Way back when I was eighteen-years-old, I weighed 160 lbs., which was pretty skinny for someone who is 5’11” tall. Over the years I started to gradually pack on the pounds. Can anyone else relate? The waistline slowly expanded from 30” to 32” to 34” to 36.” By 2000 I weighed 190 lbs. A few years later, I crossed the 200 lb. hurdle and my doctor announced to me that I was officially obese. OBESE?!?!?! How dare he put me in that category! NO WAY was I obese, I was just slightly overweight. I’ve continued to eat (too) well and my weight went up to 215 lbs. and even my size 38” pants were starting to feel tight. I reluctantly visited my doctor two weeks ago for my yearly physical and he was like, “Dude, do you want to have a retirement or not?” Okay. Yup. I get it. I need to eat (much) healthier, lose some pounds (about thirty-five), and exercise (what’s that?)
Not to get too personal, but all these years I’ve been observing myself in the full-length bathroom mirror after a shower and squinting my eyes and thinking, “Yeah, a little chunky but certainly not OBESE.” Well, the mirror doesn’t lie even though I tried my best to ignore or mask what it was telling me. I think I was holding in my stomach during most of my encounters with mister mirror. When it comes to our faults, we often lack objectivity (e.g., Trump obviously thinks his crazy comb-over looks great). My doctor could easily see that I was obese, but I couldn’t. So my first step in getting healthy was accepting exactly where I’m at physically. When I look in the mirror now, I see exactly what it’s telling me. Ouch! And I’m also using a weight scale again. I frankly didn’t want to see what it had to show previously and avoided it like the plague.
Okay, so now I’m trying to do things right. But this coming to grips with my true physical reality reminds me of how I often misperceive my spiritual reality as well. God’s Word is a mirror that reveals the state of my walk with the Lord. I think a lot of the time I squint and squirm and try to fool myself that I’m walking closer with the Lord than I actually am. The Holy Spirit will use God’s Word to let us know what to work on, but we need to stop the posturing, admit to the Lord and ourselves where we’re at, and get on with it with joy in our hearts. No, this isn’t a guilt trip. The Lord wants us spiritually healthy and the best way to do that is by following Him.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24
If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone you’re probably thinking you’re doing a pretty good job of obeying your way into Heaven. But the reality is no one can obey the Law, even for a single day. The only Person who perfectly obeyed the Law was Jesus Christ. He died for your sins and rose from the grave beating sin and death and He offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who accept Him as Savior by faith alone.