Choosing Your Difficulty
A guest post by Emily Schneider
If there’s one universal truth that most of us can agree on, it’s that you never know what tomorrow might bring. As Christians, we especially know that only God is both sovereign and knowledgeable about tomorrow’s circumstances. But he graciously gives us the gift of free will, which is a crucial ingredient in self-discipline.
Before the holidays, I came across a post on social media during my endless search for motivation to get my diet in order. No surprise, every post I scrolled past gave me momentary feelings of empowerment, but none of them stuck. Until one — it said (and I paraphrase):
Dieting is hard. Exercise is hard. Staying healthy and fit is hard.
Battling diseases is hard. Being unable to zip your jeans is hard. Throwing out and buying larger clothes is hard. Breathing heavily as you climb stairs is hard…. Etc.
I realized at that moment, I was so focused on myself that I was not treating my body like a temple. I was having pity parties in my head about how difficult it is to eat healthy and learn to exercise. I groaned about every ache I felt after finally convincing myself to run or do crunches. But little was I realizing that my refusal to continue in those disciplines was not the “Easy Way,” but rather it continued to projectile me down a harder road for my life in the long-term.
How will I be able to volunteer my time to help a friend move if I continue to put on weight? How much more of my monetary resources could I be giving in spontaneous or planned generosity to my church or a person in need if I didn’t have to continue buying new clothes to fit? What will playtime look like when I have kids one day, if I cannot chase them around my living room or run with them as they learn to ride their bike?
Insert your own reality here…
We all face hard things, and we cannot always choose what they are. But the grace of God allows us to choose BETWEEN the hard things. Either we can choose to struggle through weight loss, healthy eating, exercise, or whatever health goal you know will most help you achieve glorifying the Lord with your body. Or you can choose to struggle as you say “No” to the opportunities you otherwise would have had to serve the Lord and love others, while saying “Yes” to another TV episode, another nap, another drive-thru, another trip to the retail stores.
Lovingly, our sweet Jesus calls us to glorify Him with our bodies, not because fit people are righteous people. But because fit people are able people — able and better equipped to say “Yes” when the call arrives to serve. It won’t be easy, but compared to the beauty that awaits us on the other side, every painful crunch and lightly-dressed salad is so worth it.
See James 1:2–4; Galatians 2:20; and 1 Peter 4:12–13 for some extra encouragement today.
Emily Schneider is separately a digital copywriter and a wedding photographer. She currently lives in Alexandria, VA with her many houseplants, and she spends much of her time finding ways to use her creativity to glorify God and serve others. You can follow more of Emily’s life and work on Instagram (@emilynicole_photos) and online at www.emnicolephotography.com.