How’d you do? Did you maintain your weight during the holidays? Or perhaps you’re like most Americans who’s number one goal this year is to lose weight. Before you hit the treadmill or eat that cottage cheese, you might want to weigh your heart.
In my last Thin Within blog, I challenged myself to avoid using the holidays as an excuse to binge. For the most part, I behaved myself. I managed to get through December with minimum damage. And I blame those two pounds on the Almond Joys that Santa slipped into my stocking.
Then our family went to Hawaii for a week-long vacation and my resolve vanished like smoke up a chimney. Christmas cookies didn’t tempt me like the smorgasbord of food on the tropical island. Sushi, Japanese noodles, grilled Salmon, pineapples, coconut. My appetite (and waist line) grew larger with each meal.
Barb Raveling’s app, “I Deserve A Doughnut,” would mysteriously appear on my phone like a wagging finger. Talk about a killjoy. Who needed self discipline and the means to escape temptation while I was munching in paradise? Then again, what’s the point of having her app if I refuse to use it when I need it most?
My muumuu disguised the consequences of eating more than normal. Plus, I’d had the foresight to wear stretch pants while I traveled on the plane. When I returned home, the bathroom scales confirmed what my heart feared. I’d gained substantial weight. No more skinny jeans.
Now, I don’t expect sympathy from readers. Sunbathing in Hawaii during winter might even invite contempt. But I wanted to share my recent failure which led to this eye-opening lesson: my heart’s best intention is no match when faced with Something I Really Want.
And that desire to have what I wanted—regardless of the consequences—weighed heavily on my heart when I read, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2).
When I’m obsessed with my body or food such as…
- Counting calories—or not—because I’m on vacation.
- Worrying about my weight because I don’t want to look “fat” in a thin-conscious culture.
- Justifying my eating habits when I’m stressed or my ego’s bruised.
- Searching “Yelp” for the best place to eat.
- Resolving—again—to eat healthy and exercise this year.
When I focus on those things, I tend to forget that God isn’t concerned with my outward appearance. He weighs the heart which includes my thoughts, intentions, and attitudes.
Yes, I need to respect my body which “is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19). But I can’t discount my heart because the Bible says:
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
“For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” (Matthew 15:19)
Thankfully, when I put my faith in Christ, His blood (not my good behavior) made my heart righteous. However, if I want a healthy heart that wants what God wants, then meeting with Him must be a priority.
I realize “being still” may seem as difficult as doing tummy crunches, but spending time with the Lord—in His Word and prayer—is how the Spirit of God softens, nourishes, and speaks to the heart. And I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than asking God to weigh my heart and change me from the inside out.
Heart Image: Pixabay