I put my bathroom scale in the attic today.
It seemed like the only way to stop an upward trend of the numbers it’s been reporting. I went on a couple of trips this fall, and the change in routine set my weight on the rise.
Maybe putting away the scale seems like sticking my head in the sand and ignoring the situation until the inevitable disaster, which will only be exacerbated by the temptations of the Holiday Season. But I say no.
To the contrary, I have been practicing proven tactics for turning the tide: reducing carbs and portion sizes, walking every day. Checking the scale, I saw little to no reversal for good behavior and leaps forward for the “minor” slip. Frustration became a good excuse for more slips. Instead of focusing on how good I feel and how much energy I have when I follow a healthy routine, I let the scale become a stern taskmaster—against whom I rebelled!
As I slammed the attic door, it dawned on me how similar this is to a spiritual dilemma I had been contemplating. I was thinking of a Bible class I had taken. It was the assertion of the class leader that we must never lose sight of our sinful nature. The thought was that we should remind ourselves daily that we are wretched sinners—nothing without the mercy and love of God, wholly undeserving of His goodness. If I allow myself to lose sight of my sinfulness for even a moment, I am doomed to follow my human nature down a path to destruction.
Is that true?
I don’t think so.
The problem with dieting and the scale was that it had me thinking like a fat person. That thinking was only packing on the pounds! Fat thought, fat behaviors, fat results!
The same is true for pursuing the goal of becoming more like Christ. If we are stuck in thinking of ourselves as sinners, we won’t embrace our new identity as saints and we will find ourselves repeating our old behavior patterns. The Bible tells us that we should have no more consciousness of sin because we have been cleansed once and for all by the sacrifice of Christ. Hebrews 10:14 NLT states, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Because of Jesus, I am born again. I was once spiritually dead because of my failures, but God has made me alive with Christ (Colossians 2:13). I have been set free from sin (Romans 6:18)!
Worrying about getting fat was making me fatter still. Wallowing in my past mistakes doesn’t move me closer to perfection either. It is by getting a vision of our ideal—whether of our physical body or our spirit as perfected by Christ—and aligning our thoughts, choices, and actions with that picture that it becomes reality.
So, bye-bye scales! Bye-bye Accuser of the Brethren! I am forgetting the mistakes of yesterday and living for the promises of tomorrow!