757 days… That’s how many days in a row I counted calories and used a smartphone fitness app as a daily food diary. Some of my family and friends were happy for me—others a little concerned. However, all were amazed. I had made a decision that I was going to lose weight and reduce my sugar intake. I was going to be ACCOUNTABLE.
I wish I could say that all days of using the app were smooth. But like with any commitment, there were good and bad days. Sometimes, I would be so proud of myself for staying in the “green” meaning I was under my calorie intake maximum or under my sugar intake maximum. Other days, I came up short. Frustration and disappointment would set in due to me getting off track. But my friends and family were supportive of me in my journey. In addition to the smartphone app, they were also helping me remain accountable.
Sometimes the truth hurts. In taking a step to be accountable for my physical life, I was learning a lesson that could be applied to my spiritual life. In all areas of our lives, we must be held accountable. Particularly, as Christians, however, we are to be held to a higher standard.
Literally, whatever goes in, comes out. For example, when I eat poorly, I feel bad physically. I fatigue quickly, I have an increase in acne breakouts, and become more easily irritable. The list goes on. Hmmmmmmmm…..If this is the case for physical food, then it must apply to spiritual food as well. Right?
What goes in, will be manifested outwardly.
If I set my mind on things above (good things, heavenly things), and not on earthly things as Colossians 3:2 instructs us, then good things will come out. I will begin to talk like the Lord, listen like the Lord, walk like Him, and act like Him.
In my everyday life, I have noticed this idea manifested in a variety of ways. When I listen to lots of gossip, gossip comes from my mouth. When I listen to music and watch entertainment which features lots of sex, drugs, and violence—I begin to become desensitized to these things. I slowly begin to think these things aren’t a big deal….. Another prime example of: WHAT GOES IN, COMES OUT.
And not only that, but what doesn’t go in can’t come out. When I don’t read my Bible, how can I expect biblical attributes to flow out of me? When I don’t listen to or read Christ -like things or mingle with Christ-like people, how can I manifest Christ-like qualities? Luke 11:28 states “Blessed are those who hear the Word and obey it”. Are you listening to the Word to begin with? Or are you listening to other things?
Matthew 13:19 goes a bit further and tells us that even when we hear the Word, it is not enough. We must also UNDERSTAND it because if we do not, the devil will come and “snatch away the seed that was planted in our hearts”. No matter if our intentions are pure; it is our responsibility to hear AND understand the word so that the things we learn can be manifested properly in our everyday life.
Have you ever heard your grandmother (or anyone’s grandmother for that matter) say “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip”? It’s definitely a common expression here in the South. It basically means you can’t get a desired outcome from something that cannot provide it. Another way to put this is—you can’t get something out of something that just doesn’t have it to begin with.
“Well how can I get IT?”, you may ask. Keep reading……
One thing is certain, we will be held ACCOUNTABLE on judgement day. (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:12) We need things AND people to help keep us accountable while we are here on Earth. Do you not use your calendar to help you stay focused? What about reminders and alarms? All of these things are used to help us stay on task and be accountable for our time and our actions.
Since we know this to be true, why do we often not utilize things or people on Earth to help us be spiritually accountable? Resources that can help keep us spiritually accountable include but are not limited to:
- accountability partners
- prayer calls
- small groups
- worship service
- bible studies
- Christian blogs such as this one 🙂
Iron sharpens iron, right? (Proverbs 27:17). Who in your inner circle can you trust to help hold you ACCOUNTABLE in your Christian journey? All of these things and people help ensure we are putting good things in our bodies… good spiritual food.
CONFESSION: There was once a time in my life when I tended to shy away from people who were too forward about religion or going to church. The endless Sunday morning text messages from my cousin asking me if I would be attending Sunday school and worship service were annoying—even frustrating at times. “Why can’t she just leave me alone?” I would moan repeatedly from the comfort of my bed. Today, I am grateful for people like her in my life. People who care about my salvation, people who recognize that I need to be spiritually fed good things just like I physically need good things—- people who aren’t afraid to hold me accountable. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul writes that “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”.
So let’s make a commitment to be more ACCOUNTABLE in our daily lives about our worship and our salvation. God has given us the tools and THE PEOPLE. We just need to use them.
May your eyes, your head, and your spirit always BE LIFTED. Amen.
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