Woman Measuring Waist

Diet Fads come and go each year. We have the South Beach diet, Atkins diet, Baby Food diet, Cabbage Soup diet, Detox diets, Grapefruit diet and the list goes on and on. We hear stories and see pictures of how these miracle diets change lives. “Jane Doe was 285lbs and couldn’t run in the park with her two children. But now she is a size 7 who runs circles around her children. Just replace two meals a day with Baby Food and you too can be as healthy as Jane!”  The reality about being healthy is that there are serious life style changes that need to take place. Better eating habits, exercise and discipline needs to become our new normal. A temporary diet will only give you temporary changes.  It is very tempting to take the easy way out however, being healthy and fit is hard work. Diets can’t work for you, you must work for it.

I see the same fad with people who become a Christian expecting a miraculous new life. Our life changing stories “testimonies” can entice some likeminded people, who are in search of any easy way out.  If I say this prayer and follow some new rules then all my problems will disappear. Even though I suffered years of abuse, made thousands of bad choices, all the consequences of my sins and the sins of others will “poof” away. When the problems of life continue as always, whether emotional, financial or otherwise, it is easy to retreat in defeat. That is why we hear people say that they “tried” Christianity and it didn’t “work” for them. God doesn’t work for you. He is not your Genie. Genies are slaves. If you are a Christian you work for God. Philippians 2:12 “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence WORK OUT your salvation with fear and trembling;”

Now don’t get me wrong; Jesus is the answer, but he is not a temporary fad that you can try. When one realizes who Jesus is and who they are before Him, there is a very real change that should happen deep within. Jesus is the Son of the living God. He is God in the flesh. He lowered himself to a life of servant-hood here on Earth. But the most amazing part is that He made that choice just so He could die in our place. He lived for the purpose of sacrificing Himself for us while we were still his enemies.

What an amazing Love that by His grace, God wipes our slates clean, time and time again. Is life perfect now? Are we perfect now? No, we still struggle and suffer but with our Heavenly Father holding our hands we can do all things. Jesus says in Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Yet in Philippians 1:29 Paul says, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake”. Are these verses a contradiction? Is suffering supposed to be easy? Not at all, I suffered my whole life. My heart and burdens were heavy. I dealt with my suffering by self-medicating. Whether it was drinking, drugs, sexual immorality or whatever else took my mind off my reality, my answer was to hide. But all those choices actually made my burdens heavier and I was suffocating. I am no longer running from my issues or to my adversary for comfort. Does it make sense to seek comfort in the arms of your abuser? Many of us do that every day when our Savior is waiting for us with open arms but the choice is ours. I choose to now wake up talking to God, drive to work worshipping God and make Him the most important relationship in my life. I don’t do these things to earn my salvation, not at all. Salvation is a gift undeserved. I do these things because I need His strength and comfort all day every day in order to live life to the fullest. Christianity is not a fad; it is supposed to be a new life.