Tonight is a big event for me.
I have a doubles tennis match. Our USTA team is in first place and we play the second place team–the last event before the play-offs. There are five matches as part of this event and we have to win three of them to win the event.
The temperatures have been over 100 degrees and although the weather promises to be a little less brutal today, but I may face a pretty hot tennis court and physically demanding conditions for the next four days (I have a tournament this weekend). So, today:
  1. I am guzzling water. 
  2. Instead of my usual fare of food, I am selecting foods that I know make my body feel at its best, eating when hungry and stopping when no longer hungry.
  3. I am not working outside, even though there are outside chores that could be done–I want to conserve my strength today and tomorrow.
  4. I am setting aside my usual workout routine so that my body can be as fresh as possible.
  5. I cancelled a fun match of singles tennis today so I wouldn’t “overdo.” I had been looking forward to it, too, but, again, I want to be as fresh as possible.
  6. I am icing my shoulder and elbow several times today (chronic injuries).
  7. I will take ibuprofen before heading to my match tonight.
When you look at this list, it is a list based in faith. Both in what I will face, but also that the things I am doing in anticipation will make a difference.  My beliefs are affecting my actions:
  • I have faith that drinking water will prepare me for a potentially dehydrating situation. I am confident that conditions will be hot and confident that I can offset some of that by drinking lots of water before I need it. I am confident I will feel and play better by doing so. My belief, my “faith,” affects what I do.
  • I am confident that I will feel and play better if I am more conscientious about my eating today, too, so I am acting accordingly. My belief, my “faith,” affects what I do.
  • I know working outside today and doing my regular workout routine or playing a singles tennis match would likely deplete me of energy that I will need tonight, so I am giving myself lots of rest today. I am acting in accordance with my belief that excess activity could tire me out. My belief, my “faith,” affects what I do.
  • I am confident that a sore shoulder and elbow can feel better…at some level 🙂 I believe in the power of icing and using ibuprofen! My belief, my “faith,” affects what I do.
There are several things I see here: 
1.) Today,  I am a “tennis player” who is likely to play the #1 team of our primary “rivals.” I am serious about being at my best for my doubles partner 🙂 (love ya, girl!) and the rest of the team who is counting on all of us to be at our best. This is my identity. I see myself as a tennis player playing for the #1 team in our league, a tennis player who WILL WIN. 🙂 (Of course, this is at a superficial level…I realize that my identity, as purchased by Christ, is much more pervasive, profound, and WONDERFUL than this!!! LOL!)
2.) My sense of my identity brings with it awareness of a string of “potential” facts–such as the possibility of hurting, getting dehydrated, being over-heated, exhausted, etc. (One might wonder why one does this to oneself…dare I venture the answer…”the hope of glory!” Many songs will be sung in our honor! HA!)
3.) My beliefs in #1 and #2 above changes what I DO today…I am acting pre-emptively and, in faith that I can do something about #2. 
What does this have to do with Thin Within?
I am so glad you asked! 🙂
What I believe about myself affects how I act. Do I believe that God has set me free from being in bondage to overeating and self-loathing of my body? Do I believe I am a free child of God, declared righteous and holy, able to walk in this freedom because the presence of the Holy Spirit is in me? How are my beliefs affecting my actions? Or, conversely, if I analyze my actions, what do they say about what I really believe?
Do I believe that I don’t have to have a “weight problem” for the rest of my life? Do I really believe that God is bigger than my struggle with this thing? If I do, then I know it will affect the way I act.
Do I believe I can honor him with my eating and drinking like 1 Corinthians 10 says?
Do I believe God is willing to see me live in freedom?
Do I believe He is powerful?
Do I believe He is compassionate?
How do these beliefs affect my actions?
How about you? What do you really believe about God and about yourself? How do your beliefs affect what you do? What beliefs do you need to allow God to change so that you might begin to act in accordance with truth?