Thursday, April 09, 2015

The "Weight" of Sin

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:1-2
My friend and fellow-preacher, Bill Perkins, recently posted the following on Facebook, for all to see. I admire his honesty, his vulnerability, and his courage. He has given me his permission to re-post his remarks here. Thanks, Bill. Many will benefit from your candid message. I know I have. 
So here's the deal. I am overweight. I have been most of my life and based on your standard Height/Weight chart probably all of my life. As a matter of fact my BMI rates me as extremely/morbidly obese (that kind of hurts my feelings). And here is the irony, when I get depressed at how I look or when my clothes don't fit, the medicine of choice is more of what got me in the situation I am in, more food. And then there's the guilt, which is assuaged with more food. It's a vicious cycle and I hate it. I poke fun at myself and use self-deprecating humor as a coping mechanism, but the whole idea that fat people are jolly only applies to Santa Claus.
For those who have never had a weight problem, you say "well do something about!" Eat less, exercise more, change your life style. Some of you will offer to sell me some magic potions to help me lose weight without changing anything, I appreciate your concern, but no thanks. The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in on a consistent basis. It's really quite a simple concept. If it tastes good don't eat it. If it tastes terrible eat a lot of it. And exercise an hour a day.
What I really want is what we all want. I want to keep doing exactly what I am doing and lose weight. Yes, I know that's crazy, but at some level it's human nature for most of is. My issue is food yours may be something else. Things don't change until you set your mind to change them and then follow through and put in the work. I have done that periodically over the years and had some great short term successes. At that point I vow to myself that I will never "get in that bad of shape again", have a celebratory meal that leads to a celebratory desert, that leads to celebratory donuts the next day and once again the train has left the station. And now that I am coasting down the back side of the hill, it's only getting more difficult.
I'm not really sure why I chose to write this today. I DO NOT want a pity party. I think what hit me today is seeing so many people who are in the same boat spiritually that I find myself in physically. They want a better life. They want a better relationship with their spouse, their children, etc. They know that the answer to many of their problems is a better relationship with God, but they won't put in the time or work. Attend church once and don't have a life-altering experience they don't come back. Pray for something and God doesn't grant it the next day, they stop praying. Can read a Harry Potter book in a weekend, but haven't cracked open God's word in months, and they can't figure out why their lives aren't getting any better. Like me, they want to keep doing the same things they are doing and have different results, which we all know is the definition of insanity. A relationship with God requires time, sacrifice, hard work and maybe even a little blood, sweat and tears. Going to church for an hour a week is not going to give you a spiritual 6 pack. If you want a faith that withstands the storms of life you simply have to put in the time.
I want to do better. I have to do better. Whatever it is you are struggling with, let's do better together.
Again, many thanks to Bill for sharing this with us. - Cory
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Heb 3:13-14

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