January is the time of year when we all want to make our New Year resolutions and, for most women, that usually includes a fitness and diet plan. I am no exception. Having put on a few pounds over the holidays and needing two major answers to prayer, I decided to fast from coffee and all forms of sugar and sugar products for 21 days. Why? Coffee is a comfort behavior for me and when I drink it, I load it with sweet cream. I decided that instead of running to coffee when I was “under the gun” or stressed, I would run to God. Truthfully, I found that I was depending more on the “feel good” affects of coffee and sweet cream to relieve my stress than I was on the comfort of God’s Word. And, my weakness to do so made me feel like such a “flabby” Christian. Sooo…here I am on the 6th day of my 21 day fast. Not only do I feel fantastic but I haven’t even craved the coffee like I thought I would. I have to admit though, the Peppermint Mocha creamer in the fridge does call to me periodically.
In light of my resolution for the New Year, I had a few thoughts on the subject of Flabby Christianity.
Let’s face it, the America of today loves to play. Even if we work hard at a job, it’s money to get ahead materially and to have lots of pleasures. It is not energy spent striving to accomplish all that God would have us to do, but energy spent to have a good time. And most of our money is spent on that which requires no discipline like television, movies, X-box, I-pods and computer games, so we can sit around and be entertained. As a result, we have become a weak, self-indulgent, flabby, overweight nation run by weak, falling apart, flabby homes where weak, characterless, flabby people live who have forgotten what the words discipline, hard work, stamina, determination, will power, self-control, faithfulness and grit really mean and whose children often don’t know the words at all. Did you know that many nervous and emotional disorders are due to self-indulgent living? It’s not that we don’t need some silvery entertainment from time to time; it’s just that we need to put more iron back in our souls! So I suggest that as we contemplate the New Year, we take a hard look at our lifestyles and ask ourselves if we have let ourselves and/or our kids get “flabby” and take steps to change it. There is no time like the present to turn that flabby lifestyle into a vibrant, healthy one. Consider using the 80/20 ratio: for every 8 hours of character building work such as scrubbing the ring from a bathtub, chopping wood, exercising, cleaning out the attic, waxing a floor, building a project, 2 hours of self-indulgent entertainment is earned. Then, when the 2 hours are up, start over. This little exercise is one way of keeping us and especially our kids from becoming flabby Christians. I’m in, how about you?