When our children were homeschooling, they would always try to see WHAT WAS THE LEAST LEARNING THEY COULD GET BY WITH. They are doing better with that as adults, but we all struggle to get by with the least of the truly good things in life. GOD, THE WORD OF GOD, PRAYER, LEARNING, WORK,CHILDREN, EXERCISE, ETC. Why what is wrong with me? (OK don’t get started with a list, there isn’t the time or space) Part of the trouble is that healthy behavior is always stressful unless God is doing the work and helping my attitude. Work is repetitive and tiring, exercise makes me sore, confronting a relationship problem is scary, when I take proper care of myself-I feel guilty and worry what others think . So I say, “Yes, I need to do this but maybe I’ll start tomorrow, or start in just one area, or give change a feeble try, or do it for a while and then coast. Every time I do anything, a part of my limbic reward system asks, “was that fun, or not?” If it felt fun, “let’s do that again!” If it was not, “let’s find a way to quit!” If I obey and then moan and groan about it, I am telling my limbic system to find a way to quit, AND IT WILL.
I need to change what feels like a negative into a positive by “bragging on the burn”. Body builders know that we have to work out till it burns and whatever I do after that builds muscle. No pain no gain! is their mantra.
Every healthy choice causes discomfort so I need to obey in his strength and delight in true freedom ie THE POWER TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT not THE ABILITY TO DO WHAT I FEEL LIKE. “Thank you Lord, I love being a mature adult by your Grace. Then I need to keep my eye fixed on the consequences.
Remember that God created work as a gift to man before the fall and a help with fighting sin after the fall. I must spend and be spent, to get to where I have done all I can and must throw myself on God. I need to get to the end of myself and throw myself on God if I want to develop “muscle” in prayer, understanding and applying scripture, raising children, etc.
I will not grow if I compare with others or say “I’m doing better than I did, I’m trying.” If I am walking with God at all, then comparison will slow down my growth because those around me are often not even trying.
If you were told to take a suitcase into a room and that you had 10 min to stuff as much money as you could into the suitcase which you could keep. Would you go to the pile of 1’s or to the 100’s and would you quit after one min. or be stuffing right to the last? May God find me stuffing my heart and mind and life with MORE OF HIM right to the last moment I live.