, “In the business world, we have a term that says the employee will do what the boss inspects, not what he expects. It’s the same way in parent-child relations. The child will do what you inspect, not what you expect.” (3)

I’ve found this is true in personal areas of discipline, as well. I may expect some changes in my life, but unless there is some “inspection” ~ some accountability ~ I’m not likely to change. I will keep on making choices that aren’t the best, and as a result, my life gets a little messy.

People often laugh at my check-sheets. I have to admit that I’ve probably designed two dozen or Check Listmore check-sheets during my adult years. My latest one has at the top, “I Was Created to Love and Enjoy, Glorify, and Serve God Every Day!” And those are the categories that I detail for personal growth and accountability.

God and I have been the only ones who see that checklist daily.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not into legalism at all. I’m a Grace Girl. God knows I need His grace every day in every way.

But I’ve found that if I don’t push myself ~ if I don’t strive for more ~ I tend to vegetate and get self-satisfied. How much better to get my marching orders from God, and then design a means of accountability to help me know when I’ve achieved my “assignments” from Him!

Confession time. Though I tell others they need accountability partners, I struggle against them.

I recently had this truth hit me squarely in the face (or maybe in the heart).

Pam Farrel asked a group of ladies (who had already mentioned they were trying to get fit and/or lose weight) to join a short-term group of women who are committed to that goal. Now mind you, I had already voiced my desire to get my eating/exercise act together after reading Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave. I even have a Facebook partner, Deedra, going through that with me.

But when Pam asked me to join the group ~ which essentially meant that I would follow my own “program” and goals ~ I balked because I had to go in for an initial “weigh in,” and someone was actually going to record my weight on a card.

I emailed Pam, “I am praying about this.”  (Meaning, “I’m struggling with this.”) I’ve analyzed that struggle. For me, it consisted of pride, fear of failure, frustration over a scale that hasn’t moved in months, and basically (I’ll admit it) not wanting someone to tell me what to do! (Read that as pride again, with a good dose of rebellion.) As I saw Facebook posts by Pam and my friend Maria and others, intensely into getting fit, I kept shaking my head ~ “Lord, I don’t think I can do this.”

Meanwhile, Pam wrote back, “Just say yes. No downside.”

[So what did I do? And why? Stay tuned … I’ll tell you tomorrow.]





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