I was asked to share a testimony at the KBF(my church) ladies’ retreat this past weekend. I would like to share what I said, and a bit more, since it wasn’t written at the time.
What does it mean to me to be a Christian? What do I want to look like, sound like, act like?
Last April I joined an online support group for losing weight. The first thing we were asked to do was decide why we wanted to lose weight and set our goal. It was suggested that we write out the goal and put it in strategic places in the house. Maybe even get a photo or picture of what our goal was so we had a picture in our mind to work towards. The first step in changing any behavior is to have a goal that is yours, not your doctor’s, your husband’s, friends’, your pastor’s or any one else’s. With your goal firmly in mind and a picture in your head you can begin making changes and work towards your goal.
My goal was to fit into a dress I had. I could wear it, but it wasn’t comfortable to eat in and I really didn’t feel good about how I looked in it. (The dress is now too big on me! I have lost about 20 kg, with a small up and down recently.) To get there I started walking everyday, or most everyday. By the end of the summer and into the fall I was walking 20,000 steps 4-5 days a week. I no longer wear the pedometer, but I walk 30 – 40 minutes most every morning, walk to and from school and try to walk a few afternoons. On weekends I usually walk about an hour and a half. I also cut down on carbs, particularly bread and rice. I eat lots of vegetables and fruit and often have yoghurt and cottage cheese with carrot sticks and a piece of fruit for lunch. I try to make wise choices if I am going to eat a snack, and got rid of most snacks from my house. I still enjoy my ice cream but not so often and I usually buy Haagen dazs so that I really enjoy the calories that come from the ice cream.
So what does this have to do with my testimony? I was never very athletic and although I have heard many analogies to sports and the Christian life I couldn’t personally relate. But as I thought about the life style choices and changes I made I began to see how it was related to my Christian life.
What is my goal? I want to look like Jesus. I want to sound like him and act like him. Is that even possible? How do I do that?
I need to know him more. I need to picture in my mind and know in my heart what he would say and how he would act. This is by no means easy. The more I want to follow him the more obstacles I seem to encounter. But I have gone back to one of my favorite portions of scripture to help me visualize what I want to sound like and how I want to act.
I Corinthians 13:4 – 7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Shortly after I became a Christian, my grandmother died. We were asked if we had a favorite scripture and this was one that I chose. The pastor used it at my grandmother’s funeral and so clearly showed how she lived these verses.
When I got married the pastor read this and took out the word “Love” and replaced it with I.
I am patient, I am kind. I do not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud. I do not dishonor others, I am not self-seeking, I am not easily angered, I keep no record of wrongs. I do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere.
He challenged my husband and me to live this. I have thought of it often but have never printed it out or posted it as a daily reminder. I need to print these words on my heart, mind and post them where I will be reminded.
Along with changing my motivation, mind set and beginning new habits one other part of the weight loss program was accountability. Each day we got an email or message on FB asking how we did with that day’s challenge. I need my sisters to hold me accountable for becoming more like Jesus. I have started listening to the Bible as I walk each morning using Eat This Book. I also pray during my walks. I am trying to memorize Romans 1, 8 and 12 this year with Ann Voskamp.
I am thankful for friends who are willing to walk beside me and also for those who are also willing to seek how they can be more like Jesus and follow him. May we be equipped and encouraged to serve Him and others.