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Keeping Your Eye on the Prize

~~ Philippians 3:13-14 ~~  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.



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One of the most amazing feelings in this world is the thrill that you feel after you have achieved a goal that you have been working very hard to achieve.  This is especially true if you have been working toward your purpose for a long time, or if you have spent a lot of money, or made some sacrifices.  After months of training to run a marathon you finally cross the finish line; or after months of planning a wedding, the pastor finally says “I now pronounce you man and wife”; or after years of going to school you are finally handed your diploma.  Maybe your thrill comes from something much simpler; like when you finally have all the housework done, the kids are in bed, and it is still early enough and you are not too exhausted to have some quality alone-time with your spouse.

One of these thrills happened for me when I reached my goal weight after being on a weight loss mission for well over a year.  I have learned many lessons from going through the weight loss process.  At least 50% of these lessons are not about health, nutrition or physical appearances.  They are lessons that will not only stay close to my heart, but lessons that have changed who I am... and they are still changing me.  I will not list all of these lessons now because that is surely a topic for, at least, a few other blogs.  However, one of these lessons was that, being patient and waiting for things to happen in God’s time is so very well worth it!  Another was that; I have it in me to challenge myself and push myself extremely hard, and to withstand the test.  Still again, another of these most important lessons was the significance of staying focused on my goal.  Even part of this lesson, was that the real goal is not to see a certain number on the scales, or even to fit into a certain clothing size.  Granted, these are important but to be truly successful on this venture the real goal needs to be that of becoming healthy... body, mind, and spirit!  As my vision developed and changed through the course of my journey, I learned more and more about what is important.  I was able to force myself to press on toward my objective, and I did so without giving into temptation to quit just because I was just too exhausted to go any further.  It was my dream that kept me motivated, determined and inspired.

Another thing I learned is that, the reasons behind being overweight are as varied as there are people who need weight loss.  However, there seems to be one common reason for weight gain among most people; and, believe it or not, it is not overeating!   Well, indirectly, overeating is the main reason; but there is always another reason why we overeat in the first place.  Inside our minds and our hearts there are psychological reasons why we sabotage our health as we do; sometimes, even purposefully as a form of punishment for ourselves.  To simplify it, I believe this to be because deep down inside our hearts we do not love ourselves enough.  To be a success in your attempt to be healthy, the psychological issues must be dealt with.  Without it, you are fixing the ‘symptoms’ without dealing with the ‘illness’ itself.

As children of the almighty God, we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27).  As such, it means that we all want to love and to be loved.  Unfortunately though, we are misled by the world about what love really is and what it takes to achieve that goal.  The world tends to put conditions on love whether we are giving it or receiving it; even when it comes to loving ourselves.  When these conditions are not met we feel unloved and unworthy, which leads to depression and all sorts of other things.  This, in turn, leads to guilt and unforgiveness for ‘falling short’.  To add to the issue, we also tend to be much harder on ourselves than we are others, and we punish ourselves.  Despite how difficult it feels to forgive others at times, have you ever noticed how much easier it is to forgive someone else than it is to forgive yourself?!  This kind of judgement is God’s responsibility only.  We hold ourselves accountable to conditions that we, not only, do not hold others to; but to those conditions that are not possible to meet because they are manmade conditions, not God’s conditions.   

Learning to forgive is vital.  That is, not just to forgive others but to forgive ourselves as well.  Jesus said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37).   God also said “...I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12).  So, if God can forgive and forget just because He loves us that much, than why can’t we do the same with each other, and for ourselves?  Spending eternity with God is our most important goal in life; just as being healthy is the true goal in our attempts to alter our physical appearance.  Not only that but, just like making our ‘goal weight’ the focus of a weight loss program, we are limiting ourselves; we have to stop putting conditions on God’s love, or we will not get to experience life or love to its fullest.  We need to learn to be easier on ourselves, to forgive, to stop judging and condemning.  I have forgiven other people for just about anything and everything; including some very traumatic experiences.  Forgiving me though, is one of my biggest struggles.  Why are we so hard on ourselves when God does not feel the same way?  How about you; are you harder on yourself than you are others?  Do you punish yourself for not ‘measuring up’?  Are you completely sure that you truly have your eye on the Big Prize?  If not, maybe it is time to do some re-prioritizing.



~~ Dear God ~~   We know that the ‘Big Prize’ is spending eternity with You.  I love the thrill of having Jesus in my heart knowing that He is the only Path that leads to Heaven.  Please help me to forgive myself for not measuring up to my own unrealistic standards.  Do not let me have negative thoughts or judgements about others or myself.  Keep my thought life and emotions ‘in check’ with Your Will for my life.  In Jesus name, AMEN.



 

26 comments :

  1. Amen, sister!!

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  2. great share.....thanks

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  3. good points thanks, i needed to read this today

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  4. Carley, thank you for the reminder to keep God in the center, and my relationship with Jesus first. And to be forgiving of myself for my flaws.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this.
    Miquey

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  6. Great blog. And so true. We tend to have the "woe is me" mentality or "poor little me" Or "i'M not worthy". for whatever reason we are very hard on ourselves and unable to forgive ourselves. Romans8:1 tells us...There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, NOW Means NOW! when we accept Jesus into our hearts and believe in Him, we are "born again", we are "in Christ". That means at that moment (NOW) we are out from under All condemnation, even from ourselves! Praise God! Thanks for sharing. Take care and God Bless.
    In His service, Rick
    Hugs

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  7. HISMS8TEACHERAugust 02, 2011

    thanks so much for sharing your heart. It's a real encouragement to me.

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  8. Amen, sister! . . . we are so wonderfully created in God’s image, uniquely made for a specific plan and purpose by a God who loves us unconditionally. We have a responsibility to honor our creator with the respect due our Lord through healthy living. Even those of us living with a disability, have a responsibility to be the best we can be with the unique talents God gives us. Life is such a great gift and being a blessing to others in need is a calling our God would have us prayerfully accept. While pride will be a hindrance in life’s path, God wants us to have a confidence in our active, faith walk.

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  9. StrawberrylassAugust 03, 2011

    Again Great blog Carley, thank-you for sharing that with us

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  10. Yes, I'm working on the big prize. Thanks for the blogs
    Wesley V

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  11. To all my readers, and especially those who are leaving comments I just want to let you know that I appreciate you so very much. You are all angels in disguise sent to me with special little messages from God. Thank you so very much for the feedback and the encouragement. It helps to motivate me to continue writing. Hugzzzzzzz to each of you.

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  12. BusyGrannyAugust 03, 2011

    Awesome!!!

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  13. Focusing on the numbers is way easier than looking at what is really going on!
    Good blog! Awesome!

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  14. Sparklise, You are so very right... and thanks for the feedback & support. Hugzzzzzzzzzz

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  15. You're welcome. Hugs.
    I love the way you write and make me think differently.
    I am a fairly new Christian and I am still learning and sometimes i still struggle.
    I love to read how you think about stuff and not just about calories and weight. Hugs.

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  16. Sparklise... Getting closer to God, learning more with each day and each step forward is a life long process. If you read my testimony on the 'About' page on the Worship Melodies site, you'll see that I still feel like a new Christian myself. I read lots & lots of Christian articles, blogs, books every day. I also do bible reading and listening to worship music every morning as part of my morning routine. It helps to feel like I am close to God and it gets my day started off on the right foot. It's like a workout for my mind and spirit; then later in the day I do my physical workout too. I know that I feel the need to write and do my little part to help spread the Word, and this is how I feel God telling me to do it. As a matter of fact... I spent 2 weeks setting up this site... with a travel theme. It was awesome! Then, just as I was done, I felt God say "No, this is all wrong. It has to be a music theme." So I started all over again! lol That's how I know it's all God inspired, and my articles are God inspired.... He picked the theme, and whatever success it will have is God's leading. I am so very happy that I can touch someones heart like you. It's stories like that, that help keep me inspired to keep writing. You are a little angel God has sent to me to help me as well. Thanks so much. My advice to any new Christian is to never give up faith and hope... even when things look hopeless. It is during those times that God can do His best miracles. Just as I tell newbies to the weight loss world... just don't quit. Even if you have a bad day and overeat, as long as you push forward the following day and don't quit the journey... you are a success. God bless, Hugzzzzzzzzzz

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  17. Your welcome RSSSLHB!!
    Hugzzzzzzzzzz

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  18. I needed this. Thanks!

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  19. Thanks to you, Denise, for the feedback. I am so happy that it helped you. Hugs.

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  20. :-D WOW ! just what i needed today !
    Bookmarked it for future reference

    Thank you for sharing
    The best teachers are those who have been through the struggle

    Carley, you are awesome

    BLESSINGS !
    Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs, Hugs

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  21. FRANCESHD... thank you so very much. Your encouragement comes just when I need it, but God tends to do things like that. It helps me more than you know to hear that my words can help someone. My goal is to let God work through my words. I am so happy to see that happening. Thank you.

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  22. Amen. What a great way to feast on God's Word instead of food I most likely don't need. * whispers* there are hostess cupcakes and fruit pies. right next to the eggs and toast. Talk about temptation.

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  23. Connecting... as both SP members & Christian's it seems we're battling temptations on every side. I am so happy that I have Jesus to help me through it all.

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  24. Thank you. I am so happy that you liked it.

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