Housekeeping: We did have a Food Shelf Friday meal last week after all. In the very last meal of the week, Sunday night for dinner, we ate red beans and rice and canned corn. Our food shelf box got a matching meal. And we made it to Feed My Starving Children on Monday morning, so just like that my New Year’s Resolutions are back on track. Also this week we got a chance to see an amazing documentary called The Starfish Throwers. It will be out on DVD, Netflix, etc. this fall, and I’ll do a film review then, but in the meantime, check out the trailer.
I’ve been trying to eat “clean” lately. I need to lose some weight, but more than that I need to fuel my body with good nutrition. So I gave up fast food and sugar, and added more fresh fruits and veggies to my diet. But I find that there is no end to the things I can do to improve the way I live: quit drinking soda, switch to grass-fed beef, buy organics, stop buying products tested on animals, and don’t even get me started on the gluten debate! On and on – it never ends. Just when I think I’m doing something right, I discover a new way I’ve undermined my health, wasted precious resources, or contributed to injustice in the world. There is always a new improvement to chase.
My spiritual life is much the same. I remember when I was young, I thought that I was “pretty good” and wondered how people could say that they were always improving and becoming more like Jesus every day. How low were they to begin with that they had that much “up” in front of them? But over the years I have realized that faith is not a to-do list of steps to achieve perfection. Faith is a complicated mixture of attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors. Although I may overcome some faults, I will also develop new ones along the way. I might obey all the “thou shalts,” and “thou shalt nots,” but that doesn’t mean I’m all God wants me to be.
I can ALWAYS be more like Jesus.
I can ALWAYS be more loving to my people, more kind to strangers, and more forgiving of my enemies.
I can ALWAYS become more aware of the needs around me, less focused on what I want, and more encouraging and helpful.
We need to embrace the lifelong process of drawing closer to God and becoming more like Jesus. Change can be hard, I know, but someday we’ll look back and be thankful that we’re not the same as we once were, just as I hope to one day look back and be appalled by the chips that are calling my name today. Like the expression says, Jesus loves us just as we are, but too much to leave us that way.
Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18: Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Thoughts, inspiration, or scripture to share? Add a comment below!