Chubby, Vaping Heretic
I’m changing blog plan up a bit (again). Friday Favorites is now Friday Fitness Update. Tim and I are doing P90X. For anyone who needs inspiration for their own healthy lifestyle, this blog series will let you know what works and what doesn’t (for us, at least).
In addition, Wednesday’s Word is now Wednesday Wrox. Yes, “wrox” is a word. I found it here. It means, “to decay; to rot.” Let me explain.
The recent blog post, Shunning Rules, drew a significantly higher number of unique visitors than average. This demonstrates that people identify with the content. It has been my personal experience that when my thoughts, feelings, or observations are put into words by someone else, it creates a deep sense of satisfaction and unanimity between me, the reader, and them, the writer. It basically communicates to me, “Hey, me too. I get it. I understand. We have something in common.” I hope to do the same for WhatGodDoes readers.
Wednesday Wrox a play on words for Wednesday Rocks, and I chose it for two reasons:
- It demonstrates that specific spiritual-police types of rules found in organized religion have a way of taking caring, generous, friendly people and convincing us to do or say things that stand in contrast to who we are in Christ. This is a type of spiritual decay or rot — a decomposition of spiritual fruits (Paul talks about this in his letter to the Galatians).
- It demonstrates how specific spiritual-police types of rules found in organized religion have a way of creating opportunities for rock throwing — i.e. accusations, condemnation, shunning, etc. — in the direction of the nonconformist Other.
Now back to Friday Fitness Update…
On my Facebook page, I wrote,
…Tim and I decided to do “before” photos and use Facebook as a way of being accountable for some healthy transformation doing P90X. I saw the before photos and thought there’s no way I’m posting those on Facebook. So for now, no photos.
After taking a few days to think it through, I suspect that I’m letting my ego get in the way. By not posting pics, I’m protecting myself from others who would judge my appearance. That’s not how I want to live — building up walls so I don’t get hurt. I’d rather be vulnerable and real.
Smoker on Church Staff
I went through a similar situation back in my church days. I picked up smoking again, after having avoided cigarettes for seven years — the entire time I was on the church staff. At first, I hid it, taking 2-3 showers a day, washing my hands and excessively using perfume and gum. I prayed for God to take away my cravings, but He didn’t. So I prayed some more, and here’s what I heard God telling me: If you are a person who chooses to smoke, then why are you pretending to be a person who chooses NOT to smoke? God wasn’t concerned with what I was putting into myself, He was concerned with what was coming out of me.
During that particular season of my life, I was a person under tremendous stress, who had made a poor decision to return to a nasty (and oh-so-satisfying) vice. Why was I pretending to be someone other than I was? To be accepted by others. This led me to analyze my emotional environment. I claimed and was surrounded by people who claimed to love and accept one another. My biggest question then became, “If I smoke, will you still accept me?” It wasn’t that I wanted them to accept that smoking is good or bad. Spiritually, this was not their concern; it was between me and God. And if God still approved of me as a person, then that was all that should matter.
So I decided to smoke indiscriminately, and let people who wanted to judge and condemn judge and condemn. Needless to say, this ruffled some feathers.
We love Him, because He FIRST loved us.
I feel the same way about the before photos. During this season of my life, I’ve been on and off again when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. And this shows outwardly. Why should I hide it? I am who I am, faults and all. If you love me, you love chubby and unhealthy me or trim and fit me, smoking me or nonsmoking me, perfect me or imperfect me. Period. This is how God loves us. We are works in progress, learning to count the old us as dead, and slowly awakening to the new us.
God loves us BEFORE we fully become who He created us to be.
That’s why I find it good and right and productive (although uncomfortable) to share the before images BEFORE my appearance has changed. God makes me want to be brave. And while I’m at it, let me say I’ve put down the cigarettes, but I still vape, and I don’t plan on quitting any time soon. I don’t care who approves or disapproves. God loves. Eventually, everyone will love. That’s all that matters.