The Choice to Mess Up – Part 2

28 Jun

[Continued from 6-27-11]

Diet BuddiesKatina Fisher said her friend Kimberly announced that she had started a diet to lose some pounds she had put on recently.

“Good!” Katina exclaimed. “I’m ready to start a diet, too. We can be dieting buddies and help each other out. When I feel the urge to drive out and get a burger and fries, I’ll call you first.”

Kimberly replied, “Great! I’ll ride with you!” (1)

Not exactly the kind of accountability Katrina was looking for …

Remember that yesterday I (Dawn) confessed that I was struggling with Pam’s encouragement to join her and a few other ladies for some exercise and attitude checks on our way to healthier lifestyles? I have to admit that I stewed about that for two days! Have you ever done that?

Why do we balk at things that are good for us?

I have all sorts of reasons for why this is going to be hard for me:  My age (harder to lose weight); I’m arthritic (hard to exercise with much gusto); it’s hard to find time to exercise (I’m a type-A person in overdrive), etc. It’s just hard!

As I’ve written before, these are all good REASONS, perhaps … but not EXCUSES.

I may struggle, but the truth is, I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me to encourage and empower right behavior; and “…the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

God’s ways of communicating with me often make me LOL with Him. As I struggled with this decision on Father’s Day ~ while eating a one-inch-square One-inch Browniebrownie I’d made for a Father’s Day party ~ I suddenly recalled some words I’d read in Made to Crave:

“The temporary pleasure of ONE BROWNIE  would never be worth me having to tell my accountability partner that I made the choice to mess up.” (2)

There it was … “the choice.” I’d been making lots of choices to mess up in the area of self-discipline ~ particularly concerning food and exercise. Life is all about choices, and that is the passion of my heart. (Check out my website, Heart Choices and blog, Heart Choices Today!) But here I was, intentionally making some poor choices in this area of my life ~ rationalizing all the while that I was making such wise choices in other areas.

The issue wasn’t the brownie; the issue was my heart.

I suddenly had the mental picture of Jesus walking up to me and asking, “Why are you fighting this? Remember …  your check-sheet says you were created to love and enjoy Me, to glorify Me, and to serve Me every day.  One of the ways you can glorify Me is to let Me change this area of discipline (see 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). You can do this for ME, Dawn … you can do it to bring Me glory.”

Yes …  I can do for my Lord what I might not, perhaps, even be willing to do for myself.

My commitment to a self-disciplined lifestyle started with surrender on Father’s Day, when I handed Father God my stubborn heart

I wrote a note to Pam:  “OK. I’m in.” And then (before I weakened), I scheduled in specific exercise “appointments,” and made the decision to join an online group where I will record my eating for each day ~ two choices I made as a gift to my heavenly Father.

Nothing has changed in the circumstances ~ it’s still going to be hard for me ~ but it’s going to be a joy, because my heart has changed.

Good intentions do not automatically translate into good results. Desire is the first step, taking action is the second step, but having some sort of accountability will help you press on when you don’t feel like it. More than a simple check-up, an accountability partner or coach can help you be creative, try new strategies, and move to a better place.

By the way, go easy on your accountability partner … you are, after all, asking for the person’s help! Grumbling and griping isn’t pretty, and your partner really doesn’t deserve to hear it. (But a good accountability partner isn’t afraid to speak the truth in love, knowing that your heart’s desire for change may waver sometimes. A good accountability partner will keep on  encouraging you toward health, positive change, and excellence, because he or she really cares about your progress.)

How about you? What is your struggle today? Is there a spot of rebellion in your heart? Whether you use a check-sheet, an accountability partner, or a simple-but-powerful commitment to God, MAKE THE CHOICE. Allow the Lord to do the work in your life that you will never regret.

(1) http://laughs.rd.com/clean-jokes-and-laughs/10-hilarious-weight-loss-jokes/article165978-1.html#slide

(2) Lysa TerKeurst, Made To Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food (Zondervan, 2010), p. 45

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