Monday, March 9, 2015

#Bod4God God vs. Society

"I deserve this ... I've worked hard ... I am working out tomorrow ... Just one won't hurt ..." How many excuses, rationalizations have I used throughout my life to justify the choices I have made and continue to make. I rationalized several cake pops that Jessie and I made while Maggie was at a sleepover. I justified the bowl of ice cream at the Girl Scout Sunday event ("I'm going to the gym twice tomorrow, I can have this.") But who am I trying to fool? Other people don't really care -- in fact, they probably nod along, agreeing that it's okay for me to cheat "just a little bit." But they don't have to face my mirror in the morning, or the scale tonight!

In reality, that one bowl of ice cream or extra cake pop probably didn't make that much of a difference in what the scale will say tonight. And if I really wanted to, I could use all sorts of "tricks" to get that number to go down -- especially if I wait to have supper AFTER the weigh in. But one small bad choice leads to another, to another, to another that's just a little bigger and soon the choices are much bigger than I imagined.

Pastor talked about temptation yesterday and talked about how you need to make your decisions regarding temptation BEFORE you are in the situation. If I bring a healthy lunch to work, I'm much less likely to head for fast food. If I decide I'm only going to have 2 Girl Scout cookies before I open the box, I'm more likely to only eat the 2 I take. If I know where we are going to eat, I can decide before we get there what I'm going to order, so I can just avoid the photos of the burgers and fries. By making the decision first, I am taking away some of the power of the temptation. I can be one of those people with the will power to walk away from the french fries.

This is not what society tells us. Society tells us that we should do what makes us feel good in the moment; we shouldn't have to deprive ourselves of something wonderful which will make us feel good right now. It really hit me as I was reading some of the past devotionals in Lysa TerKeurst's "Made to Crave Devotional" book. Day 3 and 9 both touched on this. In day 9, she is talking about a situation with her son, but this sentence covers so many other indulgences:

"...had indulged in an area God wanted to preserve, yet the world told them they deserved." pg 36

And in Day 3, she writes about Acts 5:29 where Paul writes:

"We must obey God rather than man/society."

The addition of the word "Society" is from me. It's not just those that we know, which is usually what I interpret "man" to mean.  I changed the verse in my devotional book so I would remember to ask: What is society, media telling us me? Honestly, society gives us conflicting messages: we must look a certain way to be "beautiful", but we are also to indulge, to live for self, enjoy life. And haven't we also been told that God just wants us to be happy? So if God wants me to be happy, why not have that bowl of ice cream? 

My satisfaction, happiness, contentment in life is not to come from my body, how it looks or what I put in it. I cannot continue to define my happiness by what society tells me should make me happy. God has seen fit to put me here in this time and this place for his purpose, not to be "happy." Doing my best to keep this body healthy is part of my obedience to God, part of my stewardship of this world. As I continue on this journey, I will do my best to choose to look to God for my contentment, which will lead me to better choices.

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