Read: James 1:26, Philippians 3:8-16, Colossians 3:1-17
• Until we know where we are, we cannot take sure steps towards where we want to go.
• Life is a constant process of putting on the new self
I don’t know about you, but I’ve often read some of the lists of the Bible, like our Colossians passage today about putting on the new self, and thought, “Are you serious? How do I even begin?”
I mean, it’s all great on paper when we’re singing Kumbaya and give each other warm fuzzies, but when life gets real - when fellow brothers and sisters publicly wrong you at church - how do you really be this kind of Christian who ‘bears with one another’ and forgives in meekness?
How do you be a Christian “in the moment”?
But the same thing happens with our food and fitness goals too, no? We are on board when we feel motivated and excited to do something good for us, but the minute life happens, we morph back into the couch junkie who surfs Facebook for five hours.
How do you follow-through on your goals when you don’t feel like it?
Both of these questions have the same answer > #holyhabits.
Remember that our habits are the things we fall back on, what feels normal and easy, what we don't have to think about how to do to do.
Our truth shows through when we’re stressed. And when we’re stressed or “put on the spot” we have little conscious control of our reaction.
It happens automatically.
It’s like CPR training. When an emergency happens, the first responder doesn’t think, “Oh, now what’s the first step to CPR? How many compressions? Breaths?"
Instead, the first responder’s autopilot flips on. Their body knows exactly what to do and acts without thinking.
Today’s exercise is the first step to re-wiring your autopilot - so you eat well especially when you don’t feel like it, so you act graciously even when you are wronged, and so you be the beautiful woman God has called and is calling you to be.
When we're brutally honest with ourselves about our circumstances, our goals, what's really important to us, and how much time we have to devote to attaining those, it liberates us from the worry and frustration so often associated with unmet goals and all the things we "should be doing" but aren't.
We deceive ourselves
This verse from James perfectly illustrates what many of us do in regards to our goals, ambitions, and aspirations.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
Let me explain...
Last year I bought a gymnastics program with the full intention of doing it. In fact, I started the program and told everyone I was doing it, that it was a part of my regular training, and how important it was to me.
But the truth was that I did a bit here and a bit there.
Even when I worked with my Accountability Partner on building this habit, it was something I talked about more than did.
In this way, I professed that gymnastics was important ("thinks she is religious" in our passage), but did not do gymnastics (actively control my speech in our passage), so I deceived - and get this because it's most important here - MYSELF.
Not deceived my husband, my best friend, or my coach.
Have you ever noticed that about people? That you can CLEARLY see the truth when they are blind to it?
It feels hard to face the truth about matching our beliefs with our actions because we often face ugly realities of ourselves falling short.
But ugly behavior doesn't mean we're bad people....
... it just means we need to build better behaviors.
When we're brutally honest we create laser focus on what's relevant for us right now...
... & eliminate the rest.
And we realize that change isn't really as hard as we've made it out to be. We've just been spreading our time and energy so thin with all the things that aren't important that NO WONDER we have nothing left over for what is.
I love these verses:
Do not lie to one another [or yourself], seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. -Col.3:9-10
Re-wiring your autopilot is a continual process.
From God and from us.
It doesn’t happen overnight. But bit, by bit, step by step, practice by practice, it happens.
And suddenly you realize you’re different. Changed.
But it all begins with a "come to Jesus" moment > the Reality Check.
Click the link below to access the worksheet for the Reality Check.
Click here to access the Reality Check Exercise. NOTE: Click "File" > Make a Copy to create your own editable worksheet. Otherwise, everyone will be able to see it.