If you watch reality shows like Celebrity Fit Club and The Biggest Loser, you are introduced to a cast of people desperate to shed weight, often times in hopes of making oneself more attractive, saving a relationship, or just to avoid the health hazards of obesity. The show brings in a group of experts; doctors, trainers, and nutritionists, to guide the hopefuls during their journey.
As I sat watching MTV’s “I Used To Be Fat”, another show in the vein of “Made”, I realized just how much weight-loss parallels to the life change that a relationship with Christ produces.
The first thing the experts do is inspect the life of the client. They assess eating habits, living conditions, current relationships; anything that connects to the client. During this process the expert outlines the problem areas and instructs the client on how to eliminate the problem areas and why it is important to cut off the bad habits. The expert gives the client a plan.
Throughout the show you see the client begin to adapt to the new regimen, slide back into old habits, rededicate to the program, and more often than not, gain atleast partial progress toward their goal.
The Bible has the “plan” for our lives. Following this plan will bring the believer into spiritual fitness. The Bible convicts us of all sin and unrighteousness, pointing out the “problem areas” and explaining the depths of darkness and pain the effects of sin can cause.
Our lives are the show, and everyone is watching.
When many of us see the fit life that Christ offers, we want it. However, we don’t always calculate what that life will cost us (Luke 14:25-35). Because of that, we head into the pursuit of “fitness”, but when we realize what sacrifices must be made, the cost of following Christ, sometimes we slip back into old, familiar, comfortable habits.
I encourage us all to continue to train ourselves through the word of God (1 Timothy 4:7-8), and continue to press forward (Philippians 3:12-14) despite the old familiar habits that try to lure us back in (Romans 6:12-14, Romans 7:14-25).
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Colossians 3:5-15 (NLT)
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
1 Peter 4:3-6 (NLT)
You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.