Weight. Who wants extra? Like most of my friends, the only time in my life when I wanted the extra weight was during my pregnancies as most of us become quite proud of our “baby bump”. I don’t know about you, but what has echoed through my mind over and over again is ” I need to lose weight”.
In the past six months, I’ve been on a weight loss journey, in order to battle Type 2 diabetes. And although I’m somewhat pleased with the results, there are many more pounds to release. I can honestly say I no longer crave sugar, bread, or pasta. But I haven’t been able to completely control my cravings for solid chocolate, found in the bottom drawer of our copy machine at work, corn chips, or my son’s trail mix, laced with M and M’s, that resides in my pantry. I’ve learned two important things on this new path. First, I needed to grasp the truth about my diabetes, and it’s potential to wreak havoc on my body, when not controlled. Second, is that my thoughts affect my behavior, which in turn affects my weight, and ultimately my health.
In the past several months, the Lord has gently invited me to follow Him on a new path of spiritual weight loss. In this new journey, my weight is not determined by the bathroom scales, but by His Word. Bible reading and meditation has shown me the truth: my extra weight was wreaking havoc on my walk with Him and affecting my closest relationships. In His Word, I found that I needed start craving fruit, the Fruit of His Spirit, ” Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, against such there is no law”. ( Galatians 5: 22-23) Gentleness was the fruit I had the greatest deficiency in, and it was causing me to have the extra weight of being irritable and impatient. That will make you feel bloated…. puffed up with pride! After confessing this to God, I asked my family for help. I had an unannounced meeting after dinner one night. ” I need to share something”, I said, and my youngest son looked seriously at me and said ” Mom, do you have cancer?”. I laughed, but now looking back, being so low on gentleness, causing me to be irritable, contributed to a “spiritual” cancer that ate away at the bond of my relationships. By the end of my confession to my family for avoiding this fruit, we had an action plan: whenever my irritability popped back up, the code word for me they would say was “fruit”, so that I could focus on being gentle. Although there are still times that I pick that weight back up, God has helped me to keep the weight off, with His help.
Recently, He has shown me another “fruit” that I was consuming too much of, or was it consuming me? It was definitely a weight, my Apple, as in Apple I Phone. I don’t know about you, but if your son or daughter were to tell you ” mom you spend way too much time on your phone”, like mine told me, it should make you put it down. But I realized that I had to actually deactivate my Face Book account in order to drop this extra weight. Go cold turkey, like I did with sugar, pasta, and bread. The first two days, I missed it, but the 10 days following, I’ve not missed it and finally relieved that I’ve dropped it. The verses that the Lord has used in this new journey of spiritual weight loss is one I’ve had to memorize in order to stay focused. As in physical weight loss, my thoughts affect my behavior, which also affects my spiritual health.
” Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1-2
Lay aside- the Greek word apotithimi, means to lay something down and push it far away from oneself, beyond reach. Lay it down… and push it far! I’m so glad God’s Word didn’t leave us there, aren’t you? He gave us such a vivid image of Jesus, “looking unto Jesus”, to focus on Him, to have the desire to lay it down, push it far, and leave it there, never to pick it back up again. What freedom!
There are many more weights or sins that can weigh us down and prevent us from running in freedom, in our “race”. Fear, anxiety, people pleasing, pride, anger, bitterness, not forgiving others or ourselves, idolatry, lust, addictions, not fully surrendering our lives to Jesus, not trusting Him, living in our past. I want to challenge you to think about starting your own spiritual weight loss journey. Start by asking Jesus, what weights would He have you to surrender to Him. When you focus on Jesus, and His Word, you can say with me, “Jesus take my weight, because I want to run with endurance, in the freedom and joy of knowing you. “