With Christmas Day behind us (and Thanksgiving, and Halloween) many people are getting their New Year’s resolutions together. The guilt of too much festivity is usually the first thing on our minds as we contemplate turning over a new leaf or two in the coming year. Will 2015 be your year to a) loose the weight b) quit smoking c) read the Bible d) ____________? What usually happens is that thousands of Americans buy gym memberships the first week of January and then go once or twice. The read the Bible in one year people often make it to the middle of February; Genesis is pretty exciting, the Levitical priesthood ordinances not so much.
Sometimes inspiration comes from the testimony of another person who has overcome. What makes Weight Watchers different from every other diet program is the regular meetings. Christians have been sharing personal testimonies for centuries. “Look what I did” is good but “Let me tell you what God has done” is even better. If you’re considering loosing 10 pounds between now and swimsuit season, a New Year’s Resolution may be all you need. For those needing a major and permanent lifestyle shift, I would like to introduce my friend Ivan.
By the time he was in the 6th grade Ivan weighed 300 pounds. He would eventually tip the scale at 500. He was active in church, married at age 20, and started a family. He continued to smile for pictures but now admits that he hated himself, hated buying clothes, and is open about turning to alcohol to deal with depression.
There finally came a time when he realized that selfish and poor lifestyle choices would hurt not only himself but other family members when his life ended early. Whatever it is you are trying to improve in your life, if it took a long time to get that bad it will probably take a long time to fix. Ivan made serious lifestyle changes and has stuck with it for nearly two years. He is well under 300 pounds and approaching his goal of 250. If that still sounds like too much consider this: getting to 250 meant loosing 250, half his body weight when he started. Have you ever lost half your body weight?
Ivan’s change in mindset came when he realized there were other people in his life that meant more to him than himself. Loving and being loved by a God in whom all things are possible didn’t hurt. Ivan gave me his blessing when I asked about sharing his story. He promised himself he would share his story if it could help others. As 2014 comes to a close, look back and count your blessings. And if you happen to lose 50 pounds or give up ___whatever___ in 2015 remember to give God the glory. He is good all the time.