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Losing Control Of Self Control

Posted by Shelli Ragle on

If I can get a BOGO (buy one get one) deal on Dr. Pepper, chips, ice cream — or anything, for that matter — it’s a great day, and I’m gonna stock up. Even better, put the candy and gum at the checkout line on a BOGO deal, and I’m in heaven. Maybe sooner than I want, but heaven just the same.

I have no self control. That fruit of the spirit is severely lacking, probably because I ate it all.

All kidding aside, I know I need to make a change, but I can’t seem to get myself to care about me. I want to eat better, but it’s so expensive. Plus, the bad stuff tastes so good. Taco Tuesday! Frijoles Friday! Does it get any better than that? I could argue that it doesn’t, especially if you add some extra cheese and sour cream to a big ol’ bean burrito. I’m convinced there will be a Taco Casa in heaven. Just sayin’.

And I’m not lazy, at least, not in my head. I am very active in my head, thinking about all the exercise I should be doing, the steps I should be taking, so I can see if this activity tracker I wear on my wrist is even working. I honestly feel I should rename this gadget of mine the “lack-of-activity tracker”. I do often have the desire to exercise, but my mind gets in the way of my success.

For instance, I know any time you start on a new exercise regimen, you’re supposed to take baby steps, but I’m competitive and a poor sport. When I do finally rebuild the courage to go back to the gym or to venture out and try CrossFit like I did a couple years back, I find myself trying to compete with Ms. Olympian. She’s probably been working out almost daily for years and I’m walking in here fresh off the couch with chip oils still on my fingers and maybe a few crumbs on my shirt. But I spot Ms. Olympian and try to keep up with her because I want to be the best. As a former athlete, I’m still awesome in my head. And then, when I can’t keep up, my insecurities begin screaming:

“You don’t belong here!”

”Everyone is staring at you!”

”You’re just in the way!”

”You’re the fattest one here!”

”Go home, fat girl!”

Once the goal I have unrealistically set for myself becomes clearly unattainable, I give up. I go back into my fat-girl shell. It’s comfy in there. I feel secure in my insecurity because it’s where I’ve allowed myself to stay for years.

The insecurity is driven by fear.

God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
— 2 Timothy 1:7

But for me and my body, I choose fear. Fear is easier than bravery. Bravery is what it takes to come out of the shell, let people see me for who I really am, flab and all. Bravery says, “So what? This jump ropin’ caused my pants to flip down under my belly, thereby allowing said belly to wobble freely in and out of space and time. I’m gonna keep on jumping. Just don’t get too close. It’s for your own safety.”

Bravery comes from allowing God to be in control, praying he will cast away all your doubts and fears, praising him, and protecting your mind. Don’t let the part about protecting your mind just slip by. That’s a huge part.

Thoughts have a way of making or breaking us.

For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
— Proverbs 23:7

Our thoughts are so powerful that the Bible tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” We are to be “transformed by the renewing of [the] mind” (Romans 12:2). Did you see that? The mind is where the transformation happens.

So, let’s make a pact together. Today, this moment, we take whatever it is in our life that’s out of control and we actually give it over to God.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
— Philippians 4:6

By God’s grace, we can surrender control to the one who is actually in control.

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