If you have known me for longer than 5 years, then you would know that I used to be a much larger person. One day, in 2015, I weighed in at the doctor’s office and couldn’t believe that number that appeared on the scale. I was living an unhealthy lifestyle that was guaranteed to have a negative impact on my health if I stayed the course. I decided that day that something had to change.
My weight-loss journey has had many ups and downs, but I have managed to lose over 100 pounds. There’s nothing special about how this has happened. It simply came down to eating healthier and exercising regularly.
The thing about losing weight and being healthy is that there is essentially is no finish line. Even if you hit your goal weight, you still have to work to maintain where you are. If you decide to start eating poorly and stop exercising, then you are going to gain back the weight that you lost. This is something that I have learned from experience…more than once. So, even though I am content with where my weight is, I have to keep working to be who I want to be.
In all honesty, I don’t always like having to make the healthy choice. I don’t always like having to take the time to work out everyday. I don’t always like choosing a healthy meal over fast food. If I had it my way, then I would spend a whole lot more time lying on the couch eating pizza and Doritos. That being said, sometimes you have to choose what you don’t want to do because you are working towards a goal.
I see a lot of similarities in weight-loss journey and our journey with the savior. Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect.” How’s that for a goal? Now, I don’t believe that we will ever reach perfection in this world, but that is our aim. We are running a race where we will not reach the finish line until Christ returns or calls us home. That, however, should not deter us from working towards that goal.
Aiming to be like God requires us to make that decision everyday. We have to decide if we want to choose to live for God or live for ourselves. There will be plenty of times in our lives that we don’t want to choose God. We are tempted by the false promises of sin and temptation. We all know that living for God is what’s best for us. However, a lot of times that is not what’s easiest or most desirous for us. Those are the days when we need to force ourselves to just keep moving towards the goal. One slow step forward is infinitely better than standing still.
Every day, every moment, and every choice in which we choose God over self moves us closer to perfection. It’s amazing that when we’ve chosen to do what is right, even when we don’t want to, we realize how much better it was for us in the long run. Choosing to love God and neighbor over ourselves will always end in our betterment, whether it’s this life or the next.
I do want to offer some reassurance as well. You’re going to fail. I’m sure that made you feel a lot better. Truth is that we’re all going to succumb to choosing to live for the world rather than God. We all still suffer from being human. The good news is that Christ died on the cross and resurrected specifically for those situations. Whenever that happens, repent, and make the next choice a Godly one.
There have been multiple times that I have put on a significant amount over the last 5 years because of bad decision making. All that meant was that I had to get back on the right track and focus on working towards my goal again. It works the same way whenever we fail to live into our calling to strive for perfection. You can’t do anything to undo the mistakes you made yesterday, but you can focus on making the right choices for today and tomorrow. There is never a moment when our loving Father isn’t ready to forgive you and restore you. All that you can do is to make sure that your next step on the journey is one that you are walking with God.
Just keep moving forward.