I was watching Embarrassing ‘Fat’ Bodies last night, and seeing all of the overweight people on TV brought back some memories of being overweight, even though most of them were much heavier than I ever was. The things that concerned me were the reasons given for being overweight. “I am pre-disposed to being overweight”, “I had a baby (a few years ago)”, “My whole family is fat, I have always been like this”. I’m sorry, maybe these have some truth in a small way, but I was overweight because I ate too much (albeit because of emotional issues) and exercised too little. No one actually said that on the show. What made it worse, was when the doctors suggested this, you could see the disappointment and disagreement in the people’s eyes.
Now let’s make something clear. I am not fat-phobic. I know that it is horribly politically incorrect to say anything negative about anyone’s weight, but I am not saying anything negative, I have overcome this and I want to help others overcome it too. Besides, this is just an illustration for a bigger problem. Why do overweight people want to lose weight? Being overweight makes you uncomfortable and unhappy not to mention open to a load of diseases, not least of all diabetes. It also prevents women from having children and generally kills. Is there any good that comes from being overweight? No.
So how do you overcome it, how did I overcome it? There comes a day when you have to accept responsibility. You need to admit that the power to change is in your hands. “I have been overeating and under-exercising. From now on I will eat appropriate portions and exercise accordingly”, and then you actually need to do it. Accept responsibility, change your mind, take action. This is the only way to get results. The only way to save your life. Blaming your genes or your parents will never help you, you have to help yourself.
Now earlier I said that this was an illustration for something bigger, here it is. You spiritual life is probably in worse shape than your body. This can cause all sorts of issues, even more deadly than being overweight. Trust me when people come for physical healing, I often find emotional or spiritual issues under the surface, often preventing the physical healing. So how do we address this? Accept responsibility, change your mind, take action. It can’t be that easy surely? We are no strangers to the word repentance, which probably conjures up all sorts of negative feelings. We think that it involves grovelling before God or performing tasks to show how ‘sorry’ we are. This is not what it means, it simply means stop what you’re doing and do something else. Accept responsibility (take ownership), change your mind (repent), take action (follow Jesus and adopt His ways).
So then why do Christians also suffer from the same issues as non-Christians? This is a whole other post, but in a nutshell, we often don’t experience abundant life because we don’t actually change. We accept Jesus, so we are saved, but we don’t really change so we don’t see the change happen. There are other things involved here but this is one main reason why we struggle. When you are on the wrong road, admit it and change to the right road, only this will see you improve your circumstances.
I hope that this gives the word repentance a much more positive meaning!