Denying reality

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.

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19 thoughts on “Denying reality

  1. Funny how that happens. Early fifties, I started growing a mustache. Mid fifties, I started growing a beard. Last year I turned sixty. Looks like I’ve snorted a little Rogaine lately. Boomers are good for the hair industry, too. BTW, it’s OK to be a little fluffy. Odds are your doctor will join you someday. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Hope. Yeah, I forgot to mention the skin on my hands is turning crepey. Any remedy for that? At this point, I’m believing the 35-pound weight drop is possible but check back with me in about 18 weeks. 🙂

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  2. I feel it Tom. Since I quite doing much tech work on the field, I have added a few pounds. I deluded myself into thinking it was a mirage and I didn’t need to change anything. The mirror tells me other wise. I know of another mirror, too.

    James 23-25 “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

    Of course before that mirror means anything we have to look and see our sinful state, and that salvation from that is only by the grace of God. Before that the “doing” in meaningless, or course

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    1. Thanks, Wally! I appreciate the inclusion of the very appropriate passage from James. Regarding the extra pounds, they’re so easy (and enjoyable) to put on but so difficult to shed. Why is it I can starve myself one day and get on the scale the next morning and my weight has gone up??? Sin can also lead us down some paths that can be pretty difficult to unravel after the fact.

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      1. That’s a great point Tom, and a perfect counter to those who would say that security of the believer is an open license to sin. That is false. We may be quite forgiven eternally, but still suffer consequences in our lives that reach far and wide, and God may not protect us from those. In fact, they may be part of his chastisement of us.

        Hebrews 12:6-8 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”

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      2. Thanks, Wally. Another good passage. BTW, I better not see anymore photos of mouth watering, high cholesterol, Southern cooking on your blog. 🙂

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      3. I peeked anyway! But that’s OK, I had more than my fill of all of that kind of delicious food which is why I now have to lose 35lbs. 🙂

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