Today, I’m going to review the “I’m thinking about changing” stage and what it means.
At this stage, you’ve got 2 assets: You want to change and believe that you can change.
But the missing piece is that you haven’t decided that making the effort to change is worth it to you.
You are still considering it – and that’s a good thing!
Even Jesus advised that, before becoming His disciple, you must count the cost. He gave an example:
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?– Luke 14:28-30
So to move up to the next level, you must prove to yourself that change is worth it.
You do this by making two cases: Why changing will benefit you and why you must make the change NOW.
The first case gives you motivation while the second gives you urgency. Let’s face it: Change can be hard. You need a strong reason to keep going when it gets hard.
You need to be able to tell yourself why it won’t be acceptable for you to quit.
Even if you are further up the ladder, I’d advise taking this step if you haven’t done it already. It will help strengthen your ability to finish what you start.
Typically, when deciding to make a healthy lifestyle change, you focus on temporal reasons like looking better in your clothes, increasing your energy, and improving your health. These are good reasons.
But I’m going to give you the most important reason and you’ve probably never thought about it.
I call it the ‘Bedrock reason’ because it’s the deepest reason you can have. Bedrock is the rock upon which the surface soil of this planet rests (area ‘C’ in the illustration).
The ‘Bedrock reason’ for changing goes all the way down to the meaning of life.
Author Viktor Frankl was a concentration camp survivor and wrote the classic book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
In the book, Frankl made the case that man can endure almost anything as long as he has hope and can find meaning in his life experience.
Now people of the world don’t know what the real meaning of life is, but we Christians should know it. Jesus tells us the meaning of life:
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”John 17:3
Wouldn’t you agree that getting to know God and Jesus Christ more through the experiences of your daily life is a stronger reason for making changes than looking good in a certain outfit?
Let me explain.
When I wanted to overcome the habit of gluttony, then I knew I needed help! I was suffering, killing myself with a knife and fork.
To be victorious, I had to humble myself, pray, seek the Lord’s face (presence), and turn from that destructive way.
His word promised that He would heal me if I did that (2 Chronicles 7:14). Through walking the path of wellness for nearly 15 years, I am so much stronger in the Lord.
I am grateful that I made the decision to believe God when He said that I could change – and allowed Him to walk me through it!
I realized that something as basic as changing the way I eat and exercise could be used as an opportunity to get to know my Lord better.
I could seek him through prayer and ask Him for his wisdom when I wasn’t sure what I should do. I could seek His comfort when my flesh felt like it was burning up from saying “No” to that 2nd helping when I knew my body didn’t need it.
With each small success, I could say with confidence and from experience: “Lord, you are FAITHFUL.”
This morning when meditating on this issue, the Lord brought to mind the story of the rich young ruler.
This man had youth, wealth, and power – all the things the world says we should want.
Yet, he still sought the Lord to ask how he could obtain eternal life (see Mark 10:17-22). So in spite of all that he had, he recognized that something was missing in His life and temporal things were not enough.
However, once Jesus gave him the answer, he decided that the cost was not worth it.
I imagine that the man went away emptier after encountering Jesus than he was before, simply because he did not recognize the value of the opportunity right in front of him!
When I read Jesus’ answer in Mark 10:21, I thought about how I could apply that to my life.
The core principle for me is to invest what God has given me into the lives of others and to follow Jesus in my daily life, to build a stronger relationship with Him.
My health habits are just a tool to do that. The energy and health I gain gives me the strength I need to operate in my ministry and to fulfill my God-given purpose.
I’ll end this post with a challenge: Get out a piece of paper and write at the top: “Why improving my health is important to me.” Underneath that, create two columns: Eternal Reasons, Temporal Reasons.
Under the Eternal Reasons column, think about why improving your health can be used as an opportunity to live out life’s true meaning, which is to come to know God and Jesus Christ.
Under this column, also write down how it can help you better operate in your Spiritual gifts and fulfill the Great Commission, which is to draw others to Christ.
In the Temporal Reasons column, you can write down the usual reasons that are important to you, such as looking better in your clothes, gaining energy, decreasing your risk of disease, better role model to your family, etc.
After you create your list, then take it to the Lord and pray Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
God can help you gain a sense of urgency as to why it’s important that you start this process now.
The downfall of many people is that they spend major time on minor things. Don’t waste your life obsessing over minor things.
Invest your life so that you can maximize your God-given resources to reap eternal rewards!
Be Blessed with health, healing, and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program