Be Kind to One Another . . . Including . . . You!

Here’s the scenario: You new neighbor strolls down the street and you invite her in for tea, expecting to have a pleasant visit. While getting to know each other, she suddenly spills her cup all over your table.

What would you do? Would you create a scene, rant and rave and tell her she’s stupid? Ban her from your home forever?

I very much doubt it.  On the contrary, you would politely mop up the spill, and as she’s professing her embarrassment at her clumsiness, you’d protest, “Oh no, don’t worry about it, it’s nothing  but an accident. It could happen to anyone!”

Now consider another scenario. Perhaps you eat too much at a party or give in to a craving for a fattening chocolate dessert while on this new health kick. You begin telling yourself,  “Gosh, I can’t control myself and probably never will. I’m such a failure at everything!  I’m an absolute mess-up so why bother?”

Sound familiar?  Why are we so kind to perfect strangers and yet expect perfection from ourselves? God doesn’t expect perfection, only obedience.  Since God doesn’t expect perfection from us, we must learn to forgive ourselves and laugh at our mistakes.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (NJV) 

Tell me, what do you truly think of yourself?  Write down all you’ve accomplished in life.  As I told you months ago, the process is more important than the progress!  Are you proud of your achievements? You individually, instilled new habits,  developed self-discipline and made personal, positive decisions.  You’re becoming more determined, healthier, slimmer and energetic every day!

Or are you still tearing yourself down? How I hope not!  Remember no one else lives in your body but you and you haven’t given up yet, right? Even with a few mistakes, you are still progressing toward your goal. Congratulations!

If we were perfect human beings, Christ wouldn’t have had to come to save us. But we aren’t perfect so why do we expect it of ourselves? He’s commanded us to be kind to each other and telling our Lord that we don’t believe we’re worth it, is a slap in the face of God. How unkind is that?!

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32.

Imagine you are sitting in a chair opposite you. What would you tell yourself if you made a mistake? How would you build individual self-esteem? Kindness starts at home, then branches out. You’re your child’s role model, he learns what he lives.  If he sees you degrading yourself, (you’re his hero) what is he supposed to think about himself?  Exude JOY and he’ll possess joy. Are our standards so high that it’s all or nothing? Is that the legacy we are leaving for our children?

If you were on a trip to Disney World and took a wrong turn, would you turn around to your children and announce, “Oh sorry gang, I made a mistake. Vacation’s over, we’ll have to go back!”  No of course not, you’d find the correct road and continue on toward your goal of reaching Disney World.  Keep your eyes on your long-term prize!

Likewise, we must learn to forgive ourselves, recognize that mistakes are simply a learning experience and get back on track. Going back to the party scenario, perhaps next time you’ll join a lively discussion, sit with your back to the food display and not give in.  Or if you give in, you’ll take a disciplined walk to burn off the calories.

Repeat after me: “No food can ever taste as great as being successful FEELS!!”  Place THAT on your fridge!

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16 thoughts on “Be Kind to One Another . . . Including . . . You!

  1. I’ve forgiven myself many times over for eating too much (lost 40, eventually gained 100, lost 50 gained 50 back). Now that my problem is being pre-diabetic (I was just diagnosed last November), I’m just tired of struggling with this flesh and this corruptable body as I try to continue to eat right. Sometimes you just want to snack on something other than raw veggies or fruit. I like cheese a lot, too, but that is high in saturated fat which is also bad for pre-diabetes. I like nuts, but it’s hard to eat just one ounce at a time.

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  2. Hi Terri, it’s so good to hear from you and I was praying that you were still on course. Romans 7:15 is probably going through your mind all the time now, right? Dont’ beat yourself up. Self control is like a muscle that gets better with use.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your pre-diabetic diagnosis. Try increasing fiber which allows insulin to be released more slowly into your system. So how about air popped popcorn, high fiber Triscuits with a little Laughing Cow cheese, banana or apple with peanut butter. A diabetic needs balance. I’ve also had great results with cinamon – so try a rice pudding with cinnamon or baked apple with cinnamon?

    Way back in the early ’90s, I touted chromium based foods such as potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, whole grains breads and brown rice to name a few, for diabetics. Chromium acts like the doorknob allowing insulin to slowly enter the “room” so to speak. As always check with your doctor since I’m not one. Everyone’s chemical makeup is different. Find joy and laugh, it’s the best stress reliever and weight loss tool there is!

    One more thing, try keeping a journal of how you are feeling before/as you are tempted to eat. You’ll discover your underlying challenge there I think. Let me know okay? I’m here for you.

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    • Yes, journaling is always good. I try to keep up with that. I have a computer journal. Romand 7:15 is not really on my mind right now, but it has been in the past. Now, I am just thinking about that incorruptible body and which I had it now. (1 Cor. 15:52-54) I have actually binged a little today and I don’t even know what emotions I am feeling. I don’t know the reason I did it.

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  3. I know my trigger, but I’m getting to the point that I am tired of ‘fighting the good fight of faith’. I just want to throw it all to the wind. On one hand, I need to let go of control and learn to trust God. On the other hand, I need to continue to practice self-control. The world’s falling apart along with my family and most of my clients (I work closely with the welfare system and with those on Unemployment). I guess eating is my only pleasure in life and I don’t want to give it up so I eat whenever I get the urge, even when I’m not hungry.

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    • Hi Terri! I would like to express my thanks to you for your transparency. Sometimes, it is hard to be honest privately when we are struggling…much less before a world of strangers! Please know that you are loved by God and others who haven’t given up on you, so please don’t give up on yourself!
      Finally, I would like to leave this with you: God declares that He gives us, “…the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” (Isa. 61:3). Anytime this feeling of frustration hits you and causes you to feel “tired of fighting the good fight of faith”, just begin to praise God for any and every “good thing” you can think of; (family, your shoes, your hair, a sunny day, transportation, favorite TV program, etc.), and allow His Spirit to make a difference in you for that moment.
      Try it…

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  4. @Ellie —
    Thanks for the encouragement and scriptures. It’s important to be reminded of this, as life is a learning process and sometimes we forget that we are not perfect, but God loves us anyway and we need His guidance. It’s something I’ve been needing to hear, that’s for sure and I’m sure everyone on your blog appreciates. 🙂

    @Terri
    I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles and the things going on in your life right now. I know things can get pretty tough and stressful, and at times discouragement can really set in. Tough it may be tough, try not to give into it and if you feel yourself starting to, pray often and seek God’s word and guidance.

    I’ve learned that when it comes to dieting and eating healthy, you don’t have to cut out the foods you love, but learn how to combine them and use them in moderation. It’s tricky to learn at first, and there’ll be times when results are slow – but don’t give up. 🙂

    Philippians 4:6
    New Living Translation (NLT)
    6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

    -and-

    1 Corinthians 10:13
    New Living Translation (NLT)
    13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

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  5. Thank you Rhapsody for your kind, loving words. I am so glad you wrote to strengthen Terri, because having a support system is one of the greatest tools in our arsenal of successful living. I pray others might voice reinforcement and surround Terri with prayer and encouragement, especially my pastors who follow this blog for we are a powerful body in Christ.

    Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

    Satan and his demons are gleefully giving themselves “high-fives” when we give in to discouragement and hopelessness. Stand fast! 1 John 4:4, “Greater is He in me . . . ”

    And you’re right about cutting out our favorite foods. 1 Corinthians 10:23. That’s why I stress “anything’s fine in moderation”. Giving ourselves permission to eat chocolate for example, strengthens our understanding of why we do as we do. If we can’t stop then it’s a chemical or emotional reaction and we must figure out why we do certain actions. Life is a fascinating journey!

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    • You’re very welcome, Terri! I agree. It’s important to encourage one another and I’m hoping that more people will be touched by your post and encourage Terri as well. It’s so important that we be reminded of these things – thank you so much for the scriptures to remind us and for your encouraging words.

      Concerning your comments about dieting and and eating healthy, I agree! Once a person prayerfully examine’s their eating habits, they can figure out exactly what causes them to eat as they do, and figure out a way to handle any problem they feel is there. Sometimes moderation is a tough thing to learn, especially if your schedule or some other factor prevents you from doing so. But it’s not impossible, as your blog entry proves here. 🙂

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      • Oops, sorry about that.. I mean “You’re very welcome, Ellie!” – I’m so into the post and what you said about Terri, that I had a brain fog moment for a second. Please, forgive me. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Ellie! That’s a true saying indeed. 🙂 Aww shucks, thank you! With your wonderful insight, I can tell I’m going to be encouraged to! 🙂 I’m sure many who visit your blog feel the same way. 🙂

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  6. Thanks for another great blog Ellie, but this comment I have is for Terri. Thanks for sharing your story with us. You are very courageous for opening up and sharing your story. Although we are worlds apart, this way we can all come together to support each other and keep focused on God through our struggles in life.
    I too have struggled with eating too much and I have now come through that struggle and am living for health and energy rather than living to be a number on the scales. I made many changes in my life to get to this stage and much have little to do with food and more to do with God. I used to believe my body wasn’t good enough but now I only let myself believe what God tells me to be true and I treat my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit that it is. I now treat myself and my body to honour God and pray for his strength to get me through my struggles. The biggest step for me was giving up control to him, to let him take the burden of my health issues and he did. I had to get past that stage of I know I should give up control to him and just prayed about it and let him just do it. And he did, he took my burdens and that gave me the freedom from the limiting beliefs I had about my body to move forward to live a healthier life. Just do it, give up control to God, what have you got to lose?
    And do you know what the best piece of advice I have ever got to help me control my eating habit? It was in late November, Ellie’s blog about Lemons. Since then I carry a drink bottle filled with water and lemon everywhere I go and sip it throughout the day. Before I used to go to the cupboard continuously and snack all day regardless of whether I was hungry or not. For the first couple of weeks I would still go to the cupboard out of habit but realise I wasn’t hungry and just didn’t feel the need to eat. Then after that I just stopped going to the cupboard. I feel so good now that I am on the road to success.
    I hope you can find some light in this to keep you focused on God and nourishing your Spirit. When you feed your Spirit, then you will have the strength to achieve your goals.

    For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.
    Philippians 4:13 (NLT)

    Monica

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  7. Thank you Monica for your wonderful testimony. It truly touched my heart and I pray it will touch others as well. You also answered a pray of mine, because I wanted to reach out and inspire others to honor God with their examples of obedience through this blog. Because you cared enough to respond to another, my dream is happening. I am so thankful to you for your caring spirit.

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  8. Thanks so much Ellie for a wonderful blog! Truth is we battle so much with attempting to be something we will NEVER be this side of Heaven and that’s PERFECT! I’ve never battled with my weight, but I have battled with terrible acne (to the extent that in my teens I refused to go outside of my bedroom); and then the harder battle was overcoming alcoholism (which began as early as age 9). I didn’t come to Christ until I was 25, and I wasn’t raised in church, so alcohol was a way of life with partying. The year I came to Christ I stopped cold-turkey, and then 2 years into Salvation went back! I battled lapses even as a Missionary and Minister!

    So I know the struggle of trying to overcome something that feels as if it has overwhelmed you. And to a great extent, simply become a part of who you are. And truth is, there are many days when you simply feel like giving up! You get tired of fighting, tired of failing, tired of starting over and after awhile you’re simply tired of it all! But Thanks Be To God Who Gives Us The Victory and Causes Us To Triumph! It was many challenging moments, but the greatest was having 3 uncles and a god-father all die within weeks of each other due to drinking (Cirrhosis of the Liver) and that hit me like a ton of bricks! I said God I don’t want that to be my cause of death (something that I COULD do something about!) That was my determining factor, God I don’t want perfection, I simply want to LIVE!

    I’ve been clean for over 10 years now, and it was certainly an uphill battle and struggle! And yes I still keep barriers up to prevent ever returning back to what God released me from! I can tell Terri this, it may be an everyday, rest of your life battle, but you’ll be amazed how it becomes easier and easier when your moment-by-moment only concern is, Lord help me…moment-by-moment! Don’t ever be unrealistic (God help me lose 50 pounds in 15 days; or Lord removed the desire for my absolute favorite snack) instead…God help me to do all things, according to your Word…In Moderation!

    Help me be mindful that this body is the only place my spirit has to live this side of heaven, and Your Spirit shares this space in me! Therefore, help me do whatever it takes to take care of Our Living Quarters! Love you to Life Ellie and Terri! Hope this could be helpful in some way! 🙂

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    • Wow, Shermaine, what an incredible testimony and tribute to our Almighty God when we allow Him to be Lord over our lives! I praise God for delivering you from a chain of addiction for their is nothing impossible with God, is there?

      Allowing ourselves permission to NOT be perfect is liberating and knowing God loves us anyway, faults and all, is unfathomable to imagine. I so appreciate you coming forward to realistically encourage Terri and us through your heart-felt words. God bless you for your strength and loving kindness.

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