I would eat no more sugar! That was it, never again anything sweet, after all, it was all a matter of will power! Ten days later, it was the third cake and the second bowl of ice-cream I had to refuse which did me in. My will power was gone. Two days later, I lay on a couch with a sick stomach wondering which freight train hit me, then returned to come back for the kill through my intestinal tract. “You know,” I thought, “self-discipline and will power are stupid.”
Now, 11 years later, I have had sugar a grand total of 5 times in two years. But, I believe even more that self-discipline is a lie, and will power is its deceitful cousin.
You may say, but come on, Ryan! How would anyone survive life without doing things they didn’t want to do. You wouldn’t! Of course, you have to do things you don’t like, but what is your motivation? Is it because of love?
If you truly love a person or a cause, even a sport, you’ll do anything to see it through. That’s called passion, not self-discipline.
Even if you don’t believe in God, I would argue that biological urges send us into certain directions. We are driven by hormones and talents we are uniquely qualified for. These factors guide us in different directions.
Personally, I believe my biology can be heightened to a point of supernatural goodness because of who I was created to emulate through something called Grace.
In Galatians 5, the old philosopher Paul states that a fruit of the spirit IS self-control… therefore if you want to stay in control of your body, live from your spirit.
The best way to illustrate this, is from my own life by looking at my former weight and health issues. For many who know me, you know that at one time I tipped the scale at almost 300 lbs wearing size 46 pants. For the past 10 years, I’ve lived around 200lbs and wearing size 34. My journey was a metaphoric mountain climbing experience that still continues today. But my struggle is not against sugar or bread. Even going to the gym or sweating to the oldies have little to do with it. Rather, it has to do with living through my spirit.
So the big question is, what was keeping me from living from the spirit, and making me stay unhealthy and fat? The answer, as I think it always is, was quite simple, but difficult to accept:
I didn’t like me. I didn’t feel worthy to live by the spirit because until I lost the weight, I thought I would never be someone fully deserving of love. Instead, I made people laugh, even at my own expense or even if I didn’t want to. I played sports I really didn’t like, I did anything possible to grab ahold of the acceptance I could never give myself.
I’ll leave you with this. If you are doing something, ANYTHING, that you don’t like, but can’t see a way out, look inward and ask: “Do I accept myself just as I am?” After all, wasn’t that the reason Jesus came to the earth, to save everyone just as they are? If He, the perfect man can love you now, then we’d all better believe that we too, can love ourselves….right now.
I invite you to pray this: “God, show me my heart, and tell me what about myself I won’t accept”. Now here comes the tough decision… to love yourself unconditionally, because, love breaks through all obstacles, even love for yourself.
If you want coaching or further help in this issue, shoot me a message. I’d love to walk through some simple methods on how you can begin to accept every incredible beautiful inch of yourself.