Despite deadlines, plans, hopes, dreams, life happens. For me it was a concussion and a knee injury, so now in addition to writing, speaking and fulfilling part-time jobs, I am on a course to regain health.
Today’s video-conference with a health coach, made me realize how similar this path is to the Put-on —Put-off principle in the Bible, (building Christ-like character) and my writing tagline of Activating Faith.
Rather than sloughing-off the external symptoms of inner decay – to “try” to break the old habit or mask its symptoms hoping to make room for the new, God’s Word directs us to the formula in James 4:7: “Submit, therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Yep, it’s humiliating to admit I need help and to submit to godly counsel, but it’s also liberating because I know how many times I’ve ‘done it myself’ and failed or reached that temporary goal and quit. The past months and resulting physical weakness have been defeating and confining. I needed help to round out the physical therapy treatments and establish sustainable new habits and strength.
In scripture to Put Off is not so much To take off or discard as in put off a sweater, but more so to repel or repulse; and Put ON is not merely to cover, To clothe oneself with; as to put on a coat, but To apply; activate: put on the brakes.
Are we (Have I been) getting it backward?
With my health as any other area of my life, the Put On – Put Off principle is for breaking the chains that bind us. I’ve been feeding emotions since January: mostly healthily, but a bit too abundantly. The chorus of a favorite song* has become my prayer:
I don’t want to be bound
To anyone but You, Master
I don’t want any chains on me
But the bonds of Your love
*by permission (Rob Bryceson, Timothy Jones & Steve Mills © 1994, 1990 – Little Peach Music, Inc. CCLI # : 565609 )
Our chains (habits, hurts, emotions, weaknesses, thoughts, desires, i.e. sins) are fierce captors that hold us – bind us – and keep us from fully experiencing the bonds of freedom in the love of Jesus Christ.
Thousands of failures who’ve “tried” on their own to – (Put OFF) – break free of their captors, line the paths to innumerable sites offering quick fixes. Generations have been passed the torches of guilt, depression, low self-esteem and even suicide. We’ve limited God to our understanding and thus limited our own access to (Put ON) His unlimited power.
When we apply the biblical principle to PUT ON – (the inner man is built up by the laws of God, and the worldly veneer (the outer man), like snakeskin, will slough off.
We are such habit-dependent enablers that many small changes can go unnoticed until we have a relapse and then realize how all things really are becoming new. Shortly after I was diagnosed celiac and had begun eliminating wheat, I ordered a salad not realizing the chicken would be battered. In a hurry, I ate it and shortly experienced the side effects of not activating the wisdom of the new diet.
Now activating in the health challenges- Putting on – new habits of
Consuming for health – rather than for emotion
Activity (though currently very limited, accountability should increase the faithfulness)
Join me, would you, for the next 60 days? I’m excited to see what will happen while submitted to the guidance of God’s Word and the great coaches provided.
What can you PUT ON that will add physical, spiritual, or emotional health?