“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV).
Confined to the house by both Covid-19 and several winter storms, my television viewing increased substantially. The ol’ eyes could only focus on a book or computer screen for so long, and then it was TV time. I was amazed at the number of weight loss commercials, as I stuffed myself with snack food because of boredom and lack of self-control.
There seems to be no end to the pills, potions, and programs that promise easy weight loss. It’s interesting how they all seem to end with “our product, when incorporated with a proper diet and sufficient exercise, will assist you in reaching your goals”. So, could it be that it is actually the proper diet and sufficient exercise that are the major contributing factors rather than the product?
In the spiritual realm, I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon. There seems to be no end to the books, study guides, CDs and videos (if acquired for a small donation) that when incorporated with Bible reading, sufficient prayer life, regular church attendance, and Christian fellowship will assist you in reaching your spiritual goals.
In either case, these products are usually an attempt to convince you to spend your money rather than put in the hard work and effort necessary to accomplish your objectives. On the spiritual side, the Apostle Paul gives some good advice: “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:14, NLT). I am convinced that there is no ‘magic bullet’ in the areas of spiritual growth and maturity. We must expend the effort in the Biblical areas that we know to be essential in developing Christian grace and spiritual maturity.
A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet naturally lead to extra weight and weak muscles. If a ‘lose weight easily without exercise’ pill or program seems too good to be true, it is surely just that – too good to be true. The weight you lose will be mostly in your pocketbook. The same is true in our spiritual lives. Listen to Jesus: “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NKJV).
In the long run, daily commitment to God’s word, prayer, and serving others is the path Jesus modeled for us. Following Jesus is a proven plan. The Apostle Paul gives this word: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15, NKJV).
Prayer: Lord, help us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Amen.
~ Brother Roy