“And just exactly what happened to those good intentions?” I asked sternly. “You were doing well on your plan and even encouraging others along the way. What happened to you?”
“W-e-e-l-l,” my uncomfortable counselee whined. “It’s been really hectic at home. I’ve had company. I’ve had worries. I’ve had other things to think about….”
“If you had the right habits,” I admonished, “you wouldn’t have to think about eating right. You would just do it — even though conditions around you change.”
And, of course, the recipient of my reproaches had to agree with me. Because she is me. It would be nice to have someone to keep me on track and make me toe the line. Since there is no one else to do it, I have to. And I’m pretty hard on myself.
Sometimes too hard. I would never beat anyone else up like I wallop myself when I fail. Don’t get me wrong — there is a place for taking a hard look at your life. There is a place for repentance.
And then it is time to move on.
Psalm 145:14 tells us how God deals with His children. “The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all them that are bowed down.”
Should we be harder on ourselves than God is?
It’s true that we need to quit making excuses. We need to quit babying ourselves and get down to the serious business of doing healthy things to save our lives. Otherwise we will be part of the 67% of Americans who are projected to be obese by 2030. As long as we keep falling into a pattern of yielding to every temptation, we will be fat and sick.
But it’s also true that berating ourselves for every slip-up is counter-productive. If you tell yourself you are a failure, you will begin to believe it. And if you can only fail, why should you keep trying?
“Okay,” I told my repentant self. “You have been in a downward spiral for a solid week. Things are going to be out of kilter for some time yet. It’s time to quit making excuses. Back in the saddle — and this time, I’m sticking. I’ve done it before. I can keep doing it now.”
And, my friends, you can, too!
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown