A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight. Proverbs 11:1
A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work. Proverbs 16:11
Each week we have explored a different reason or motivation for exercise. One of the most motivating factors for exercise is weight loss. For some of us, the ideal number is just a few pounds away…for others, it is a far off “dream”. When we see the ideal number, we believe that our lives will change: the clothes will fit, the husband will adore, the confidence will exude from us, perhaps the friends will envy. (Yes, I said it…have you ever thought it?)
Here’s the thing..that is not exactly the way it works. Even IF we get that number to say what we want it to…things in our lives will not suddenly “fall into place”. If we feel uncomfortable with our bodies, then the clothes will never “fit” us. If there are issues in our marriage, the perfect body will not close the space between us and our spouse. If we are insecure, we will find something else to “dream” for ourselves..some other thing we need in order to feel that security. If we base our feelings of ourselves on what others think about us (whether it is our bodies or not), we will constantly swinging from mood to mood…out of balance, the scales never tipping in our favor.
I am not just theorizing here. I know this from personal experience. I believed that reaching a number on the scale would change my life, make it better. But after exercising and restricting my way to that number, my obsession changed. I was then afraid that I would not stay at that number…my exercise and restricting became more intense. As the number on the scale decreased, my problems with my health, marriage, and friendships began to increase. This would lead to years of struggle with my eating disorder.
What I learned is that a number on the scale is not the answer. I had to be able to listen to my body and base my fitness routines on what my body needed: strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance—NOT weight loss. I also had to learn to listen to The Creator of my body, My Heavenly Father. We have talked in previous weeks about how we are to honor God with our bodies, that He doesn’t look at outward appearance, but at our hearts. We have seen in Scripture that we are to honor God WITH our bodies instead of merely honoring our bodies.
So how does this translate to FAITHful fitness?
I am not suggesting that the number on the scale means nothing. However, it doesn’t mean everything either. That number may help doctors determine something about your physical health, but it is just ONE of the tools we use to determine our overall physical health. In fact, I do not even know my weight. My doctors do know this number and use it as a tool for prescribing medications, an indication of my thyroid function and other things. I realized, though, that I didn’t need to know it. I don’t care about that number. I am looking toward another scale… the one in the Lord’s hands. I want to be weighed by His Perfect, Honest, scales. The verse above from Proverbs 16 says ” ALL the weights in the bag are his work.” HIS work.
I believe that if we are focused on being weighed by HIS scale, with HIS weights, that are HIS work, our physical health will be “ideal”. Here are some questions we can ask ourselves to help us focus on THE only scale that should matter:
1. Can I take care of myself on a daily basis?
2. Do I have the energy, strength, flexibility to move through my daily activities?
3. Can I take care of others? Help others in need?
4. Is there something I think the Lord wants me to do that I am afraid to do because of my health? (Missionary, Habijax, etc)
5. Is there something I would like to do.. a dream I have… that I am physically unable to do? (Run a race, snow ski, hike/climb a mountain)
If we set up our FAITHful fitness with these questions in mind, instead of just looking at the scale (or the number on our jeans size), we will be closer to becoming “balanced” on the scale held by His hands. We will be our “ideal weight”.
“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (from Prov. 16)