Two different patients – two different attitudes.
My patient “Marni” looked across the desk at me and whined, “Yeah, I know I should do all that, BUT . . . ”
Aaargh! Have you ever worked with someone who says, “I know you’re right, I should exercise, BUT . . .” and then goes into a long dissertation as to why it wouldn’t work? That person just negated all you proposed. They might even know in their head that whatever was stated was 100% correct but were already figuring out ways to get out of completing the task. They want my expertise but on their own terms! That doesn’t work.
Just as in health, Christians sometimes attempt to justify behaviors. In our hearts, we know what to do and yet we try to legitimize reasons why it’s okay. We know Truth but fail to accept it. Back and forth we go until we’re convinced, we’re doing the right thing in our minds. Snared!
Ephesians 4:27, “And give no opportunity to the devil.”
As the old Nike commercial used to infer, stop procrastinating and “Just Do It.”
If I asked someone, “If I can prove to you that Jesus lived, would you accept it?” and they say, “NO.” Then I know whatever’s proposed, they’ll find an excuse not to believe. Christ must be accepted by faith alone.
In health, I’ve asked, ” If I can prove to you that Splenda is harmful, would you give it up?” If they say, “Nope” then the same thing applies – they wouldn’t give it up.
Getting back to Marni, we were discussing setting up an exercise schedule. I noted that she worked a 35-hour week. She had a little girl at home so she nixed a gym membership. I suggested incorporating exercise into her daily routine by including her daughter in her exercise program.
“Yeah, I could, BUT she has homework after school which has to get done.”
“Well, fresh air inspires brain cells. Why don’t you take a quick walk to the park together before studying?”
“Yeah, we could BUT . . . sometimes her friends come over to play together.”
“Great” I exclaimed, “You can put on a quick 15-minute exercise program and work out as a happy group before they study – or let them create a new dance!”
“Well, maybe, BUT it might embarrass my daughter, seeing her Mom working out in front of her friends.”
. . . and so it went. You get the idea. No matter what I proposed, she had an excuse not to do it.
“You were taught, concerning your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;” (Ephesians 4:22)
Now here’s a tale of another patient, Alicia, to whom I proposed the same idea. Immediately there was a different reaction. She incorporated exercise into her daily routine with her young 9-year-old daughter. But she came in two weeks later and glared at me! I was worried.
“Ellie, do you know what you’ve done?” she asked. “You’ve turned my daughter into a Drill Sergeant! Now when we exercise together, she’s in front of my face yelling, Come on Mom, you can do better than that . . . faster, pump those arms, pull in that tummy, lift those legs!!! Oh my gosh, I bet I lost ten lbs in two weeks!” Then she laughed. Whew, true story.
What a great legacy to leave her daughter! Not only did she incorporate exercise into their routine, but I guarantee her daughter will turn to exercise first instead of food, when stressed as she remembers the great example her mother set down.
I repeat, “Just Do It!” Conquer your “yes, but” attitude and practice positive actions.
“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)