Like so many of us in the last month, I started putting exercise back into the rhythm of my week. In addition to exercising, I am making better choices with my food.
I am not new to the concept of beginning again in the fitness arena. Normally it is because I have a wedding or a conference coming up, where I would like to look my best. While both those events are in my near future, this time around I am working to establish a pattern with consistency; I want to do it for my health.
As we crossed into the month of February, I was feeling pleased with myself. For an entire month I had pressed play on the workout videos four times a week, drunk more water, and chosen salads for lunch.
Then I stepped on the scale.
The internal victory I felt just moments before, turned to defeat, as the scale showed no loss. The scale said I was the same.
I had tried to convince myself my motive was for health, but the heaviness of the measurement reminded me I was aiming for an approval number.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
I lacked confidence in the workout plan I was on and was ashamed of my number. The tool I was being measured by was disappointing, but what we couldn’t measure was the function of my body. The scale couldn’t measure my energy level, the muscle I was developing, or how much better I was sleeping.
The outside measurement stole the victory I felt for what I knew was happening on the inside.
It can be easy for us to let the world be our measuring stick for how we are doing. Our purpose is to glorify God, and even if we feel the Holy Spirit encouraging us, one look in the mirror or one outside comment can send us reeling down a path of self-defeating talk.
When we choose to seek approval in God, spending time with Him in His Word, we get to know his character. We learn to identify the voice of His Holy Spirit and the goodness of His intentions. God is not a Father who speaks condemnation over us; He is the Dad who chose us and loves us first!